‘There’s a player in deep despair’

Leeann Mullen.
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JARROD Mullen’s mother has spoken out over her son’s ban, saying the club had cut him off and he was in “deep despair” as his family battled to come to terms with the cataclysmic change.

Leeann Mullen told ABC radio’s Craig Hamilton in an interview broadcast on Tuesday that she had written to NRL boss ToddGreenberg and Knights boss Matt Gidley over the matter.

She said she had sought some degree of leniency for her sonbut had heard back only from Greenberg.

Ms Mullen reaffirmed her son had taken the substance unknowingly after receiving an injection in attempting to get back on the field for Newcastle and keep his career alive.

She said he had known he was receiving an injection but not that it included a banned substance.

“He didn’t want to sit on the sideline and take the money..he was desperate to leave [the game] on his terms,” she told Craig Hamilton.

Ms Mullen said the 30-year-old five-eighth had been been unable to return even to clean out his locker at the club since his positive test emerged early this year.

She also sought to set the record straight about some claims circulating about the matter, including that Jarrod had been paid since the positive test was revealed.

“The last time he went to training was the last time he had anything to do with the Knights,” she said.

‘There’s a player in deep despair’ Mathew Gidley addresses the media after Jarrod Mullen is stood down over a positive steroid test. Picture: Brodie Owen

Mathew Gidley addresses the media after Jarrod Mullen is stood down over a positive steroid test. Picture: Brodie Owen

TweetFacebookSOUNDCLOUD:@Hammo46#Exclusive interview w/ Leanne Mullen the mum of former @NRLKnights player @MullenJarrodhttps://t.co/y18JdAikrH

— 1233 ABC Newcastle (@1233newcastle) July 10, 2017

ASADA recommended a four-year ban in March after it revealed Mullen had tested positive to banned substance drostanolone.

The 30-year-old former Knight received a four-year ban suspension from the NRL drugs tribunal in May despite an appeal on the basis he was not seeking an unfair advantage.

But the ban, which almost certainly spelling the end of his professional sporting career, stands.

Mullen told media in June that hetook“full responsibility for what happened” and was “not here to blame anyone else” but conceded he perhaps should have identified the person who provided the banned substance.

“I trusted the bloke,’’ Mullen said.“I’ve known him for 10 years. He tossed up an amino acid injection to help with the healing…a thing that I think helps cure breast cancer.’’

‘Addicted’ to online chatting, now in jail

Arrest: Alan Rayfield at Caves Beach carpark in October last year after his arrest following online chatting with an undercover police officer, posing as a 14-year-old girl.HE was 59 years old, and he drove into a Caves Beach carpark in October last year with threecheeseburgers in a bag and hopes of havingsex with a 14-year-old.
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Instead former Hunter power station worker Alan Rayfield was arrested by police.

He was jailed until at least October, 2018 after pleading guilty to a charge of grooming a child for sexual activity between July and October, 2016.

The child, “Jessica”, was an undercover officer working with NSW Police Operation Trawler on a popular online chat room frequented by children.

Newcastle District Court Judge Tanya Bright was told one of Rayfield’s first questions to “Jessica”, after he initiated contact on July 27, 2016, was “are u really one four”.

The “child” answered “yeah”.

Within minutes Rayfield questioned “Jessica” about masturbation and discussed being sexually aroused and “being naughty as we chat”.

The following day Rayfield contacted “Jessica” and asked “how old are you again”, and was told “14”. During that chat Rayfield asked “Jessica” if she had watched “playful cams on the net”, and only seconds later outlined physical sexual contact between the two.

During a sentencing hearing Judge Bright rejected Rayfield’s argument there was no sexual motivation for the meeting at Caves Beach inOctober, after transcripts of communication between Rayfield and the “child” showed almost exclusively sexually explicit references by him, including detailed descriptions of sexual contact.

“In my view such a motivation is wholly apparent when one has regard to the preceding communications,” Judge Bright found.

A psychologist’s report said Rayfield’s denial of sexual motivation when he arrived at Caves Beach, with three cheeseburgers that he’d offered to bring the “child” during a previous communication,showed“his current limited insight into his offending”.

Rayfield told the court speaking to a 14-year-old online was “not out of character” for him, and he acknowledged at the time of his arrest he was addicted to online chatting for more than four hours a day.

Online chatting was“a diversion from life”, he said.

He told the court he had “stuffed up badly” and was remorseful and ashamed, particularly because he hadbetrayed his wife.

Judge Bright sentenced Rayfield to two years and seven months jail, with a minimum term of one year and four months, after accepting he had no prior criminal record and was unlikely to reoffend if he continued professional therapy and treatment.

“I am satisfied that having regard to the seriousness of the offending and the need for general deterrence, only a full time custodial sentence would be appropriate in all the circumstances of the offence,” Judge Bright said.

The need to send a clear message to the community about how courts viewed the offence was a “significant consideration when sentencing”, she said.

“Such offences are often a prelude to much greater destructive behaviour,” Judge Bright said.

“They are extremely difficult to detectand they are particularly exploitive of children. Such conduct has properly been described as being abhorrent.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull emotional after Downing Street visit

Meet and greet: Mr Turnbull and British Prime Minister Theresa May visit Borough Market in London. Photo: Andrew MearesBritish Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed Malcolm Turnbull to Downing Street, with the two leaders reflecting on the June 3 terror attack at Borough Markets.
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Speaking in the White Room at Number 10 Downing Street before a formal closed-door meeting, Ms May spoke of the strong links between Britain and Australia as they pledged to work more closely together on national security matters.

