House mistress who had sex with five students at high school handed 'extraordinarily lenient' sentence by Sydney judge

A former house mistress who unlawfully had sex with five male students at an elite NSW school has been spared further jail time after receiving an "extraordinarily lenient" suspended sentence.

"I am sure that at least the complainants' parents will think my sentence is manifestly inadequate," said Acting Judge Christopher Armitage yesterday in the District Court in Sydney.

But he noted the "extremely unusual circumstances" of the case, the small age difference between the woman and the students and the fact she spent 14 months in protection in jail before being granted bail.

The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty in April to six counts of sexual intercourse with a person under her care and three of aggravated sexual intercourse during 2014 and 2015 with boys aged between 15 and 17 at The Armidale School.

Her guilty pleas were entered half-way through her second trial which followed the discharge of another jury after it could not reach verdicts.

The "extremely psychologically vulnerable" woman was 20 when she began inviting individual students into her room where they had sex and, in some cases, this occurred regularly.

She was an immature young woman, ill-fitted for the house mistress role, Judge Armitage said.

It was "difficult" to understand why a person of her age was chosen to "sleep overnight in a boarding house filled with adolescent boys".

"The potential for trouble of precisely the kind that occurred was, I think, obvious," he said.

He imposed a two-year suspended jail term and placed her on a two-year good behaviour bond, saying she had received "an extraordinarily lenient sentence for what you did".

Referring to the crown's concession that a suspended term was appropriate, the judge said he reached his decision after "anxious consideration" and some degree of reluctance.

He noted the great concern in the community about sexual offending against children, but said "this offender is not a vehicle for a stern sentence".

Texts between some of the boys revealed them showing her "extreme disrespect" while others she sent suggested "enjoyment" and, on occasions, "an enthusiastic pursuit" of them, the judge said.

He found she initially had sex with an 18-year-old student, which was said to be legal but breached her employment contract.

She then had sex with the first complainant, knowing he knew about the older student and believing that if she didn't comply "with his sexual desires" she would be referred to the authorities.

Earlier, her mother told the court the school "has not taken correct responsibility" for her daughter's actions and didn't provide appropriate levels of support and supervision to a junior unqualified staff member.

"My family's deepest and greatest regret is the trust we placed in The Armidale School," she said.


Three people arrested after police conduct search warrants targeting organised crime, drugs in Bay of Plenty

Police have arrested three people so far today after executing a number of search warrants in the eastern Bay of Plenty as part of Operation Notus II.

Operation Notus II is the second phase of a long-running investgation, led by the National Organised Crime Group, into organised crime and the supply and supplying of methamphetamine and cannabis in the eastern Bay of Plenty region.

Search warrants were conducted this morning in properties in Kawerau, Whakatāne and Te Teko.

Two men and a woman were arrested. 

They are facing a number of charges, including possession for supply, and supplying, methamphetamine and cannabis, as well as firearms-related offending.

They will appear in Whakatāne District Court this afternoon.

Operation Notus, launched in October 2017, revealed the Kawerau Mongrel Mob's involvement in the commercial distribution of meth and cannabis to the community.

As a result of the investigation, 48 people were arrested and almost $3 million in assets were frozen in March 2018.

Acting Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Senior Sergeant Richard Miller, said, "This was a major disruption to organised crime and methamphetamine supply in EBOP".

Guns seized during Operation Notus II in the Eastern Bay of Plenty
Guns seized during Operation Notus II in the Eastern Bay of Plenty Source: NZ Police

Man in critical condition after stabbing at property near Opotiki

A man has been hospitalised in a critical condition following a stabbing at a property near Opotiki, in the Bay of Plenty, this morning.

The man has been transported to Whakatāne Hospital after he was stabbed at an address on Waiotahe Valley Road, in Waiotahi, at 7.25am.

The people involved in the incident are known to each other, police say.

Police know the identity of the suspect and are working to locate him.

A scene examination is currently being carried out at the address.

Source: 1 NEWS


Day care owner accused of tying kids to car seats for up to seven hours, fastening shoe laces around their necks

The owner of an in-home day care accused of keeping infants and toddlers tied to their car seats for hours has been jailed in the United States on child endangerment charges.

An affidavit says Rebecca Anderson also yanked a six-month-old child by the bib around his neck, tied laces around the children's necks to limit their movement and gave them the painkiller acetaminophen to quiet them.

The 60-year-old is accused of having kept the small children tied up in car seats for at least seven hours a day at Becky's Home Child Care, her day care near Dallas, Texas.

When police executed a search warrant on her home, they found three children in a dark bedroom closet strapped to car seats, according to CBS 11 News in Dallas. Some of the children had to have shoelaces cut off their necks, police also said.

"It just kind of concerned me the way the kids sounded when the parents dropped them off," neighbour Susan Geldmeier told the news station, explaining that she would sometimes hear children wail when dropped off at the facility.

"It alarmed me to where I was like, 'Why are they sounding like that?'"

Anderson was booked Monday into the Dallas County jail on nine counts of child endangerment with bonds totalling NZ $68,000.

Rebecca Anderson Source: Dallas County Jail

Kidnap suspect accused of tying woman to pole at outlaw bikie clubhouse, assaulting her for days

A Sydney man has been charged after he allegedly kidnapped a woman, holding her prisoner and assaulting her for two days.

The 22-year-old woman told police she was walking in Cambridge Park in the city's west on Sunday when a man known to her forced her into his car and took her to an outlaw bikie clubhouse in Horsley Park.

She said she was tied to a pole and assaulted for two days.

The man allegedly forced her back into the car yesterday and drove to South Penrith. When he left the car, the woman managed to escape to a nearby property and call police, she said.

When police went to the clubhouse to arrest the 29-year-old man, he held officers off for two hours before surrendering peacefully.

He has been charged with kidnapping, assault and intimidation and is expected to appear in Fairfield Local Court today.

Sign on the top of an Australian police car in Sydney Source: