Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Police call for help over woman's bashing

POLICE have taken the unusual step of appealing for public help over an alleged domestic incident that left a Melbourne woman severely beaten and with a broken nose.

The woman was allegedly held captive by her boyfriend Omar Aboueid, 37, for up to 10 hours.

The incident on December 6 started at the 35-year-old woman's house in the northern suburb of Coburg and is believed to have been over missing property belonging to Aboueid.

Senior Constable Dennis Cunha from the Broadmeadows Embona Armed Robbery Taskforce said the woman was repeatedly punched in the head and then dragged into a blue hatchback and driven around Coburg and Reservoir, where the attacks continued.

The woman was eventually returned home, suffering a broken nose and severe swelling and bruising to her face and body.

She reported the incident to police two days later.

"The actual assault was quite vicious, there's some brutal injuries on the victim in relation to the swelling on the face," Sen Const Cunha said.

A warrant has been issued for Aboueid's arrest but police have been unable to find him after two weeks of searching.

They are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Sen Const Cunha said Aboueid had access to firearms and was considered dangerous and should not be approached.

He appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

"Police have been actively looking for this male over the past two weeks. The male is aware that police wish to speak to him in relation to this allegation and the male is actively avoiding police apprehension."


Monday, December 13, 2010

107 students show excellence in HSC awards

One hundred and seven NSW students have shown HSC excellence, some of them topping courses before they even begin Year 12 and tackling university subjects while still at high school.

Andrew Ting Li, 16, from the Hills, northwest Sydney, won the award for agriculture despite being in Year 11.

"It's something that's very strong in our school, we're an agriculture High School," the James Ruse Agricultural High School student told AAP on Tuesday.

Andrew said that as he studied agriculture it "became a part of his life" - "There's a lot of everything in agriculture".

Isolde Daniell, 17, from Lismore won her First in Course award for Italian Extension.

The Trinity Catholic College student said her mum found it hard to keep the secret for four days.

"Mum told the house painter, the postman," she said.

Isolde's father is an opera singer - Rhys Daniell.

"He used to sing in the Opera House," she said, adding that she now uses her Italian to help him translate his music.

Maddy Greer, 18, won her award for Philosophy Distinction, which is almost at university level.

But the teen from Dubbo admitted she wouldn't continue to study it all the time as she would "never make any money or get a job".

She said that she uses the principles of the subject in her everyday life - something which might have been useful when she had to deal with flooding in her town.

"I came back from schoolies and the roads were closed around half the city and it was pretty weird going from somewhere where it had barely rained all year and coming back and half the roads were shut from the flooded river," she said.

"Traffic jams have been crazy for Dubbo. For someone who is used to taking ten minutes to get across town, taking half an hour tests my patience," she added.

Girls outperformed boys in the awards with 70 girls achieving first place in at least one subject, compared to 37 boys.

"You should all take extra pride and enjoyment knowing that out of the record 70,000 plus HSC students this year just 107 will receive a certificate of excellence for obtaining first place and the high standard in an HSC course," NSW Education Minister Verity Firth said at the awards ceremony on Tuesday in Sydney.

Seven students managed to take first place achievements in two courses.

Meanwhile, the rest of the state's HSC students are still waiting nervously for their results, which will be released on Wednesday.

Students will be able to access their results from 6am (AEDT) via internet, telephone and text message.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Sydney escort 'having fun' before death

In the hours before her death, Sydney prostitute Victoria McIntyre told supervisors she was "having fun" and was happy to keep working, a court has been told.

Using the working name "Lisa", 23-year-old Ms McIntyre was one of up to four escorts allegedly hired by Sydney neurosurgeon Suresh Surendranath Nair on February 14, 2009.

Nair, 41, is charged with her manslaughter and the November 2009 murder of Suellen Domingues-Zaupa, 22, another prostitute.

He allegedly supplied both women with cocaine at his luxury Elizabeth Bay apartment.

At a committal hearing at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court, the director of HM Escorts, Anna Monaghan, on Monday testified as to what she knew of the hours leading up to Ms McIntyre's death.

Ms Monaghan said it was practice to make a "safety call" to staff - whom she referred to as "consultants" - and that an employee named Angela Bishop had made contact with Ms McIntyre.

"Lisa told her that she was having fun and, earlier, Lisa indicated that she had to be done by 11 o'clock because she had to go to an engagement party," Ms Monaghan said.

"But in this call she said she was having fun and was happy to keep working."

The court heard that another escort hired by Nair told Ms Monaghan she was sent away "to get a script filled" and that when she returned there was an ambulance outside his apartment.

The same prostitute, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Ms Monaghan the girls had been taking drugs at Nair's property.

"She just said they were taking a lot of drugs and they were putting it in their orifices," Ms Monaghan told the court.

Under questioning from Nair's barrister, Peter Hamill SC, Ms Monaghan said she became aware that an ambulance was involved.

"Were you not concerned that one of your escorts may be in difficulty?" Mr Hamill asked.

"When we spoke to her she was fine and having fun," Ms Monaghan replied.

"Yes, but when you spoke to one of the other girls she said she had got back and there was an ambulance there," Mr Hamill said.

Ms Monaghan said she then "tried ringing her".

Several women who worked for the Sydney-based agency - which charges between $500 and $700 per hour per escort - are expected to give evidence in the committal hearing.

The hearing, before Magistrate Carolyn Barkell, continues on Tuesday.