Perth teen accused of murdering Kiwi mother and two siblings ‘rejected’ from mental health services, says father

The New Zealand father of a 19-year-old Perth man accused the murdering his mother and two siblings says his son never received appropriate treatment despite a history of mental health issues.

Teancum Vernon Peterson-Crofts had been admitted to mental health facilities on numerous occasions, his father Awatea Crofts told the ABC.

Mr Crofts said his son had been hospitalised in Christchurch early in 2015. 

"It was very difficult for him and the mental health staff," Mr Crofts said.

"He just spiralled and spiralled and continued to spiral down, it was a perpetual, continual episode after episode."

Peterson-Crofts appeared in court on Monday charged with the murder of his 48-year-old mother Michelle Petersen, and her two children Rua, 8 and Bella, 15, at their home in the Perth suburb of Ellenbrook.

Petersen and Rua were found dead inside the home while Bella died on the way to hospital.

Mr Crofts said Peterson-Croft’s mother had done everything she could to help her son.

The Ellenbrook Murders
The Ellenbrook Murders. Source: 1 NEWS

"His mother did everything she could and just in the last days, her last six months, she was still doing everything she could but his condition had blown right out," he told ABC.

"From what I've heard, from other family members, he was rejected for whatever reasons from mental health [services] and Michelle his mum often had the police around."

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A police officer has called it the most horrific scene he’s been too. Source: 1 NEWS



Trump now says he warned Putin face to face over Russia meddling in US election

His toughness with Vladimir Putin in question, President Donald Trump declared today he had told the Russian leader face to face to stay out of America's elections "and that's the way it's going to be."

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Looking on is Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, today. Source: Associated Press

A few hours earlier, Trump had answered "no" when asked if the longtime U.S. foe was still targeting American elections. That reply put the president sharply at odds with recent public warnings from his own intelligence chief, but the White House quickly stepped in to say his answer wasn't what it appeared.

By day's end, in an interview with CBS News, Trump was ready to set an unmistakably forceful tone.

In Helsinki at their summit on Monday, he said, "I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be."

The US President has gone into full-blown damage control. Source: 1 NEWS

Would he hold Putin personally responsible for further election interference? "I would, because he's in charge of the country."

The interview came at the end of two days of shifting statements on whether Trump agreed with the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election that sent him to the White House. Trump now says, with apparent reluctance, that he does agree, but he continues to add that others may have intervened as well.

On Tuesday, he delivered a scripted statement to "clarify" — his word — his public doubting of U.S. intelligence findings of Russian interference in the election to harm his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump calls former CIA Director John Brennan "a very bad person". Source: Associated Press

His reservations, 18 months into his presidency and standing next to Putin on foreign soil, prompted blistering criticism at home, including from prominent fellow Republicans.

Then, on Wednesday, he was asked during a Cabinet meeting if Russia was still targeting the U.S., and he answered "no" without elaborating. That came just days after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats sounded an alarm, comparing the cyberthreat today to how the way U.S. officials said before 9/11 that intelligence channels were "blinking red" with warning signs that a terror attack was imminent.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later that Trump actually was saying "no" to answering additional questions — even though he subsequently went on to address Russia.

"The president is wrong," Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said of Trump's one-word response. Told that Sanders had since clarified, she responded, "There's a walk-back of the walk-back of the walk-back of the walk-back? This is dizzying."

Amid bipartisan condemnation of Trump's embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy in Helsinki, the U.S. president delivered a rare admission of error Tuesday, saying he misspoke by one word when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia'" instead of "why it would," Trump said Tuesday of the comments he had made in Helsinki. Ha had tweeted a half-dozen times and sat for two television interviews since the Putin news conference, before correcting his remarks the next day. And the scripted cleanup pertained only to the least defensible of his comments.

Trump has refined and sharpened his presentation in other ways in the two days since Helsinki.

At the news conference with Putin, he was asked if he would denounce what happened in 2016 and warn Putin never to do it again, and he did not directly answer. Instead, he went into a long rambling response including his demands for investigation of Clinton's email server and his description of Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of meddling.

Trump asserted Wednesday at the White House that no other American president has been as tough on Russia. He cited U.S. sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the U.S., telling reporters that Putin "understands it, and he's not happy about it."

