Man shot in break-in pleads guilty

Newcastle courthouse. BENJAMIN Rhodes went to run, but he could only crawl.
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His mate, Ryan Jewell, sprinted across the remote property on The Weir Road at Teralba and jumped into Cockle Creek.

The pair had just been confronted by a homeowner, alerted by a security light at his farm shed, who interrupted their bungled burglary attempt.

It was early onMay 14, 2016, and the second time in a few hours that the pair had broken into the remote property insearch of power tools and firearms.

Rhodes was shot in the left leg at close range, with Jewell later telling the police he saw a flash, heard a loud bang and then heard his mate call out for help.

Jewell said he thenheard more shots ring out over his head as he turned and fled.

Rhodes managed to crawl across the property and was eventually found by a police dog lying in long grass in a ditch, bleeding profusely from a serious wound to his leg.

He had lost so much blood he was considered critical and was in a coma when he arrived at John Hunter Hospital.

Rhodeshad to have his left leg amputated and now requires a wheelchair to get around, court documents state.

Jewell and Rhodes pleaded guilty toaggravatedenter dwellingwith intent, which carries a maximum of 14 years in jail,and larceny.

They will be sentenced in Newcastle District Court in October.The homeowner has not been charged over the incident.

According to a statement of agreed facts, the man told police he saw the shed light come on and then saw two males walk inside.

He told his wife to call the police and went to investigate, confronting Rhodes as he came out of the shed.

“There was a short wrestle and he instinctively tried to point the barrel of the gun towards the ground for safety reasons,” the homeowner told police during an interview on the night of the break-in, according to a statement of facts.

“The gun discharged and shot that male in the leg.

“He picked up some shells, which were on the ground and fired them towards the other male as he was running off.”

Rhodes and Jewell had already broken into the shed earlier in the night and stolen a number of power tools and firearms, court documents state.

But when they returned, Rhodes said “someone started yelling at them and he begged them not to shoot him but he was shot at close range in the leg”, according to an agreed statement of facts.

“That male then threw the gun at him and told him to get off his property.

“He tried to walk, but couldn’t so he crawled away.

“He heard more gunshots as he was crawling away.”

Rhodes remains on conditional bail due to his injuries, while Jewell is in custody.

Ninja Parc giving more people active options

FUN: Rafferty Davis, left, and Ollie Daniels, both seven, negotiate one of the obstacles in the Ninja Parc during a school holidays kids’ session.I watched intrigued as some downstairs indoor courts were transformed into a Ninja Parc at The Parc –Indoor ActiviteZone, formerly known as Howzat Indoor Sports.
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It was last summer and I was playing indoor soccer and each week I would turn up to see a new addition to the obstacle course.

It looked a bit like UFC meets Tough Mudder but when I sat down last week with The Parc director John Pirlo, who conceptualised the idea for the Ninja Parc, he told me the appeal of it was that people of all ages and abilities could gain benefit from a session there.

“I did Tough Mudder six or seven years ago and I saw so many people who weren’t into exercise just doing it for fun and the camaraderie of it,” he told me.

“Our philosophy has always been we just want people to do something, we just want to encourage more people to be active, including kids.”

CHALLENGING: Ninja Master Matt Hunter, left, watches on as The Parc club manager Lisa Spencer and The Parc director John Pirlo hang about.

The Ninja Parc comprises a number of obstacles, some more challenging than others.

But John said everyone who goes in for a session comes out feeling some kind of benefit.

“The first thing is it’s fun, moving is a by-product,” he said.

“Another benefit is youare doing movements you don’t typically do, such as hanging, balancing and agility as you go through the course.

“There’s also a lot of hand-eye coordination involved and anyone can do it.”

Ninja Warrior Australia brings sibling rivalry to the TVThere are rope climbs, bouldering challenges, vertical and horizontal doors, a sea of poles and a newly added warped wall.

The venue hosted some of the country’s elite ninjas when “Ninja Warrior” obstacle racing made its Newcastle debutin February.

John said members of the public can test themselves once a month at Ninja Parc’s race night. The focus is time trials but it is not just about being the fastest around the course –it is for individuals to improve their own previous times in an encouraging and supportive environment.

It is also for the whole family.

Ninja sessions start from Little Ninja Gymnastics (three to six-year-olds) and range up to Ninja Fit classes for adults.

There are free play sessions and after the holidays The Parc will launch after-school sessions, where kids take part in a Ninja session followed by designated time for homework.

