Home' Greymouth Star : December 20th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
12 - Friday, December 20, 2013
e son of Black Widow
murderer Helen Milner, is
suing her for $60,000 after she
framed him for a crime he never
Adam Kearns, 18, spent 18 days
in jail, set up by his mother who
sent herself violent death threat
texts and pretended they came
Mr Kearns was arrested, denied
bail, and spent 18 days in jail for
a crime he did not do.
Milner was jailed in August
last year for two years and eight
months for perverting the course
of justice in framing her son.
Mr Kearns s lawyer Kerry
Cook confirmed he was seeking
$60,000 in damages from Milner.
Mr Cook said his client
was suing over a "malicious
prosecution . . . that she knew to
be false". "I ve got instructions
to file a claim against Milner for
the time Adam wrongly spent in
jail," Mr Cook said.
A letter of demand was served
on Milner during her High Court
murder trial, he said. Milner had
yet to respond. --- APNZ
Black Widow framed son
Tallest hot-air balloon for NZ
PICTURE: Wairarapa Times-Age
e world s tallest hot-air balloon will take to the skies in
Wairarapa s revamped ballooning festival in March.
Towering at nearly 54m --- taller than the Statue of Liberty ---
the Patriot space shuttle replica will be among more than two
dozen balloons in the four-day festival.
It will be the balloon s first trip down under. Eight metres taller
than the Statue of Liberty and with a wingspan of 35m, it tips
the scales at 449kg. It is 40% larger than a real space shuttle. A
crew of 15-20 people will be needed to inflate and pack away the
massive balloon. Built in Brazil in 2003, the Patriot was created
to honour 100 years of powered winged flight. It will be piloted
by owner Barry DiLibero, of Pennsylvania, who has been flying
balloons since 1991. --- Wairarapa Times-Age
e botched first police investigation into
Phil Nisbet s death is a stark reminder for
officers to keep an open mind in all inquiries,
legal experts say.
"What s clearly happened here is that, too
early on, police have made a decision on what
they think the circumstances are and that s
formed their theory of the scene. ey ve
formed that in their minds too early," said Dr
Chris Gallavin, dean of law at the University
"For sudden deaths like this, even though
it s probably very upsetting for the family,
they ought to go in with quite a suspicious
mind from day one and treat it like a crime
scene right from the first moment. You don t
want to have things blow up in their face like
Helen Milner, 50, was yesterday found
guilty of murdering 47-year-old Mr Nisbet,
her second husband.
Police originally ruled the death as suicide
and a homicide investigation was launched
two years later only after a coroner raised
doubts over the circumstances.
In the United States, a coroner carries out
their own investigations into a murder or
sudden death separately to police.
But in New Zealand, the coroner is reliant
on information passed to them by police.
"So that really accentuates the embarrass-
ment in this case --- it s not like the coroner
was looking at anything new," Dr Gallavin
Nigel Hampton, QC, one of New Zealand s
top defence lawyers, said the first 24-48 hours
after a death were the "absolutely critical"
period in establishing what has happened.
e scene needs to be secured early to
ensure nothing is contaminated and officers
should seize "absolutely everything" that may
be relevant to an investigation.
"If it s a sudden death, or suspicious death,
whatever, it s going to end up at a coroner s
inquiry at the very least, therefore, forensic
evidences should be collected from that point
of view alone."
While poisoning, as a form of murder, has
"fallen out of fashion" since its heyday in
Victorian times, this case might act as a "bit
of a wake up call" for police, Mr Hampton
"It shows that poisoning is still a possibility
in this day and age," he said.
"Police officers who are not trained in the
practical sense of dealing with it should now
be keeping it in the back of their mind when
investigating sudden or suspicious deaths."
Poisoning case stark
warning for police
e Auckland SPCA has cut the cost of
adopting cats and kittens by half over the
Christmas period, saying the organisation is
at "crisis point" with too many felines arriving
on the doorstep.
e cost of adopting a kitten up to six
months old has dropped from $160 to $80
and the cost of an adult cat up to seven years
old has dropped from $105 to $52.50.
e deal applies from tomorrow and runs
until January 12, SPCA Auckland chief
executive Christine Kalin said.
"We re at crisis point with 543 cats and
kittens ready for adoption right now --- and
more arriving every day. Just yesterday we had
more than 100 extra animals come into our
care --- in one day.
"Cats are arriving faster than we can find
new homes for them. We simply cannot
accommodate any more.
"It s our job to rescue animals but right
now we have nowhere to put them. So we re
appealing to the public for their urgent
help and cutting the price of cat and kitten
adoption in half.
