SAM McCosh has made a promising start to his career at Wesley-CBC.
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The left-hand batsman has made starts in two of his three innings, including a division one career-high 49 against Brierly-Christ Church, to start the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) season on a high.

On top of his own form, McCosh’s new Beavers’ teammates are celebrating a 2-1 start to the season.

McCosh, 21, switched from Koroit in the off-season, citing a desire to play division one.

He played top grade cricket as a teenager for his home club before it dropped back a grade.

“I wanted a challenge to see if I could play the best standard in the area,” he said.

“It’s a little bit of a step up, definitely. The bowlers are a bit better with line and length.

“It is handy to get off to a good start to the season.”

Wesley-CBC was McCosh’s club of choice because of his links to it through university. He studies commerce at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus with Beavers’ trio Tom Bowman, Joe Higgins and Jordan Dillon.

“They’re a great bunch of blokes and easy to get along with,” he said.

McCosh has one year of a three-year course remaining.

He expects to be playing cricket in the WDCA for some time yet.

“I plan to stick around. I love the area,” he said.

“I can’t see myself moving to Melbourne.”

McCosh played all of his junior cricket as an opener but is coming in at first drop for Wesley-CBC.

He’s an elegant batsman who “prefers to stay away from the bowling crease”.

The born-and-bred Koroit local said he’d had many great mentors.

“Justin Caveny, the last premiership coach at Koroit, is probably the biggest contributor to my cricket as far as seniors and in my junior days it was Tony Robinson,” McCosh said.

“They helped develop my batting and taught me a few tricks of the trade.”

WDCA starts its two-day competition today after three one-day rounds to start the season.

Wesley-CBC could consolidate its spot in the top four when it meets reigning premier West Warrnambool tomorrow.

McCosh wants to build on his solid start for his new club and relishes the longer form of the game.

“You get a bit more time to set yourself for an innings,” he said.

In other division one games, undefeated sides Woodford and Merrivale go head-to-head, winless teams Nestles and East Warrnambool-YCW will battle, in-form Dennington hosts Nirranda, Port Fairy plays Brierly-Christ Church and Allansford is a chance to end its losing run against Russells Creek.

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Wesley-CBC recruit Sam McCosh is enjoying good form in division one.

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GUNNEDAH Little A’s have kicked off the new season and registrations have topped the 140 mark.
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There are many new faces in the ranks and, according to organisers, the level of enthusiasm is at an all-time high at Wolseley Park on Wednesday afternoons.

Each week, club members are taught a new skill before branching off into their respective age divisions.

The 2012-13 season couldn’t have started on a better note, with four records broken in the first three weeks.

Lucy Jaeger set a new record in the under 17s in both the 100 metres (14.60 seconds) and long jump (4.11 metres) events.

Emma Kennedy recorded a great 100 metres sprint time of 13.57 seconds, taking 0.1 of a second off Peta Kidd’s 1991 record.

Sophie Perkins ran a 6.02 minutes in the under 14 girls’ 1500 metres, breaking Melissa Robinson’s 1999 record in this event.

Both Kennedy and Perkins recently attended an Athletics Australia National Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in the October schoolholidays.

Twenty-five athletes were invited from each state to attend the three- day athletics development camp at the AIS where they received coaching from some of Australia’s top coaching staff and attended lectures on all aspects of athleticism.

Gunnedah was the only club outside of Sydney to have two members invited to attend the clinic.

The club also had four athletes represent Gunnedah at the PSSA All-Schools last week at SOPAC.

Ben Duffy and Eliza Perkins both performed well in the under 11s high jump, Sarah Storey competed in the under 12 girls’ long jump and Jarred Heinrich was the first runner for the senior boys’ relay team, which made it to the final.

The focus of Gunnedah Little A’s is on each individual improving their own performances.

Having a go at all events is strongly encouraged and the Teens Group is always on hand to help the younger athletes at the club learn new skills.

