Daily News Round-up

April 23, 2021

FRIDAY, April 23

Queensland Police’s internal review into how they handled events leading up to the alleged murder of Kelly Wilkinson won’t fix the domestic violence system, a women’s legal service says.

Ms Wilkinson’s former partner Brian Earl Johnston, 34, is accused of setting her alight at her Arundel home on Tuesday morning.

Police announced yesterday they would investigate their interactions with Ms Wilkinson. The 27-year-old mother contacted police several times in the weeks before she died.

Women’s Legal Services Queensland chief executive Angela Lynch said an independent investigation is needed, not another internal review.

“The idea that the police should investigate this horrific failure of the system themselves is absurd,” she said.

Ms Lynch said the government needed to urgently review bail laws.

“The outcome must be changes to policy that can prevent future murders,” she said.

“Police should not have discretion in circumstances of serious assault and domestic violence to allow immediate release back into the community, without at least court oversight.”

Police have said Ms Wilkinson visited a station on March 29 and was granted a Domestic Violence Order.

They said she visited police stations twice after that.

Superintendent Rhys Wildman said a forensic examination of what occurred from a policing side in the lead up to Ms Wilkinson’s death would be conducted.

“To look at all touch points that we’ve had in relation to the tragic death of Kelly,” he said.

“This has dramatically effected every officer on the Gold Coast, our officers have been devastated by what’s occurred.”

Assistant Police Commissioner Brian Codd said he was confident her case was taken seriously.

He stopped short of describing Ms Wilkinson’s death as being indicative of “systemic failures” surrounding police handling of domestic violence cases.

“We haven’t come to that conclusion yet … but ultimately it’s a failure,” Assistant Commissioner Codd said.

“A woman has died. She’s been killed, we will allege, in horrific circumstances.

“Somewhere along the line, she had engaged with the system, with us, and we were unable to prevent this from occurring.

“We’re certainly going to make sure we look to improve … and correct any parts of the system that we control.”

Ms Wilkinson’s father, Reg Wilkinson, said he was devastated by the loss.

“I love all my girls — no one more than the other,” he told Seven Network.

“But Kelly, she was sort of like my son growing up that I never had.

“If they’re saying ‘I need protection’, give them protection.”

Ms Wilkinson’s sister, Danielle Carroll says the family is devastated by the loss.

“It’s so hard, Kelly was just so much more than this.”


Two Australian warships will join the search for a missing Indonesian submarine that disappeared near Bali with 53 people on board.

HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius have both been diverted from separate regional deployments, after Indonesia formally accepted Australia’s offer to assist with the search effort.

Defence said HMAS Ballarat was equipped with sonar capabilities and a MH-60R helicopter, and was expected to reach the search area today.

HMAS Sirius is off the coast of Brunei and is expected to reach the search area from about Tuesday.

“Sirius can replenish ships with fuel, water and stores by day and night,” Defence said.

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia would provide whatever support it could to Indonesia.

“We’ve indicated that we will help in any way we can,” she said.

“We operate very different submarines from this one, but the Australian Defence Force and Australian Defence organisation will work with defence operations in Indonesia to determine what we may be able to do.”

Defence said it remained in close contact with Indonesia in case it could provide further help to the search.

Indonesian authorities announced today that rescue teams detected an object with “high magnetic force” floating in seas north of Bali, which they hoped could be the missing sub.

The submarine has been missing for just over 48 hours and was carrying enough oxygen to last three days.

The vessel was carrying 49 crew members, a commander and three gunners.


A Sydney retiree has credited her grandson for her decision to buy the lottery ticket that just netted her $40 million.

Thursday night’s $80 million jackpot was the largest draw so far in 2021, and the Sydney woman was one of two winners to share in the prize.

The other winner did not answer their phone when officials tried to contact them.

The odds of winning the division one prize are one in 134,490,400.

According to the Lott, the Campbelltown grandmother was in a state of shock when told she had won.

“My grandson told me earlier this week, ‘Grandma’s going to win the lotto’ and that’s why I bought a ticket,” she said.

“I’m a bit gobsmacked. I’m in shock. I can’t believe it.”

Newsagent Pradeep Ahluwalia, who sold the woman her ticket, said it was by far the largest prize he’d ever sold.

“We will definitely be celebrating. We can imagine our customers are going to be so happy when they hear the news,” he said.

“We always want them to win a major prize and now that someone has, it feels great.”

Officials from The Lott said they had trouble contacting the other winner, who had bought their ticket at a newsagent in Fairfield.

The winning numbers in last night’s draw were 35, 26, 10, 17, 31,19, 21, with the Powerball 1.


Les McKeown, former lead vocalist for the iconic Scottish pop group Bay City Rollers, has died. He was 65.

The late star’s family broke the news of his death in a moving Facebook post.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our lovely husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown,” they wrote, adding that he “died suddenly at home on Tuesday”.

The family didn’t disclose the cause of death, only mentioning that they’re “making arrangements for his funeral and ask for privacy after the shock of our profound loss.”

McKeown was the frontman for the Bay City Rollers during their heyday in the mid-1970s, during which they recorded such mega-hits as Shang-A-Lang, Bye Bye Baby and Give a Little Love.

The Edinburgh teenagers exploded into the US market with their 1974 hit Saturday Night, snagging the top spot on the American Billboard chart. Their overseas success even earned them comparisons with The Beatles a decade before.

McKeown left the Rollers in 1978, although in recent years, he took part in a nostalgia tour with ex-bandmates. His distinct vocals in Bye Bye Baby and other hits are still recognised by youngsters to this day.



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