Police find dead body in back seat of car at Lambton BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy
SuZhou Night Recruitment

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

TweetFacebook Police at the scenePictures: Simon McCarthyPOLICE who pulled over a car in Lambton found a body lying in the back seat.

The car was pulled over about 3.15am on Griffiths Road and was driven by a 52-year-old man.

On closer inspection, police found another man’s body in the back seat of the Toyota Camry.

The driver was arrestedat the scene and taken to Waratah police station where he was under questioning.

Investigations are continuing.

A crime scene was establishedon Griffiths Road, with two of three east-bound lanes closed as police investigated.

The road was reopened shortly before 10am.

The car was towed away from the scene.

.

Read More →

Drug overdose theory in Newcastle car death BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy
SuZhou Night Recruitment

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

BODY: Police at the scene on Griffiths Road. Picture: Simon McCarthy

TweetFacebook Police at the scenePictures: Simon McCarthyItis still a few hours before dawn when twopolice officers first see the silver Toyota Camry “being driven erratically” straight past Waratah police station.

They pull out of the station’s driveway and tail the car onto nearby Griffiths Road, in the Newcastle suburb of Lambton, before they turn on their lights and sirens and the Camry is calmly pulled over without incident.

Inside is the driver, 52-year-old Rodney Clarke, a former Taree man who has never held a licence and is wanted on warrants.

But it is the dark figure behind Mr Clarke that attracts the attention of the officers.

Lying motionless across the back seat is another 52-year-old former Taree man, who they are told is sleeping.

But he is cold and not breathing and is quickly pronounced dead at the scene.

Police set up a crime scene after finding the body of a man in the back seat of a car in Newcastle. Photo: Simon McCarthy

Mr Clarke is arrested and taken back to Waratah police station for questioning as a crime scene is established on the side of the busy arterial road about eight kilometres from the Newcastle central business district.

It is 3.15am and detectives are called in as a significant investigation is launched into the bizarre circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

There are no visible marks on the man’s body but the homicide squad is informed.

Within hours, and as forensic police continue to scour the scene for clues, it emerges the dead man may have succumbed to a drug overdose.

Detectives are told the man, a known heroin user, had taken a hit early on Sunday night before telling his friend he was going to sleep it off in the Camry.

They are still investigating how long the car remained at Hamilton railway station before Mr Clarke is alleged to have got back behind the wheel and began driving around several suburbs looking for somewhere to buy food.

Police are told he still believed his friend was sleeping the heroin off when the officers pulled him over.

Police closed of Griffiths Road in Newcastle after finding the body. Photo: Simon McCarthy

An autopsy is planned for Tuesday morning to confirm a cause of death, however police believe the man may have been dead for more than three hours before the vehicle stop.

Mr Clarke has not been charged over the apparent non-suspicious death, but he was refused bail for the outstanding warrants.

He faced Newcastle Local Court for allegedly failing to comply with reporting obligations (he was on bail to report to Waratah police station), having custody of a knife in a public place, assaulting police in the execution of their duty, resisting arrest and failing to appear in court.

Mr Clarke pleaded guilty to never holding a licence and was formally refused bail to reappear on Thursday.

Detectives are now preparing a report into the death for the coroner.

Newcastle Herald

Read More →

UPDATE 4.30pm:Three men charged after police allegedly found them in possession of more than 18kg of cannabis are Vietnamese nationals who are unlawfully in , according to court documents.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

The Anh Hoang and Hoai Nam Nguyen, both 22, and Cuong Van Nguyen, 33, faced Newcastle local court on Tuesday after their arrest on Monday night.

None of the three men applied for bail –and it was formally refused.

According to court documents, Mr Hoang and the younger Mr Nguyen listed Teralba Road, Adamstown, as their home address, while the older Mr Nguyen was listed as living at Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

Each of the trio was charged with possessing a prohibited drug and supply of a prohibited drug, after police allegedly found 18.8kg of cannabis in the vehicle they were travelling in during a stop atGlebe Road, Adamstown, on Monday.

Bail determination documents noted that all three men were illegally in , and were “liable for immigration detention”.

The bail determination for the older Mr Nguyen noted that he was “an extreme flight risk”.

They will face court again, via audio-visual link, on November 16.

EARLIERPolice have charged three men with drug possession after allegedly finding 18 kilogramsof cannabis in a vehicle they were travelling in.

About 6pm on Monday officers from Newcastle were patrolling on Glebe Road, Adamstown, when they noticed a vehicle carrying three men.

Officers pulled the vehicle over and breath tested the driver who provided a negative result.

The vehicle was searched and officers allegedlylocated 18 kilogramsof cannabis.

The three men, one aged 33 and two aged 22, were arrested and taken to Newcastle Police Station where they were charged with possess prohibited drug (deemed supply).