Off and racing at Gunnedah Little A’s (from left) Sophie Perkins, Kurt Rennick, Chloe Perkins and Eliza Perkins.

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MINISTER for Police and the Hunter Mike Gallacher has provided the first formal confirmation that police have investigated three senior Catholic clergy for concealing the child sex crimes of a Hunter priest.
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Newcastle Police Strike Force Lantle’s investigations into the church’s handling of priest Denis McAlinden “have been exhaustive”, Mr Gallacher said in a letter to Greens MP David Shoebridge in late October.

“As you may be aware, the NSW Police Force has been actively investigating allegations that sexual assaults committed by a former Catholic priest, in the Hunter Region, were concealed by three senior members of the Catholic church,” he said.

“I am advised that Strike Force Lantle is preparing a brief of evidence to submit to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for his review and consideration as to whether charges should be laid.

“While I cannot comment further, I understand that the investigations into this matter have been exhaustive.”

In July the Newcastle Herald reported that Strike Force Lantle’s investigations included the roles played by three senior clergy in internal church moves against McAlinden between 1993 and 1995, including an attempted “speedy” secret defrocking in October 2005.

Police interviewed general secretary of the Australian Bishops Conference Father Brian Lucas and former Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone.

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, a former Maitland-Newcastle priest, formally declined to be interviewed.

The church failed to report the matter to authorities until 2003, after victims notified the police and were paid compensation.

McAlinden died in a church-run facility in Western Australia in 2005 without being charged. He is believed to have had hundreds of victims, girls aged between four and 12.

Mr Shoebridge said Mr Gallacher’s letter was “the first formal government confirmation that three senior clergy in the Catholic church are facing the serious prospect of charges for concealing the crimes of a Catholic priest”.

Individual prosecutions did not address the broader issue of church accountability, he said.

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FROM humble beginnings in 1952, the Gunnedah Coursing Club is “firming in the market” to become the hub of greyhound TAB racing in north- western New South Wales.
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While nothing is set in concrete, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has indicated it intends to streamline its program in 2013-14 and introduce much-needed regular TAB meetings in this region and the Mid-North Coast.

At present, both areas are black holes in GRNSW’s TAB coverage of the state and “big decisions” are expected to be made by January.

There are currently 34 tracks operating in the state but, in a bid to centralise business, GRNSW may reduce the number of clubs.

Of the 34 operating clubs in the state, the Greyhound Breeders Owners and

Trainers’ Association (GBOTA) controls nine clubs and owns the freehold on five.

Lismore, Gunnedah, Bathurst, Appin and Temora are owned by the GBOTA while the land at the Muswellbrook track is also owned by the GBOTA.

The other four clubs, Gosford, Wentworth Park, Bulli and Maitland are leased by the GBOTA.

GBOTA CEO Brenton Scott said that while the decision would ultimately be made by GRNSW, Gunnedah and Tamworth are the destination front-runners in the centralisation of racing in north-western NSW.

“Demand is very high for a TAB track in the North West and on the Mid-North Coast,” Scott said.

“Gunnedah is one of the front-runners for such a venue because the club and facility is virtually ready to go straight to TAB status, attracts strong nominations and is centrally located.

“From what we can gather, it is likely GRNSW will make a decision early in the New Year as TAB dates have to be sorted, allocated and finalised,” he said.

Long-time Gunnedah Coursing Club stalwart Geoff Rose, who is also Chairman of the GBOTA, said Gunnedah was ready to make the jump to regular TAB status and, in turn, represent north-western NSW.

“I must stress, it is a GRNSW decision, but it looks like Tamworth and us (Gunnedah) are the front-runners,” Rose said.

“We (Gunnedah) have already conducted three TAB meetings and it wouldn’t take too much to prepare for regular TAB events.

“It could mean up to 80 meetings a year and up to $1million injected into the facility infrastructure almost immediately, including transforming the track from grass to sand.

“It will create jobs and bolster the local economy like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.