Mr Turnbull became emotional as he spoke about meeting police officers who had attempted to save Australian victim Sara Zelenak, saying he had found it hard not to “burst into tears” as they recounted what had happened.

“They were very brave men and women and I just want to thank them on behalf of all Australians,” he said. “It was a very moving visit … I want to say how much we admire the outstanding response of your police arriving on the scene so quickly.

“They ran towards danger while others were fleeing it.”

The pair had earlier made a low-key visit to the Borough Market talking to stall holders about the devastating attack that left eight people dead and wounded almost 50.

The two prime ministers also spoke about the resilience of the community in the face of the terror threat, and said Britain and Australia would continue to fight terrorism at home and in the Middle East.

Mr Turnbull became emotional as he spoke about meeting police officers who had attempted to save Australian victim Sara Zelenak. Photo: Getty Images

‘’We say to these killers to these terrorists that seek to change the way we live, we will not be cowed, we won’t change the way we live, we won’t stop going out at night, we won’t stop enjoying ourselves. We will defy you and defeat you.

“We will continue to defeat them, in the field, at home, around the world, whether here in London, in Sydney and Melbourne in Manchester and in cyberspace as well.”

Ms May spoke about Australian nurse Kirsty Boden who was one of nine who lost her life in the Borough Market attack, praising her for having “rushed to the scene”. “They didn’t think of themselves but went to help those who they saw in need.”

Ms May said that Britain was going “to stand up against these terrorists”.

“They will not destroy our way of life, and our values will prevail.”

Mr Turnbull responded: “they will, because they are right.”

Staff reporters

Jets look for starting talent after Kokko exit

Jets look for starting talent after Kokko exit SOLO STRIKE: Aleksandr Kokko celebrates with teammates after scoring his only goal in the A-League. Picture: Getty Images
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Aleksandr Kokko at Jets training last week.

Aleksandr Kokko at Jets training last week.

Aleksandr Kokko at Jets training last week.

TweetFacebookHerald that the club could look to an Australian to boost their forward stocks.

“It doesn’t necessarily need to be a visa player.If we can find an Aussie player, then so be it,” he said.

“I know everybody is going to chuck up Nathan Burns, and that would be lovely, but obviously that’s not in the budget at the moment.We’ve spoken to him, but there are a few offers coming in from overseas clubs, and if that happens, we’re no chance.”

Either way, McKinna said the Jets now had the cash to chase a “quality” forward.

“Dimi [Petratos] can play up there. There are other boys who can do a job, but we really need another target player, somebody attacking.

“Whoever comes in has to be able to come in and feature in that team, either up front with Roy O’Donovan or alone himself,not just a back-up. We’ll be able to go for a player who is quality enough to be starting.”

The Jets now have room for three more foreigners, one of whom will be from China. Two Chinese trialistsare expected to arrive this month, and the club is also believed to be after a South American attacking midfielder.

MicKinna said Kokko’splaying style had not suited the A-League.

“Ernie thought he was going to struggle to get a game up front in his team.He was just up front and honest with him.

“He was really a big target man, and in the A-League now they want strikers pretty mobile. You look at O’Donovan and these guys, they’re busy all over the place.

“Kokko was more your old-fashioned striker. It didn’t really suit how Mark played and is definitely not going to suit how Ernie plays.”

The Herald reported last week thatKokko was exploring a deal to leave the Hunter despite having a year to run on his contract.

The 30-year-old was among the team’s highest-paid players but startedin just seven games in his first season in the A-League, scoring once.

Daniel Craig set to return as James Bond for a fifth time

Actor Daniel Craig attends the German premiere of the new James Bond movie ‘Spectre’. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images for Sony PicturesHollywood’s search for ‘the next James Bond’ has ended right where it began – with Daniel Craig.
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The British actor, 49, is set to reprise the role in what will be his fifth film in the franchise, producer Barbara Broccoli toldThe Mirror.

The tepid announcement marks a significant about-face for Craig, who in 2015said he’d “rather slash my wrists” than play the suave super-spy again, followingturns inCasino Royale(2006),Quantum of Solace(2008),Skyfall(2012) andSpectre(2015).

He had also turned down a $137 million offer from studio MGM to star in two more 007 films, reports at the time said.

Broccoli said the upcoming production was also “talking around” singer Adele to record the theme song, reuniting the pair from the profitableSkyfall, which grossed around $1.5 billion worldwide, a record for the franchise.

“Craig and Adele are the winning team, the ultimate choice, the money-spinners,” another source involved in the film toldThe Mirror.

“It’s taken time but Daniel has come around and the strong consensus in the Bond offices is that Mr Craig is 007 again,” they said, adding “signs are positive” that Adele would join the project, too.

To be fair, Craig’s previous disavowal of the role came immediately after a lengthy eight-month shoot onSpectre.

He had also publicly complained aboutthe character’s surface-heavy lack of depth, and the time-consuming natureof each shoot.

The news puts an end – for the time being at least – to fervent speculation over who was to be passed the Bond baton.

Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and even Gillian Anderson in a gender-flipped reboot were all names that were legitimately debated, buoyed by significant campaigning from fans online.