Rebel Wilson seeks legal costs for successful defamation case

Rebel Wilson's legal team will return to the Supreme Court of Victoria today to argue the publishers of Woman's Day should pay the movie star's legal costs.

In September, Wilson was awarded the highest defamation payout in Australian history - $A4.5 million ($NZ5.03m) - after Bauer Media defamed her in a series of articles in May 2015.

It followed a four-week trial in which Wilson's lawyers successfully proved to an all-woman jury that Bauer branded the Pitch Perfect star as a "serial liar" who fabricated untruths about her age, real name and childhood in order to make it in Hollywood.

Justice John Dixon said Bauer, which publishes Australian Women's Weekly, OK! and NW magazines, failed to properly investigate allegations that Wilson was a liar, and published them knowing they were false.

Bauer Media announced in October it would appeal the $A4.5 million payout to the 38-year-old Hollywood star.

Wilson, who stars in upcoming comedy The Hustle, is not expected to attend today's hearing in Melbourne.

Shine Lawyers defamation law principal Peter Coggins previously told AAP Wilson would likely have at least 50 per cent of her legal costs paid, which he estimated ranged between $A500,000 and $A1 million.

The Australian actress appeared outside a Melbourne court today ahead of her defamation case against the publishers of Woman's Day.



Accused Kiwi conman's partner arrested in Australia two years after he's nabbed

The partner of a New Zealand man who was deported from Australia over two years ago after the couple arrived in Sydney on a stolen yacht has herself now been arrested in Australia on multiple charges including supplying ecstasy to a 15-year-old girl and indecently assaulting her.

Christchurch Police have told TVNZ tonight that Australian Federal Police, acting on New Zealand-endorsed extradition warrants, arrested Simone Smith, AKA Simone Wright, in New South Wales on Tuesday this week.

She was arrested on charges of supplying a girl aged 15 with the class B drug ecstasy, the indecent assault of the same girl, multiple charges of fraud and theft of a yacht, Detective Craig Farrant of Christchurch Police said. 

She has been remanded in custody to reappear in court in Australia on September 28.  

Her partner, Paul James Bennett, was arrested in Australia when the couple arrived in Sydney on a stolen yacht from New Zealand.

Bennett was deported back to New Zealand on May 13, 2016. He was taken into custody at Christchurch Airport and taken to court next day on 48 charges stretching back to 2008.  

These were 28 charges of dishonestly using documents or obtaining funds, 10 of forgery, five of theft, three of supplying a girl aged 15 with the class B drug ecstasy, and two of indecently assaulting the same girl. 

The total involved in the alleged dishonesty offending is $567,000 and Bennett's case is currently proceeding before the court.

Bennett had been on the run until being arrested aboard a yacht moored on the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney in February 2016 .

The yacht had been stolen from the Bay of Islands the previous year.

Simone Wright and Paul James Bennett..

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Melbourne dad kills son after row over burnt omelette, court hears

Twenty minutes after an argument with his son about a burnt omelette, Peter John Smith assembled his shotgun, walked calmly inside and fired two fatal rounds into his son's chest.

Andrew Smith was 30 years old, a father of two little boys and several weeks into his latest attempt at getting off drugs.

He'd spent the afternoon having a few drinks in the backyard of his family's suburban Melbourne home with mum Kathleen and later his dad, and had gone inside with her to cook omelettes for tea.

It was just a week before Christmas last year.

In a Supreme Court plea hearing today, crown prosecutor Mark Rochford QC said Andrew went outside and tossed a burnt omelette on the ground, upsetting Smith who thought their dog might get sick.

"F*** the dogs, f*** you. You'll be dead in a year," he told his father, who had recently had bowel cancer surgery.

Smith tried to punch his son, missed and the pair wrestled on the ground for a moment before Andrew went inside to bed.

Smith sat down for dinner with his wife, put on his dressing gown and went to the caravan parked in their driveway.