They were bail refused and will appear in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday.

Read More →

In the midst of a brutal campaign, it is tempting to wonder: where are the better angels of our nature?
SuZhou Night Recruitment

On Monday, Q&A provided the answer: those angels have taken up residence with the public figure whose profile requires her to call on them more often than most.

“Right now she is finding and firing with her most potent voice”: Magda Szubanski on Q&A. Photo: ABC

Magda Szubanski has been many things in public life. But right now she is finding and firing with her most potent voice, in a campaign that can seem so unnecessary and even cruel that to maintain decorum in the midst of the maelstrom appears a demand on discipline beyond the reach of many.

But not for Magda.

There she was again on Monday, dealing with the slings and arrows – the slights against her and the sleights of hand by those on the other side – with grace and calm. She marshalled facts with feeling, letting nothing slide and laying everything out, including the personal experience that drives her but which she never allows to emerge as fury.

She was tested from the git-go, with a question that went right to the “both sides are nasty” plane of false equivalence. The question: “Why can’t I have a right to my view without being branded as a hater or a bigot?”

You want to see those better angels at work? Here they were.

“You totally do and I wouldn’t brand you as a homophobe,” Szubanski began, admitting that at a time when she was “unresolved and probably not comfortable with myself, I might have voted no, too”.

But, she gently reminded him: “There’s been viciousness on the extremes of either side??? I think we have to try and establish and expand the moderate live-and-let-live middle ground really.”

Szubanski’s fellow panellists on this marriage equality edition were two churchmen – Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies, a No advocate, and the prominent Catholic advocate for a Yes vote Frank Brennan – and Karina Okotel, friendly face of the No campaign and vice-president of the federal Liberal Party.

Okotel is a challenge in this debate: an all-smiling and apparent voice of reasonableness adept at speaking out of both sides of her mouth like the lawyer she is. Szubanski was there to catch the words whichever side they flew from. It was not always easy, as when Okotel tied herself in knots on her position on gay couples raising children, dire warnings about which are a key plank of the No campaign.

Tony Jones to Okotel: “I’ll quickly bring you up on something. You’re perfectly happy for children to be brought up with same-sex parents? That’s no problem?”

Okotel: “Why not? There are good parents who???”

Szubanski, like the rest of us, was confused.

Szubanski: “You say the problem with marriage is it will lead to problems with children. That vulnerable children are threatened??? that’s what you’ve said. That that’s a consequence.”

Okotel: “That’s very different to parenting and being raised by same-sex parents.”

At which the audience could be heard guffawing, with Szubanski confining herself to a look of bafflement.

Okotel reinforced whatever it was her point was: “Absolutely.”

Szubanski: “I don’t understand it.”

Okotel: “I might need more than a minute to explain this.”

Szubanski: “I’m not that stupid.”

It was an issue that wouldn’t go away, as Jones returned to it again in an effort to make Okotel make sense. It was a losing battle.

Jones: “Just to confirm then??? you actually have no problem whatsoever with gay people bringing up children?

Okotel: “No. I don’t have any issue with gay people parenting.”

Jones: “Only if they’re married?”

Okotel: “No. I don’t think that homosexual people should be married because when you???”

Jones: “But is the problem with them bringing up children only when they’re married?”

Okotel: “I don’t understand.”

Jones: “Is it a problem of them bringing up children when they’re married?”

Okotel: “Sorry, I don’t understand your question.”

Jones: “So there’s no problem with people getting married if they’re gay and bringing up children as far as you’re concerned?”

Okotel: “I suppose why I don’t understand your question is people bring up children all the time who are not married, whether they be straight or married.”

Jones: “I’m confirming that’s your view?”

Okotel: “I don’t have an issue with people parenting in a relationship or unmarried relationship, straight or whatever, as long as they’re good parents.”

Dear Karina. You might want to explain that – whatever it was – to Lyle Shelton.

But let’s give the last word to Magda, who delivered perhaps the most emotional punch of the night in taking on Anglican Glenn Davies on the role of the church.

Szubanski once more showed her rare skill at marrying the personal and the political.

“I accept the church will never marry me. That grieves me in ways you will never know. I’m the one in my family, when I buried my parents I organised every detail of the masses, I wrote the orders of service, I put the pall over my mother’s coffin,” she said.

“Now I accept the Catholic Church will never marry me, but you won’t even let me marry outside the church??? Why should you have the right to tell me or any other person, straight or gay, what they do in the civil domain?”

Davies: “I don’t think the views expressed have been telling anyone what to believe. I won’t tell you that either, OK? That’s not my job.”

Szubanski, summoning those better angels, restrained herself.

It was enough to retort: “You paid a million dollars to fund the No campaign.”

Amen and goodnight, bishop.

Read More →