Geoff Rose took over as president of the Gunnedah Coursing Club in 1990 and has been responsible for many new innovations and improvements at the club.

“We really have a first-class facility here but imagine going from 25 meetings a year to 80,” Rose said.

“At the last TAB meeting we staged, we turned over $280,000 off-course on the NSW TAB, $300,000 on Super TAB and took $19,000 on course.

“GRNSW will meet over the next two months to finalise decisions, not only for this area, but for all of NSW.”

Gunnedah Coursing Club stages a 12-race program today.

Gunnedah Coursing Club president Geoff Rose looks over the Gunnedah course. Photo: courtesy Geoff Rose

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NEWLY-appointed South Warrnambool assistant coach Brad Miller wants to pass on his football knowledge to the Roosters’ next generation.
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Miller, 29, will work alongside South’s senior coach Matthew Peake in 2013 as the club strives to regain a finals spot after a disappointing end to last season.

The former Darley captain has an enviable football resume, having spent time as a rookie at AFL club Richmond and winning the Western Jets’ best-and-fairest in the TAC Cup as a promising teenager.

Miller will work with South Warrnambool’s midfield.

“I play a fair bit throughout the midfield, so hopefully I will work with the midfield guys with our set-ups,” he said.

“I enjoy working with the young kids, so hopefully Peakey gives me the role of working with those guys and helping them develop.

“Sammy Thompson played a fair bit down back last year, but hopefully we can get him to go through the midfield.”

Miller said the Roosters had a promising list that he wanted to help build for future premiership tilts.

“I want to help them develop into better footballers for the club and be here for a long time,” he said.

Originally from Bacchus Marsh, Miller moved to Warrnambool in 2010 for work.

He watched a few South Warrnambool games from the sidelines before joining the club in 2011.

He played 17 games and kicked 30 goals in a premiership-winning season.

The goal-kicking midfielder added 15 games to his Roosters’ tally in 2012.

Miller said the club had a strong culture and it was one of the reasons he joined the Friendly Societies’ Park-based club.

“I love it up here. I have young kids and a wife and they all love coming up here,” he said.

“It’s a good atmosphere for them.”

Peake said Miller was a “natural leader”.

“He was a natural choice for us,” he said.

“”He’ll probably do the same role as last year.

“He naturally led the young blokes last year, so he’ll do that and have the title of assistant coach which goes with it.”

South Warrnambool president Gary Walsh said Miller was loyal and dedicated.

“Brad has been a great acquisition for our club,” he said.

“He is terrific. He is a great leader of young people and he has great respect from the young players.”

Jacob Rhodes will coach the Roosters’ reserves side, replacing South Rovers-bound Brendan Whelan.

South Warrnambool’s pre-season starts on Monday, November 19.

It will run two sessions a week before Christmas, with an optional session on Friday.

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South Warrnambol assistant coach Brad Miller (left) will join senior coach Matthew Peake and reserves counterpart Jacob Rhodes on the Roosters’ coaching panel next season.

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Lucky and thankful, shark attack survivor Jon Hines feels anything but a victim.
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John Hines of Dudley was attacked by a Tiger shark in Western Australia in August.

The Dudley surfer, 34, instead sees himself as a winner after taking on a monster tiger shark at a remote Western Australian beach and surviving.

Ten weeks into a rehabilitation process which could last for more than four years, the civil engineer has broken his silence to thank the medical staff who saved his arm and the huge number of well-wishes he has received since the August 28 attack.

‘‘The message is: still alive, thank you and we are moving on,’’ Mr Hines said yesterday.

‘‘Newcastle is such a great spot, where everyone gets behind something like this.

‘‘Family, friends, the surfing fraternity have just been absolutely fantastic in the support that they have given me.’’

Mr Hines is reluctant to speak about the life-and-death battle he had at the iconic surfing break at Red Bluff, nearly 1000kilometres north of Perth, for fear he could be branded a ‘‘big noter’’.

But he has talked about knowing he had to go into attack mode if he was to survive a second charge from the shark after it had already bitten him as he wiped out on a wave near the reef.