The day I was there, there were a dozen kids running, scaling, jumping and balancing their way around the Ninja Parc and having a ball doing it.

You can find out more at www.theparc南京夜网.au.

National Diabetes Week This week is National Diabetes Week andDiabetesAustralia has launched campaignIt’s About Time to raise awareness of the seriousness of the type 2diabetesand is urging500,000 Australians who could have undiagnosed type 2 diabetesto get checked.

Find out more atwww.diabetesaustralia南京夜网.au/itsabouttime.

Winter Warmer WorkoutIf you are time poor or just can’t get up in the cold and dark, stay active this season by squeezing insome quick workouts when you can.

This is my go-to, snappy session while cooking dinner and wrangling kids:

20 squats with alternating single-armed shoulder press;20 shoulder throws (straight punches with light dumbbells in hand);20 bent-over rows;10 lunges with bicep curl;10 lunges with tricep extension.Repeat 2-4 times between slicing, dicing and sauteing.Make it harder:by adding in squats jumps, mountain climbersand burpees.

Upcoming fitness eventsWinery Running Festival, July 16, Hunter Valley:Offering 42.2km,21.1km, 10km,6km and 2km for kids.www.wineryrun南京夜网.

Lake Macquarie Running, August 27, Warners Bay:Raising money for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU),there are21.1km and10.5km options plus a 4km kids scamper.www.lakemacrunning南京夜网.

Tomaree Trail Run Festival, September 17, Fingal Bay:A newly launched event which traverses along beaches, national park and rugged coastlines. Distances on offer include 21.1km, 11.5km, 6km and a kids event.www.in2adventure南京夜网.au.

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]南京夜网.au.

‘I felt completely abandoned’: Why Scott went four months without phone or broadband

Scott Moffat with his son during the renovation. Photo: SuppliedAustralia’s broken NBN dispute resolution process is cutting off homes for months, trapping owners in bureaucratic limbo where no-one will take responsibility for reconnecting their services.
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One such homeowner is Optus customer Scott Moffat, who was left with no home phone or broadband connection for four months after he moved back into his Malvern East home on March 1, following an extensive home renovation.

During Moffat’s renovation the street was declared ready For serviceby NBN. This meant when Moffat moved back into the house Optus was not permitted to reconnect the previous Optus cable service, due to cease sale regulations which forbid telcos from offering their old internet services to homes which are declared NBN-ready.

RELATED READINGNBN users five times more likely to complain about serviceMan builds private radio network to get NBN accessThe simple NBN hack to get even faster download speedsOptus was required to migrate Moffat’s home to the new national broadband network, but an NBN fault in the street prevented this. At this point Optus failed to abide by theACCC’s rulingthat internet providers are permitted to bypass cease sale regulations and reconnect old services in NBN-ready areas if NBN delays have left homes in limbo.

Optus failed to reconnect Moffat’s home to Optus cable because NBN failed to reclassify Moffat’s home as not ready for service—despite Optus’ repeated requests to resolve the issue—according to an Optus spokesperson. Optus is unable to bypass cease sale regulations until NBN officially acknowledges that a home is not ready for service, the spokesperson says.

“Optus has been advised by NBN that Mr Moffat’s property was originally mis-classified as ready for service. If the property had been classified by NBN as unserviceable, Optus would have been able to offer Mr Moffat an HFC connection as an alternative to the NBN.”

Meanwhile NBN insists Moffat’s house was always ready for service, but that efforts to identify and repair a fault in the street were mishandled. To reduce connection delays, NBN is no longer declaring homes ready for service in HFC cable areas unless they have an active lead-in from the cable in the street.

“NBN regrets the delay in connecting the premises in question to the NBN network and for the inconvenience caused during the delay,” an NBN spokesperson says. “An NBN technician was sent to the premises on June 30 and resolved the connection issue after identifying signal issues in the pit outside the premises.

“Unfortunately, additional technician appointments such as these are occasionally required in order to successfully connect a premises to the NBN network. We are currently activating around 33,000 services on the NBN network every week and with such large scale migrations these kinds of problems can occur.”

Caught in the middle of this situation, Moffat spent the last four months with no home phone or broadband service despite escalating complaints to Optus, NBN, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and communications ministerMitch Fifield.

Despite this ongoing campaign, Moffat’s services were only restored after Fairfax Media raised the issue with NBN in late June. After four months of inaction, the NBN network fault was rectified within 48 hours and Moffat’s service was connected on June 30.

