'You filthy scum' - family of teen killed in knuckleduster attack by drug-addled friend cheer sentencing

The family of a teenage boy murdered by a man wearing brass knuckledusters filled a courtroom with applause - and verbal abuse - as the killer was jailed in Melbourne.

Thomas Kelson, 29, has been sentenced to 24 years' imprisonment for murdering 17-year-old Cayleb Hough, whose body was found in the Lerderderg State Park near Macedon in March 2016, about three months after he died.

As he was lead out of the docks at the Supreme Court of Victoria today, Cayleb's family screamed "you crumb" and "you filthy scum" at the killer, who will be eligible for parole in 19 years.

In sentencing, Justice Andrew Tinney condemned the "violent and protracted assault" and "absolute tragedy" of Cayleb's death at the hands of someone who'd been a friend.

He said the pair had been at a party and both consumed drugs and alcohol, becoming "on edge".

The next day, on December 20, 2015, the pair attended a friend's address at Collingwood, smoking ice and "speaking in riddles" as they become more drug-affected.

During their time at Collingwood, Kelson became concerned about the disappearance of his father, incorrectly believing Cayleb had something to do with it.

He began striking Cayleb, giving him a bleeding nose, and cutting his arm with a kitchen knife while "ranting and raving".

After a time, Cayleb became making "entirely false revelations" about Kelson's father, including that he'd been raped and shot.

Kelson then threatened to kill the boy.

He bound the teen with duct tape, binding his hands and placing some over his mouth, bundling him up in the rear seat of his car.

Kelson then drove in convoy with another man to an abandoned mineshaft in the forest near Bacchus Marsh.

On the way, Cayleb kicked the back of Kelson's head, causing him to go "ballistic".

Kelson put the knuckledusters on his hand and fatally struck the boy a number of times.

He then dragged the boy's body from his car, dumping him in the mineshaft and telling him he was "a dog".

Kelson later drove to Sydney and escaped for a while in Argentina before deciding to return home.

He was arrested at the airport at his arrival back in Australia in January 2016.

An autopsy was unable to determine Cayleb's cause of death because his body had become "largely skeletonised".

"You murdered a 17-year-old boy over who you were able to exercise control in the last hours of his life," Justice Tinney said.

"His death was an absolute tragedy."

Source: 1 NEWS



Fears for health of mourning orca whale carrying her dead calf mounting

Teams of whale experts raced out to sea today to help an ailing young killer whale, but they don't plan to intervene to help a mother orca in the same critically endangered pod that has been pushing the body of her dead calf for more than three weeks.

The young orca J50 was spotted off British Columbia and teams were preparing to do a health assessment if conditions in the waters between the US and Canada allow, said Michael Milstein, a spokesman with NOAA Fisheries.

An international team of experts has been waiting for an opportunity to get close to the female killer whale so they can carry out an emergency plan that includes giving her antibiotics or feeding her live salmon at sea.

The 3½-year-old orca is thin, in poor body condition and may have an infection.

The rescue team has approval in both US and Canadian waters to give J50 medication, but there is no such plan for another member of the population of southern resident killer whales that has scientists worried.

The female orca known as J35 has been clinging to her calf since it died July 24, an image of grief that has struck an emotional chord worldwide. She was last spotted Wednesday.

U.S. and Canadian scientists said they were concerned about the mother's condition and would keep monitoring her but have no immediate plans to help her or remove the calf.

Sheila Thornton, lead killer whale research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said they are worried that the time and energy she spends carrying the body could take away from foraging or feeding.

"Removing the calf would be a very, very difficult decision, and obviously we would have to take many factors into consideration, so that's currently not on the table," she said.

Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist with NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, added: "It would be very challenging and perhaps not in the best interest of the animal to go in and remove the calf. I'm not even sure we would be successful."

The fish-eating orcas that frequent the inland waters of Washington state are down to 75 animals, and there hasn't been a successful birth since 2015.

They face nutritional stress over a lack of their preferred food source, Chinook salmon, as well as threats from toxic contamination and vessel noise and disturbances that disrupt their ability to communicate and forage.

Veterinarians will try to assess J50, the sick whale, and decide whether to give her antibiotics using either a dart injector or a long pole syringe.

The team then could move ahead with feeding the orca live salmon from a boat moving ahead of the whale.

The orca would initially get just a few fish to see whether she takes it and how she and members of her pod respond before deciding whether to give her salmon dosed with medication, officials have said.

"This is a novel undertaking," Hanson said.

The possibility of giving medicated fish to a free-swimming whale in the wild would be a first, officials said.

The last time scientists rescued a killer whale in the region was in 2002 when a northern resident killer whale known as Springer was found swimming alone in Puget Sound.

Hanson said Springer's case was different because she was isolated. She was moved into a floating net pen and veterinarians assessed her medical condition and treated her. She was fed live salmon in the pen.

She returned to her family of whales in Canada later that year and in 2013 was seen with her new calf.

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 24, 2018, provided by the Center for Whale Research, a baby orca whale is being pushed by her mother after being born off the Canada coast near Victoria, British Columbia. The new orca died soon after being born. Ken Balcomb with the Center for Whale Research says the dead calf was seen Tuesday being pushed to the surface by her mother just a half hour after it was spotted alive. Balcomb says the mother was observed propping the newborn on her forehead and trying to keep it near the surface of the water. (Michael Weiss/Center for Whale Research via AP)
In this photo taken Tuesday, July 24, 2018, provided by the Center for Whale Research, a baby orca whale is being pushed by her mother after being born off the Canada coast near Victoria, British Columbia. Source: Associated Press

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Shot fired, vehicles damaged during gang-attack at Hawke's Bay property

A gang-related attack at a Hawke's Bay property last night saw five vehicles damaged and a shot fired.

Police say the attack occurred at a Flaxmere home around 10pm.

Two people were assaulted during the incident and received minor injuries.

Five vehicles were also damaged during the incident.

Police also believe a shot was fired by one of the offenders, but nobody was injured as a result.

Police would like to hear from anyone who can provide information on 06 831 0700 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

Source: iStock