‘‘It was survival mode. Fight or flight, I chose fight and it was a fight all right – it will be the biggest fight of my life,’’ he said.

‘‘It not only got me once but it got me twice and they say if a shark bites you once it’s accidental, it thinks you’re food.

‘‘But if it bites you twice it is trying to eat you.’’

Mr Hines’ tale of survival is even more extraordinary when it is revealed what he had to endure, after being bitten on the stomach and right arm, just to get to some medical attention. With massive gashes which would later need about 1000 stitches, Mr Hines was first dragged from the surf by a legendary big-wave surfer nicknamed Camel.

Surfers carried him about 500 metres on his board, across limestone pinnacles and through spinifex needles which caused their feet to bleed, and to camp. From there, brother Nathan held a tourniquet on his arm and mate Nigel Anderson held in the stomach wound as they drove along a remote dirt road towards help. They met an ambulance which took Mr Hines to Carnarvon Hospital before he was flown by the Royal Flying Doctors Service to Royal Perth Hospital for emergency surgery.

‘‘To be perfectly honest, the whole journey has been as good as it could have gone in regards to the treatment and the way people have helped me out,’’ he said.

‘‘There was a myriad things that did [save my life]. There was a lot of things that could have gone the other way which could have ended it up with a different result.

‘‘It’s the combined effort of everybody and I need to appreciate that it wasn’t just one of these guys, it was everyone’s effort.’’

John Hines of Dudley was attacked by a Tiger shark in Western Australia in August.

Mr Hines revealed how he expected to wake up without his right arm after seeing the amount of damage, praising the surgeons who worked for hours to keep it attached.

‘‘When you are in that position and you are wanting to survive, it is your first instinct and if it means at the loss of something else, you are willing to take that sacrifice I suppose. I think it is a miracle and it is a wonder of the surgeons that it is still there,’’ he said.

John Hines of Dudley was attacked by a Tiger shark in Western Australia in August.

After the first of six operations to his arm, Mr Hines began the slow rehabilitation process. Doctors closed the wounds using 174 external stitches and more than 400 internal stitches to his stomach, as well as 96 external stitches and a further 300 internal stitches.

He underwent more than two months of intensive rehabilitation at Perth before flying home.

There will be another operation in about 12 months after doctors decided to only reattach severed ligaments to allow them to strengthen before looking at the tendon and muscle damage.

Mr Hines is hoping he will get a significant amount of movement back, but only after about four years of constant work. He has returned to work part-time and is moving on.

‘‘I feel like I have won – I have fought a shark and I have won.’’

‘‘I have always enjoyed life and I hope I continue to enjoy life rather than letting it take over,’’ he said.

‘‘It is what it is and I am going to get as much out of it as possible and I am determined to do that.’’

That includes possibly jumping back into the water with his wife, Bridget, at some stage.

Mr Hines has also been in contact with Glen ‘‘Lenny’’ Folkard, who was attacked by a bull shark while surfing at Redhead Beach and lives only about 100metres from Mr Hines’ parents home, and other shark attack survivors.

‘‘They have actually got a bit of a group going on so Lenny welcomed me to the group and said it was exclusive.’’ I just said: ‘but the initiation is a bit of a bitch’.’’

But he is looking at the positives, and knows things could have been a whole lot worse.

‘‘I am lucky. Lucky and thankful and positive moving forward is my message.’’

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The NSW head of the peak body for the charitable recycling industry has warned Wollongong City Council the removal of clothing bins from council land will not solve dumping problems.
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National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) NSW chair Joe Magro said the forced removal of clothing bins from Wollongong City Council land – bar five designated sites – would likely drive people to dump elsewhere, rather than fix the problem altogether.

Mr Magro, who has worked in the charity sector for more than 20 years, has called for an open dialogue with the council to work through the issue, rather than punishing charities for the actions of a few.