From under the bed he retrieved a shotgun, assembled it, put ammunition inside and walked back to the house.

He passed his wife on the way, telling her "I'm going to kill the c*** and kill myself".

She didn't think he was serious and replied, "yeah right, of course you are".

He continued inside, opened his son's bedroom door, turned on the light and fired two shots through his son's chest. Both caused fatal injuries.

Smith dismantled the gun, left it in the living room and went outside to tell his wife to call the police.

He later told investigators: "I think I might have lost it a bit".

Smith, who is in his early 70s, pleaded guilty to murder in July. He also admitted possessing unregistered rifles and a shotgun.

His lawyer Richard Edney said Smith was suffering from undiagnosed and untreated depression.

He said his son Andrew had been in a repetitive cycle of using ice, synthetic marijuana and abstinence.

The Smiths had paid between $30,000 and $40,000 for him to attend rehab, while also supporting him at home.

Mr Edney said Smith told police he had "just had enough over the years", leading Justice Andrew Tinney to suggest the egg argument may have been the last straw.

"I couldn't put up with any more. Just making everyone miserable," Smith told police.

Justice Tinney was unconvinced depression played a role in Smith's actions. He also said it did not appear to be a case of someone snapping and flying off the handle.

"Although incredibly unexpected and extreme behaviour, it was not some momentary loss of judgment," he said.

He said trying to explain Mr Smith's actions that night may be impossible.

Smith will be sentenced at a later date.

Loading bullets into a shotgun
Loading bullets into a shotgun. Source: Breakfast

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Queensland shark attack victim identified as Hannah Papps, 12, who lives in Melbourne with Kiwi parents

The young girl attacked by a shark in Queensland yesterday afternoon has been identified as 12-year-old Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her New Zealand parents.

Hannah was rescued by helicopter from Cid Harbour in the Whitsunday Islands yesterday after being bitten on the upper leg by a shark.

The girl, who was holidaying with her father and sister, was flown to the Mackay Base Hospital in a critical condition where she underwent surgery.

Father David Papps, a Christchurch born engineer, flew alongside his daughter, now residing in a specialist children's hospital in Brisbane.

Emergency services say the young girl lost a lot of blood in the Whitsunday Islands attack. Source: Breakfast

Queensland Ambulance Service operations manager Tracey Eastwick said the girl had lost a significant amount of blood after she was mauled on the thigh.

"It is horrific ... for us as a community of paramedics it is quite confronting to have two similar incidents in the space of less than 24 hours," she told reporters in Mackay.

"In north Queensland, shark attacks are not that common."

The last attack in the area was eight years ago.

Papps is the second victim of a shark attack in less than 24 hours, with Australian Justine Barwick bitten while snorkeling in the same stretch of water.

The girl is Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her New Zealand parents. Source: 1 NEWS


Protestors occupy roof of Aussie slaughterhouse accused of drowning pigs in scalding water

More than 20 protesters have climbed up to the roof of a South Australian slaughterhouse they accuse of being involved in animal cruelty practices.

The activists will remain on the rooftop of the Strathalbyn business until the day's slaughter has concluded or they are allowed to enter the facility with cameras, Aussie Farms spokesman Chris Delforce said.

"The reality behind the neatly packaged products on supermarket shelves is the brutal slaughter of an animal who desperately didn't want to die," Mr Delforce said.

Hidden camera footage released in August depicted evidence of the alleged cruelty inside the slaughterhouse, including pigs drowning in scalding water and sheep, pigs and cattle being stunned.

Mr Delforce said the use of hidden cameras is necessary in an industry "hidden in secrecy".

"Consumers have a right to know what they're paying for when they purchase meat, dairy and egg products," he said.

"Hidden camera footage has proven to be the only alternative to the happy imagery and feel-good buzzwords forced on them daily through clever marketing."

The protest is being staged by Aussie Farms and another animal rights organisation, Adelaide Animal Save.

Pigs