“I felt completely abandoned and no-one seemed to care that I’d had no home phone or internet for months,” Moffat says. “I was continually told by all parties that I had no option but to wait until NBN fixed the network in my street and I couldn’t go back to Optus cable.”

Moffat’s complaints to NBN “fell on deaf ears,” he says, as NBN insisted that he go through his retail provider even though Optus had “completely disowned” him.

“Optus shunted me from customer case manager to case manager in what has to be the most appalling customer service I have ever received,” Moffat says. “My last Optus senior case manager continued to ignore requests from both myself and the TIO to update us with our latest connection status, to the point where Optus did not contact us for three weeks.”

“Meanwhile the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is the biggest toothless tiger I have ever dealt with, they simply sent emails and letters to Optus telling them to contact me, with no result.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told Moffat it could not assist him as an individual consumer.

“The ACCC does not have the power to direct service providers to reinstate services in a particular case. Internet service providers are responsible for individual connections and specific queries should be directed to the relevant ISP,” says an ACCC spokesperson.

“The ACCC is working with industry to manage issues encountered during the migration of services to the NBN more generally. We have requested that NBN Co and ISPs develop new migration processes to assist in the migration of services to NBN Co’s FTTB/N and HFC networks.”

Meanwhile the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, which lobbies for the rights of telecommunications consumers, is “very concerned” about reports of consumers being left in limbo.

“Switching to the NBN is supposed to improve consumers’ broadband connectivity, not leave them without services for months on end. Leaving consumers disconnected for months is not good enough and unacceptable,” says ACCAN senior policy adviser Rachel Thomas.

“Consumers should not have to go to the media to get connection issues fixed. The industry as a whole needs to work better together to ensure the consumer gets and stays connected.”

Strangers help rescue drowning, injured wallaby

Strangers help rescue drowning, injured wallaby A mauled, drowning wallaby was rescued at Logans Beach in Warrnambool on Sunday morning, with a crowd of whale-watchers witnessing the scene. Picture: Wendy Bernhardt
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A mauled, drowning wallaby was rescued at Logans Beach in Warrnambool on Sunday morning, with a crowd of whale-watchers witnessing the scene. Picture: Wendy Bernhardt

A mauled, drowning wallaby was rescued at Logans Beach in Warrnambool on Sunday morning, with a crowd of whale-watchers witnessing the scene. Picture: Wendy Bernhardt

A mauled, drowning wallaby was rescued at Logans Beach in Warrnambool on Sunday morning, with a crowd of whale-watchers witnessing the scene. Picture: Wendy Bernhardt

A mauled, drowning wallaby was rescued at Logans Beach in Warrnambool on Sunday morning, with a crowd of whale-watchers witnessing the scene. Picture: Wendy Bernhardt

TweetFacebook Wallaby rescue at Logans BeachAs she watched a severelyinjured wallaby drowning in the surfat Logans Beach on Sunday morning, wildlife rescuer Val Carter momentarily gaveup hope of reachingthe distressed animal.

Moments later, astranger named Andrew appeared beside her and asked, “what can I do to help?”

With the assistanceof people who had been visiting the whale-viewing platform, Ms Carter and fellow Warrnambool Wildlife Rescue Group volunteer Erin Gundry managed to get the wallaby, weighing about 50 kilograms,back onto the sand and up the steps to the car park, and eventually to the vet.

All up, four people – including two visitors from Melbourne, and one from Ballarat –jumped in to assist, while a crowd at the whale-viewing platform watched the scene unfold.

“Without those four people, no doubt we would have been in a lotof trouble and without having any reception on the beach – that was a real concern,” Ms Carter said.

“I did yell out to a lot of people up the top if anyone could give a hand.”

Ms Carter could notassist the wallaby on her own in part due to the strong undertow, and Ms Gundry startedsufferingan asthma attack.

One of the strangers who jumped in to assist with the rescue raced back to the car park for an asthma puffer.

Ms Carterhas responded to at least 1000calls for help as a wildlife rescuer, but she saidtheSunday’s rescuewas one of the worst she had been to.

She described the people who helped as “marvellous”.

At the vet, thenative animal had to be euthanised due to its extensive injuries, which the vet said werecaused by at least one dog.

The wallaby had severe injuries around its groin, neck and head, and had been found in the sand dunes but entered the water in fear.

The experienced rescuersaid it was a common occurrence, and dog owners should take more responsibility for their pets.

