Daily News Roundup

November 22, 2019

A man who smothered his wife to death with a pillow in their Sydney home after she reconnected with a high school sweetheart on Facebook has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. 
Image: Yahoo News Australia

FRIDAY November 22 

A man who smothered his wife to death with a pillow in their Sydney home after she reconnected with a high school sweetheart on Facebook has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. 

Warren Rogers, 71, was found guilty in May of murdering his wife Ann at their Milperra home in 2016, following months of arguments about her meeting and ongoing contact with the man.

Rogers had been married to Ann for more than 40 years, when he demanded that she “swear on her mother’s grave” she would not contact the man again. 

The couple attended counselling sessions to overcome their problems. 

The NSW Supreme Court heard that an argument in a bedroom about a message she sent escalated in September 2016, where Rogers grabbed a pillow before smothering the 61-year-old on a bed. 

Justice Julia Lonergan said the case was “yet another domestic violence murder” but there was much more to the story. 

She noted Rogers had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 and accepted a psychiatrist’s opinion he was likely suffering an undiagnosed depressive disorder at the time. 

Rogers received a sentence of 18 years with a non-parole period of 12 years. 

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter but was not accepted by the Crown.

His lawyers argued a partial defence of substantial impairment on the basis he was suffering from an abnormality of the mind. 

The jury heard he tried to take his own life after the crime, left a note apologising and was discovered after a welfare check by paramedics. 

Rogers will be eligible for parole in September 2028.

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Over 50 bushfires are still burning across NSW with widespread very high danger and hazy Sydney condition set to stay. 

Although there are no total fire bans in place for today, the Rural Fire Service NSW says warm weather is set to continue with nine regions including the ACT and entire northern coast at “very high” fire danger. 

Greater Sydney is at “high” fire danger but is also grappling with heavy smoke blanketing the city from nearby Gospers Mountain fire in the Hawkesbury, which has burned through more than 170,000 hectares. 

The RFS said haze around Sydney would dissipate throughout the day but NSW air quality indexes on Friday morning deemed Sydney’s northwest and southwest regions “hazardous” for air pollution. Sydney’s east was deemed between “very poor” and “hazardous” quality. 

On Thursday the RFS announced that 612 home had been lost so far in the state’s bushfires, including 530 in the past fortnight alone. 

The fires have also claimed six lives this bushfire season. 

A total of 55 fires were burning at 9am this morning around NSW with 26 uncontained and hundreds of firefighters still in the field. 

The NSW government also announced bushfire victims who have lost important identity documents can have them replaced for free. 

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US lawyers for victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein are urging Prince Andrew to co-operate with investigators, insisting he was “simply not credible” in an interview on his relationship with the late financier. 

The call came as The Duke of York was seen for the first time since he announced his mother. Queen Elizabeth II, had approved his plan to “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future,” citing the “major disruption” caused by the renewed focus on his ties to Epstein. 

Price Andrew said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.

US lawyer Lisa Bloom tweeted today, “I’ve been working with my five Epstein victim clients for months.”

“Prince Andrew was simply not credible in his (BBC) interview.”

Another US lawyer representing alleged victims of Epstein, Gloria Allred, told broadcasters both criminal and civil legal routes could be used if Andrew fails to agree to be interviewed by investigators.