"If you have been considering getting
a pet, please take advantage of this great
deal, help the lost, abandoned, and abused
animals of Auckland by adopting a cat
or kitten from the SPCA, and give them
the gift of a secure home for life this
She said it was a "really sweet deal" for
potential pet owners because the animals
have been checked by a veterinarian,
de-sexed, microchipped, wormed, treated for
fleas, and given initial vaccinations.
"It s the most cost-effective way of getting a
pet. Also, the money you pay us goes directly
to saving other animals.
"We don t encourage people to give pets
as Christmas presents because this can
lead to the dumping of unwanted animals
immediately after the yuletide cheer and the
novelty has worn off.
"Having said that, if you and your family
are prepared to care for and nurture your
new companion animal, the school holidays
are an excellent time to adopt an animal for
your children because it gives them and the
animal a chance to settle in before the new
e SPCA was also desperate for people
to foster cats or kittens over the Christmas
holidays when regular carers were on holiday.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
SPCA at cat crisis point
Sky TV sports broadcaster
Stephen McIvor has been
admitted to hospital with
possible bleeding on the brain.
e Fight for Life contestant
spent last night under obser vation
at Auckland s Ascot Hospital.
He competed in the Fight for
Life charity night on Saturday.
A statement from Matheson
Sports Media said it understood
a CT scan found McIvor, 48, had
some bleeding on his brain.
It was not severe enough to
require immediate drainage, the
"McIvor will undergo an MRI
scan this afternoon.
"He told Matheson Sports
Media that he was feeling okay,"
the statement said.
"I got a bit of a fright last
night," McIvor said.
McIvor told the company he
hoped to get the "all clear".
"I feel like I am doing fine. But
I have been a bit shaky to be
While McIvor was unsure
when the injury was sustained,
he believes it could have been
during a sparring session two
weeks before his Saturday bout,
he told Matheson Sports Media.
suffers brain bleed
e case of a young Auckland
man who had sex with a 14-year-
old Dunedin girl he met through
an on-line dating site highlighted
the dangers of teenagers
communicating through the
internet, a Dunedin District
Court judge said yesterday.
e facts of the case would
reflect the worst concerns of many
parents, Judge Stephen Coyle
said when sentencing 22-year-
old Nikhil Batra for having
unlawful sexual connection with
the teenager on July 21.
e undisputed facts from the
Crown summary were that Batra
met the girl through an internet
dating site for people 18 years
and older, Judge Coyle said.
Although she was 14, the girl
misrepresented her age as 18. She
and Batra communicated over
time and developed a relationship
and an attraction.
In July, Batra travelled to
Dunedin but, when he met
the girl, he realised she did not
look 18. When he suggested she
might have been 16, she told him
she was only 14. Knowing that,
the defendant nevertheless hired
a motel room, invited the girl to
stay and had sex with her, the
Her parents found her at the
motel and called the police.
Batra immediately acknow-
ledged what had happened, but
he explained he loved the girl and
age did not matter.
Counsel Anne Stevens said that
showed how naive the defendant
was. e fact English was not
his first language might have
created some difficulties for his
understanding of the situation,
Crown counsel Richard Smith
said it was accepted there had
been no plan to coerce the girl
and there was no element of
Judge Coyle told Batra the
particular law existed because
Parliament recognised that
those under the age of 16 were
vulnerable and not able to give
informed consent because of
their youth. e girl s age should
have been a signal to him that,
no matter how willing she was,
he should not have engaged in
sexual activity with her.
In the pre-sentence report,
Batra said that if he had a sister
in the same situation he could
imagine the pain it would cause
his whole family.
"If you understand that now, it
begs question why you did not at
the time when you found out she
was 14, the judge told Batra.
e incident had profoundly
affected the girl, who had
developed a tendency to self-
harm. But she remained of the
view the defendant s love for
her was genuine. Batra also
maintained that what happened
was centred on deep and true
Taking into account there had
been only one incident of sex
and that Batra was remorseful
and said he had never wanted
to hurt anyone, Judge Coyle
sentenced him to 10 months
home detention at an Auckland
As special conditions of the
sentence and for six months
after its expiry, Batra must
attend courses, treatment and
programmes for issues relating to
the offending and must complete
a specified relevant programme
(SAFE) as directed.
--- Otago Daily Times
Divers join search
Police divers will today join the
search for missing Christchurch
taxi driver John Mackle, who
has not been seen since last
Mr Mackle, 50, has been
missing from his home in the
Christchurch suburb of Opawa
since about 11pm on December
His Gold Band taxi, a white
2008 Toyota Camry, registration
number ELQ718, was found
near Walter Park in Kellys Road,
Mairehau, a day later.
Police and search and rescue
volunteers have been searching
for the missing man in the
Mairehau area. --- APNZ
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