Monthly Archives: September 2019

Aussie family slams killer mum’s sentence

The Australian family of murdered businessman Robert Ellis is in shock at the 12-year sentence handed down to his wife, who ordered the Bali hit.

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Perth students John and Peter Ellis had prepared themselves for their mother Noor Ellis, 45, to go to prison for 15 years as prosecutors had recommended, for planning the murder of Robert Ellis.

But on Wednesday, the court handed down a 12-year term in recognition of her remorse and “prolonged mental pressure”.

She could have received a maximum penalty of death.

Peter Ellis told reporters his father’s death had left a huge hole in his life and John’s, as well as for Mr Ellis’ older children Kelvin and Christina.

“We as a family are extremely disappointed by the outcome of 12 years,” he said.

“We would have expected a sentence of at least 20 for the brutal, premeditated murder of our father.

“For the verdict to be a sentence of only 12 years is unjust not only for us as a family, but Indonesia in general.”

The prosecutor said he was considering an appeal.

The body of Mr Ellis was found wrapped in plastic in a rice field last October.

The popular expat, who had made his wealth in telecommunications, aviation and property, had been set upon in his own villa, held down on the kitchen floor and his throat slashed with a knife.

His wife had been sitting in the next room. She helped dispose of the body and ordered her two maids to clean the bloody kitchen.

She initially reported Mr Ellis missing and lied to her sons about their father’s whereabouts.

When she did confess to orchestrating the crime, she claimed she was desperate after years of neglect and being denied a divorce.

The Ellis family claims she was not neglected, and that her manipulation extended to submitting to the court a false statement purportedly signed by John Ellis, asking for a lenient sentence.

“We are very upset about the accusations against our father which Noor has fabricated in order to defend herself,” Peter Ellis said outside court.

“We are also still in disbelief over the falsified statement, which is now being used as evidence to support Noor, and would have thought such forgery was both a crime in itself and further evidence of guilt of Noor and other accomplices.”

Ellis’ story changed a number of times after her arrest.

She first claimed she only wanted to teach her husband a lesson, and was shocked to find the five men she paid $14,000 had killed him.

Later, she admitted she had ordered Mr Ellis killed, but “not sadistically” – a deal she had sealed with a pinky swear.

Judge Wirakanta said he accepted Ellis ordered the murder because she felt hurt.

She had enough time to change her mind, but didn’t, he said.

“It’s true the defendant and the victim have not lived harmoniously for about 11 years and the defendant wasn’t given adequate mental and physical care,” he said.

Two of the five men involved, known as Urbanus and Yohannes, were also sentenced to 12 years’ jail on Wednesday.

The others as well as two maids are expected to be sentenced soon for their roles.

Mr Ellis has been laid to rest in New Zealand.

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Aust-Indon relations getting stronger: PM

Australia won’t let the execution of two of its citizens permanently damage relations with Indonesia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

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Australia’s ambassador Paul Grigson has returned to his post in Jakarta, five weeks after being pulled out in protest over the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

“We took what was a pretty unprecedented step. But he’s been out of there for about 40 days and I think now is an appropriate time for him to go back,” Mr Abbott said of the ambassador on Wednesday.

Australia’s relations with Indonesia were strong and getting stronger, he said.

“We thought that those executions were unnecessary and counterproductive. But we also made it crystal clear at the time that we weren’t going to let this permanently damage what is a very good friendship and a very important relationship.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the ambassador would get on with the job of providing consular assistance, as well as working on counter-terrorism, transnational crime, tackling people-smuggling and boosting trade and investment.

Ms Bishop said ministerial-level meetings had not yet resumed.

“We are considering that option now,” she said.

Bill Farmer, a former Australian ambassador to Indonesia, said the Indonesians were reacting in a “very low-key way” as Australia started to rebuild the relationship.

It would not be useful for Australia to rush in with senior-level visits, he said.

“We should, in a measured way, do what we’ve been doing very well with Indonesia over the long-term and that is work with them so that we can re-establish high-level contacts and basically work to pursue Australian interests,” Mr Farmer told the ABC.

He said Indonesian President Joko Widodo did not have a “strong international bent”, so it was difficult to know how hard it would be to re-establish the contact.

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Twin dumped item after Scott murder: cops

The twin of the man accused of killing teacher Stephanie Scott dumped incriminating material for his brother in South Australia, police are to allege.

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Marcus Stanford was arrested at his home in Forreston, in the Adelaide Hills, early on Wednesday morning.

The 24-year-old flower farm labourer is due to fly to Sydney on Thursday where he will be charged with being an accessory after the fact to Ms Scott’s murder in the NSW town of Leeton in April.

Police will allege accused killer Vincent Stanford sent material in the mail after Ms Scott’s death to Marcus, who then disposed of it.

In handcuffs and wearing a Star Wars T-shirt, Marcus appeared in Mount Barker Magistrates Court on Wednesday where detectives applied for his extradition to NSW.

Asked if he knew anything about the warrant for his arrest, Stanford told the court he did not and indicated he had not spoken to a lawyer.