The muddied waters have deepened critics' concerns that Trump is not taking seriously enough threats to the U.S. electoral system. Pressed on why Trump has repeatedly passed on opportunities to publicly condemn Putin's actions, Sanders suggested Trump was working to make the most of an "opportunity" for the two leaders to work together on shared interests.

One such opportunity is what Trump termed an "incredible offer" from Putin to allow the U.S. access to Russians accused of election hacking and other interference. In exchange, Putin wants Russian interviews of Americans accused by the Kremlin of unspecified crimes.

Sanders said Trump was still weighing the offer with his team, adding, "We've committed to nothing." Russian officials have said they want to interview Kremlin critics Bill Browder and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. Lawmakers have urged Trump to reject the deal.

"We're going to make sure that Congress does everything it can to protect this country," said Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who heads up the GOP's campaign arm.

A number of senators are swiftly signing on to a bipartisan bill from Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., that would slap new sanctions on Russia or any other country caught posting ads, running fake news or otherwise interfering with election infrastructure.

Sanders called the legislation a "hypothetical" and declined to say whether the president would back it.

Van Hollen said Trump "isn't willing to protect the integrity of our democracy in the United States, so Congress has to act."

And two other lawmakers, Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Chris Coons, D-Del., will try to force a vote Thursday on a resolution backing the intelligence community's findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and must be held accountable. A similar vote Tuesday in the House failed on a party-line vote.

The Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Richard Burr of South Carolina, said if Trump doubts that Russia would again try to intervene, "He needs to read the intelligence."

At the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington on Friday, Coats said: "We are not yet seeing the kind of electoral interference in specific states and voter data bases that we experienced in 2016, however, we fully realize that we are just one click on a keyboard away from a similar situation repeating itself."

His comments came the same day that the Justice Department unveiled an indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence officers for their role in hacking Democratic groups during the 2016 campaign.

"The president was flat out wrong," Michael Morell, former deputy and acting director of the CIA said about Trump's remarks after the Cabinet meeting. "The Russians continue to interfere in our democracy. In fact, they never stopped."

Contrary to the U.S. government's fears leading up to the 2016 president election, hacking the nation's election infrastructure appeared to take a back seat to stealing and leaking salacious documents from the Democratic National Committee and House Democrats' campaign arm to destabilize public opinion.

The success of the apparent dress rehearsal does not bode well for the upcoming election cycles in 2018 and 2020, as intelligence leaders have noted the ongoing and increasing threat by Russian nation state hackers.

Federal officials ultimately determined that at least 18 states had their election systems targeted in some fashion, and possibly up to 21 found scanning of their networks for possible vulnerabilities, according to a report issued by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in May.

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Tough piece of steak Aussie woman served led to partner's death, murder trial hears

A Queensland woman accused of murdering her de facto partner and dumping his torso on the side of a road claimed he attacked her when she served him a tough steak, a court has heard.

Steak (file picture).
Steak (file picture). Source: istock.com

Lindy Yvonne Williams, 60, is on trial in Brisbane Supreme Court for murdering George Gerbic on the Sunshine Coast in 2013 and setting his remains on fire.

Williams claimed Mr Gerbic may have fatally hit his head after slipping on her blood from a cut he had inflicted as she tried to defend herself during a fight in the kitchen of their Tanawha home.

In a police re-enactment played to the jury, Williams said the deceased came home angry at about 10pm.

She served him dinner, for him to throw his tray of food up after complaining his steak was tough, she claimed.

The court heard he lunged at her with a knife, cutting her arm.

"I just picked the stool up, trying to hit him to get him off me," Williams said during the July 2014 re-enactment.

"I had a whole lot of blood here.

"He slips and then falls back. I don't know where he hit his head but I heard a 'bang'.

"But by this time, I'm already down to the second bedroom there."

She told police she locked herself in the bedroom, emerging the next day to see him on the kitchen floor.

She said she left and returned two days later to find his body missing its head, legs and hands wrapped in plastic in a bathroom.

Williams has pleaded guilty to interfering with his corpse after admitting to dumping the torso by Cedar Pocket Road near Gympie and setting fire to the grassy area.

The trial continues today.