Woman at centre of Australia 60 Minutes defamation case describes being forced to take virginity test aged 13

The woman at the centre of an Australia 60 Minutes defamation case has told a jury in a Sydney court of being regularly beaten by her older brother who was "very focused on chastity".


Nadia Tabbaa, now 29, said when she was eight, she left Jordan with her mother and siblings to live in Sydney where her older brother Omar was extremely abusive about her taking part in swimming, gymnastics, or sleepovers and about the way she dressed.

"He was extremely violent all the time," she said in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.

"He belted us with a belt, a kettle cord and thongs" from the time he arrived in Sydney until she was taken back to Jordan in 2002 at the age of 13.

Ms Tabbaa broke down as she recalled the moment she was forced to take a virginity test in a Jordan hospital that same year.

Ms Tabbaa is giving evidence on behalf of the Nine Network, which is being sued for defamation by her parents, Mouhammad Tabbaa and his former wife Pamela Tabbaa, over a 60 Minutes program broadcast in 2014.

In the interview, she says she was kidnapped at 13 when holidaying in Egypt, taken to Syria to live with relatives and forced to marry her older cousin.

Ms Tabbaa told the jury she barely saw her father when they lived in Amman before she came to live in Sydney when she was eight, and Omar became the disciplinarian and father figure.

"From my understanding, Omar came to Australia believing we would live an Islamic lifestyle," she said.

He was shocked their Australian-born mother had abandoned Islam.

He also abused her for going on sleepovers "in a house with strange men" and disapproved of her wearing swimming suits or leotards.

"Everything to him was sexualised," she said.

"Everything was very focused on chastity."

From the age of eight, he would say things like: "why are you dressed like a slut?"

The hearing continues.

Nadia Tabbaa. Source: Nine



Female tourist who failed to return from late-night run found safe and well in Rotorua

A British tourist who was reported missing after failing to return from a late night run in Rotorua has been found safe and well.

The woman went missing in the Blue Lake area of Rotorua around 8.30pm yesterday.

Her husband rang police when she didn't return and police search teams began looking for her.

Police located her today and say she took a wrong turn, becoming lost on what was supposed to be a short run.

Police say the woman is shaken but has been reunited with her concerned husband.

Police Source: 1 NEWS

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Retail crime costing the industry $1 billion a year, new report finds

Retail crime is getting more violent and is costing the industry around $1 billion a year, a new report has found.

A report released today by Retail New Zealand and Otago University has found retailers are facing increasingly organised and violent criminals.

But it’s not just violent robberies, petty crime such as shop lifting is also getting worse.

Retail NZ says many retailers are having to take on the cost of protecting their staff and goods themselves.

"It’s a significant amount of money that ultimately is being paid for by all consumers because the price is being reflected in the goods,” Greg Hartford from Retail NZ said.

In 2003, at the last time of the last report, the total cost of crime was $564 million. This year it's $1.085 billion.

“It’s costing everyone money. It’s not only the retailers, but their families, communities and the country as a whole,” Crime Prevention Group chair Sunny Kaushal said.

The report shows 81 per cent of retailers having been impacted by some form of crime in the past 12 months.

The largest loss was to grocery, convenience, food and liquor stores.

Respondents in the report say they've noticed criminals being more brazen - including taking items in full sight of staff - and being more aggressive.

"Theft is still the most common form of crime in retail but the crime is becoming more aggravated, its becoming more threatening and often staff are put in situations they really shouldn't be put in,” Mr Hartford said.

Key recommendations in the report include government action in the form of funding a retail crime taskforce, setting targets for a reduction in retail crime and introducing an infringement notice for low-value offending to help deter retail crime.

"Retailers are concerned about the level of crime and its one of the reasons why NZ First and Labour are bringing 1800 more police officers. At the moment that police force is absolutely stretched, they're being asked to prioritise different levels of crime,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

Mr Nash met with Retail NZ to discuss the report this week, and reiterated that assault should always be reported and investigated but shoplifting will be a lower priority given stretched police resources.

Small business owners from Auckland will travel to parliament next week to meet with Mr Nash to discuss how to combat retail crime.

A new study out today shows retailers are facing more organised and violent crimes. Source: 1 NEWS