Asked if there was any reason why he should not return to Leeton, he said: “Never been there, so I wouldn’t need to return”.

It is believed he and his two house mates, backpackers working on farms, were hauled into a police station to be questioned after his twin’s arrest on April 8.

School cleaner Vincent Stanford is accused of sexually assaulting Ms Scott, 26, before killing her on April 5 – six days before her wedding.

The English and drama teacher was last seen at her workplace – Leeton High School – where she was preparing lessons before her impending honeymoon.

Forreston locals say Marcus Stanford had been living in the town, about an hour northeast of Adelaide, for a while and rented a house on Jamieson St.

“He seemed perfectly normal to me, quite nice and a very well-mannered guy,” one local said.

The Forreston resident said Vincent Stanford had visited his twin brother over New Year’s Eve for a holiday.

Stanford is accused of dumping Ms Scott’s body in bushland at Cocoparra National Park, more than 70km from Leeton, and setting it on fire.

Her burned remains were found five days after she was last seen.

Vincent and Marcus were born in Tasmania before they moved to Holland, from where their mother came, and spent a majority of their childhood there.

It is believed Vincent, his mother and older brother, moved to Leeton abut 13 months before his arrest.

He is due to appear in Griffith Local Court via audio visual link in September.

Marcus is expected to appear in a Sydney court on Thursday.

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Twin brother of alleged killer ‘dumped item’ after Stephanie Scott murder

Marcus Stanford was arrested at his home in Forreston, in the Adelaide Hills, early on Wednesday morning.

南宁桑拿

The 24-year-old flower farm labourer is due to fly to Sydney on Thursday where he will be charged with being an accessory after the fact to Ms Scott’s murder in the NSW town of Leeton in April.

Police will allege accused killer Vincent Stanford sent material in the mail after Ms Scott’s death to Marcus, who then disposed of it.

In handcuffs and wearing a Star Wars T-shirt, Marcus appeared in Mount Barker Magistrates Court on Wednesday where detectives applied for his extradition to NSW.

Asked if he knew anything about the warrant for his arrest, Stanford told the court he did not and indicated he had not spoken to a lawyer.

Asked if there was any reason why he should not return to Leeton, he said: “Never been there, so I wouldn’t need to return”.

It is believed he and his two house mates, backpackers working on farms, were hauled into a police station to be questioned after his twin’s arrest on April 8.

School cleaner Vincent Stanford is accused of sexually assaulting Ms Scott, 26, before killing her on April 5 – six days before her wedding.

The English and drama teacher was last seen at her workplace – Leeton High School – where she was preparing lessons before her impending honeymoon.

Forreston locals say Marcus Stanford had been living in the town, about an hour northeast of Adelaide, for a while and rented a house on Jamieson St.

“He seemed perfectly normal to me, quite nice and a very well-mannered guy,” one local said.

The Forreston resident said Vincent Stanford had visited his twin brother over New Year’s Eve for a holiday. Stanford is accused of dumping Ms Scott’s body in bushland at Cocoparra National Park, more than 70km from Leeton, and setting it on fire.

Her burned remains were found five days after she was last seen.

Vincent and Marcus were born in Tasmania before they moved to Holland, from where their mother came, and spent a majority of their childhood there.

It is believed Vincent, his mother and older brother, moved to Leeton abut 13 months before his arrest.

He is due to appear in Griffith Local Court via audio visual link in September.

Marcus is expected to appear in a Sydney court on Thursday.

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US woman on murder charge over ‘abortion’

Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate are stunned that police arrested a Georgia woman on murder charges after a hospital social worker told officers she terminated her pregnancy by taking abortion pills.

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Kenlissia Jones, 23, was being held at the Dougherty County jail on charges of malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug.

District Attorney Greg Edwards has said he is reviewing the case but “as of right now she’s still charged”.

Jones was arrested on Saturday after a county social services worker called police to a hospital, according to an Albany police report.

A hospital social worker told police that Jones said she had taken four pills she purchased over the internet “to induce labour” because she and her boyfriend had broken up.

The social worker told police Jones went into labour and delivered the foetus in a car on the way to the hospital. The foetus did not survive.

The police report does not say how far along Jones was in her pregnancy.

WALB-TV reported earlier that authorities said Jones was about five months pregnant.

Prosecuting Jones seems at odds with Georgia case law, said Lynn Paltrow, an attorney and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a legal group in New York.

She noted state law explicitly prohibits prosecuting women for foeticide involving their own pregnancies.

And a Georgia appeals court ruled in 1998 that a teenager whose foetus was stillborn after she shot herself in the abdomen could not be prosecuted for performing an illegal abortion. Prosecutors ended up dropping that case.

“We don’t believe there is any law in Georgia that allows for the arrest of a woman for the outcome of her pregnancy,” said Paltrow, whose group is offering free legal aid to Jones.

Jones’ grandmother, Mary Lee Jones, said she didn’t know her granddaughter was pregnant. She said her granddaughter often seems troubled and likely needs professional counselling more than jail.

“I think now, in the position she’s in, she needs to be evaluated,” Jones’ grandmother said. “She’s just not herself.”

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