“We can guarantee without fail everyholidays we respond to an animal that has been chased into the surf,” she said.

“If people are comingdown here to appreciatethe sights, think of our native wildlife. Thinkahead and please keep your dog on a lead orkeep it under control. It’s not that much to ask.”

Ms Carter said council should consider making off-lead beaches lead only to protect native wildlife.

Warnnambool Standard

Luke Hodge to retire at the end of 2017 season

Jarryd Roughead, Luke Hodge and Jack Gunston of the Hawks looks dejected after losing the round two match to Adelaide. Photo: Getty ImagesFour-time Hawthorn premiership player Luke Hodge has announced he will retire from football at the end of the 2017 AFL season, despite the fact that his body and mind still feel “really good”.
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Hodge, who will play his 300th AFL game on Saturday against Geelong at the MCG, made the announcement on Monday afternoon at the Hawks’ Ricoh Centre base at Waverley Park.

“Walking in here as a 17-year-old and playing 16 years you learn a lot,” a visiblyemotional Hodge said. “You make a lot of mistakes but I think the main thing is that you learn from them.

“I think it [retiring] is the best thing for the footy club and myself. It’s weird because mentally, I think that would have been the first to go, but I am still loving football, still really enjoying it.

“My body still feels good but what I have realised over the last month is the development of our younger guys, a lot through injury that we have had … they’ve really taken steps.

“If I play on next year I’ll be taking the spot of a younger guy and as a senior bloke I would never want to do that.

The No.1 pick in the 2001 national draft, Hodge won premierships in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He captained Hawthorn through their 2013-2015 premiership “three-peat”.

RELATED CONTENTAFL 2017: Best of round16Remember the 2014 grand final?Hawthorn celebrates at Glenferrie OvalAlastair Clarkson, Hodge’s coach since 2005, said ithad been a privileged to work with a “once-in-a-generation” player like the 33-year-old from Colac.

“It’s been a pretty fascinating journey that Hodgey has had at our football club,” Clarkson said.

“I don’t think there was a position he didn’t play in his 16-year career … the most significant thing he has contributed to our footy club and its success has been the sacrificial manner in which he has gone about it.

“He has always put his teammates and his footy club ahead of himself.

“He’sput more time and effort into his body for the past four year than anybody on our list.

“He has benefited from that, but so has our footy club.”

Luke Hodge held the premiership cup in four separate years. Photo: Getty Images

Clarkson said the example Hodge had set in his 16 year career would live on at the football club for many years to come.

Hodge won theNorm Smith Medal for best afield in the 2008 and 2014 grand finals and was an All Australian on three occasions (2005, 2008, 2010).

His wife Lauren, who he thanked, andthree children were at the announcement.

“Football is a rollercoaster and you’ve been through some massive highs and some massive lows … I am looking forward to family holidays,” he said.

“I have been talking with my family for a while [about retiring].”

Hodge signed a one year contract extension with the Hawks in August 2016.

Fellow veterans Shaun Burgoyne and Josh Gibson signed one-year extensions at the same time but their 2018 plans remain unclear.

Coach Alastair Clarkson and captain Luke Hodge hold up the 2013 and 2014 premiership cups during the Hawthorn celebrations at Glenferrie Oval. Photo: Getty Images

Hawthorn moved on veterans Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis at the end of the 2016 season.

“We have had discussions [about my retirement] from when we signed a contract last year that if everything went the way we planned it this would be the last year because we knew we had a lot of younger guys that were ready to stand up,” Hodge said.

“I think the last month has really locked it in.”

Hodge said he had enjoyed coaching and working in the media in the past but said he had not decided on how his post-football career would look.

He took over the Hawks captaincy from Sam Mitchell in 2010 and then relinquished it to Jarryd Roughead at the start of the 2017 season.

“I think I have changed [leadership styles] I think I have mellowed a lot in the past few years.

“You understand where the younger guys are coming from and that ranting and raving doesn’t always get the best result.”

On his reputation as a hardman who would occasionally cross the line on the football field, Hodge said his passion for football had always fuelled him.

“I’m definitely a passionate person about football, I love my footy, but I would do anything for the football club and anything for the team to have success,” Hodge said.

“I know there are a few supporters from other clubs that might have a different opinion of me, but that comes with footy.

“I will do anything for my football club and sometimes that means crossing the line, and I know that’s not the best part, but I’ve been able to achieve here at the football club a lot that a lot of other teams haven’t been able to, and I’m proud of that.”

The Age