‘‘I feel, in a sense, that charities are being punished because of a minority out there in the community who feel the need to dump,’’ he said. ‘‘And whether the bins are there or not there, those people are going to dump anyway.

‘‘You don’t have to drive far in the region to see all manners of things dumped on the side of the road.’’

Council, at a meeting in December 2007, resolved to allocate five sites for the placement of bins on council land at The Circle, Woonona; Robert Ziems Park, Corrimal; Figtree Park, Figtree; Guest Park, Balgownie; Acacia Street, Windang.

A council spokesperson has since confirmed all other charity clothing bins on council lands will be removed, citing cleanliness and safety issues as reasons for the policy change.

It is a move that could spell disaster for charities, which rely on the bins to stock their op shops and raise vital funds for charitable services.

Mr Magro, who travels the country through his work with NACRO and Lifeline, said dumping at charity bins was often more prevalent in city areas where councils charged to take goods to the tip.

He said it was also a problem with privately owned commercial clothing bins which, unlike NACRO members, are not governed by strict maintenance requirements.

Mr Magro acknowledged the council’s position and the ongoing dumping issues, but said it would be doing itself a disservice if it continued to slash bin numbers in the community.

‘‘Through those bins we prevent thousands of tonnes of bric-a-brac, clothing – you name it – from going to the tip face each year,’’ he said.

‘‘I see what we’re doing as not only a service to the community, but we’re helping the council out by reducing landfill dramatically.

‘‘We’re not here to make life difficult for councils – we want to help them – so, really, I want to discuss the issue with them and see what we can come up with.’’

National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations NSW chair Joe Magro. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

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BOGGABRI Social Kart Club officially roared into action last Sunday.
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More than 20 four stroke karting enthusiasts put the pedal to the medal while a healthy contingent of spectators rolled through the gates during the day.

Club president Robert Crowley said the facility had been three years in the making and it was great to see the starter’s flag finally come day on a race day.

Situated on the southern side of the Boggabri Showground, the first-class facility got the thumbs up from all competitors and racing will be staged twice a month on Sundays.

Crowley and a small band of workers turned the first sod in 2010 and hundreds of man-hours later, club members are now concentrating on attacting competitors from around the district.

“The entire project would not have been possible without the help of many people,” Crowley said .

“There’s too many to name them all but special mention must be given to Whitehaven Coal for supplying the road base, Tolls Transport for carting the gravel and Rotary,” he said.

The circuit is 740 metres around and has been purpose built for four-stroke karts.

A watchower is nearing completion and plans are in the pipeline for a toilet block and shelter.

The club encourages the entire family to compete and age divisions including under 12s, under 16s and seniors will be catered for at each meeting.

Those interesting in joining the Namoi Kart Club can turn up at the open day and go for a trial on the track.

A four-stroke kart can be purchased for around $1000 and extras required are overalls, gloves and helmet.

Ryder Crowley checks out a kart at the Boggabri track opening. Photo: Peter Lorimer

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WEST and North Tamworth cricket clubs will play for a new Cup – the Kensell Lewington Cup – when their four grades match up in NICU Tamworth cricket matches across the city today.
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The new trophy has been struck by the two clubs in recognition of the on and off -field cricketing work by club stalwarts Tim Kensell and Don Lewington.

All four grades will be a part of the new trophy, with points from all grades going towards determining just who holds the Cup after next Saturday’s second day of the two-day games.

North Tamworth sponsor Matt Zell said the idea was first suggested by Redback lower grader Dean Smith at the North Tamworth Cricket Club’s recent AGM.

“Our committee thought it was a great idea,” Zell said.

“We approached West with the idea and Crompo (West Tamworth president) went to his board.

“They were very receptive and also thought it was a great idea.

“Donny, as well as his mum (Gaye Chaffey) has been a big part of our club.

“Both he and Gaye were awarded life memberships at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 season.

“So this is as much a tribute to Gaye as well.

“A lot of Donny’s works goes unnoticed,” Zell said.

“He gives up his time to update the mycricket website and pick the teams.

“Both Donny and Tim are legends at both our clubs.”

The fact Zell now owns both the Imperial Hotel (sponsor and home of the North Tamworth Redbacks) and the Locomotive Hotel (sponsor and home of West Tamworth) makes it more attractive.

“Both clubs will come back to the Imperial after the first day’s play and then go back to the Loco after the second day,” Zell added.

North Tamworth skipper Michael Rixon said Lewington has been “good to me” over the years .

He’s passed on a lot to all the young kids,” he said.

“Hamish Batley and Leo Steyn have benefited recently and then others like Leggy (Ben Legge), Mitch (Holt) and Kris Halloran as well have all been helped by Donny.”

Crompton is the West Tamworth president.

“Tim started the same year as I did, back in 94/95 – just a junior then but he’s played 15 years plus already,” he said.

“He’s been a great player for us with both bat and ball.

“He’s won numerous first grade games with both bat and ball.

“He’s someone the young guys look up to.”

Crompton said the fact West has yet to win a game and sits at the bottom of the Tamworth first grade ladder added extra motivation for his club to upset a North side that has won all three first grade games.

“It is a bit of extra motivation for sure,” Crompton said.

“It’s a shame Kens (Kensell) won’t be here for the first day but he’ll be back for thesecond.”

Crompton said the fact the Kensell Lewington Cup would be decided by the results of all four grades makes it an even better club atmosphere for West and the Redbacks.

“It’s decided by the club with the best depth,” Crompton said. “And it’s up for grabs every time we play each other.”

Michael Rixon (left) and Anthony Crompton signal the start of a new Kensell Lewington Cup competition between their two Tamworth clubs today. Photo: Barry Smith 011112BSG01

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John Digbylives with the horror of his son’s brutal murder every waking moment.
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Matthew Digby.

“The pain that Matthew must have suffered during his death is thought about every day by us and will be for the rest of our lives,” he told a court yesterday.

Nearly three years after Matthew Digby’s remains were found chained to the passenger seat of a burnt-out car at Mount Murray, his family were yesterday given the chance to confront the two people convicted of his murder.

A jury found Richard James Walsh, of Dapto, and Lauren Mae Batcheldor, of Albion Park Rail, guilty in August of kidnapping and murdering Mr Digby in January 2010.

During sentencing, submissions for the pair in a Supreme Court in Sydney yesterday, Mr Digby’s father spoke of his agony at losing his beloved son to such a brutal death.

“We live with the horror of Matt’s death every day,” he told the court.

“To lose a child is heartbreaking, but to know the circumstances in which he was killed is something that plays on our minds over and over.

“Perhaps the hardest thing to accept is not even being able to say goodbye to him and tell him how much we all loved him.”

Mr Digby’s charred remains were found chained by the neck to the passenger seat of a burnt-out car at Mount Murray on January 25, 2010.

The Crown claimed the 35-year-old’s death stemmed from Batcheldor’s discovery that he had hocked a necklace stolen by another person from her home in early 2010.

Following an intimidating meeting at his home, Batcheldor and Walsh later met Mr Digby at Beaton Park to question him over other stolen items.

There, Mr Digby was subjected to a terrifying attack before he was tied up with chains and driven to an undisclosed address.

While detained in the garage, he was strangled by Walsh with a dog chain.

His body was later driven to Mount Murray and the car set alight.

Barrister John Spencer, acting for Batcheldor, told the court his client had not been present when Mr Digby was killed.

“There’s simply no evidence that my client had anything to do with the physical injury,” he said.

“Her knowledge of what happened here is nil.”

Giving evidence yesterday, Batcheldor’s mother Judith spoke of her daughter’s friendship with Mr Digby and her reaction to his death.

“She was a mess, she was actually physically ill,” she said.

Ms Davenport said there had been no medical evidence supporting one account that Walsh had strangled Mr Digby with a chain until his neck cracked. Sentencing is on November 22.

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