news

"It was complete kill mode." A man is dead and his wife is injured after a violent dog attack in Melbourne, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. “It was complete kill mode.” A man is dead and his wife is injured after a violent dog attack in Melbourne.

An American Staffordshire terrier and a vulnerable victim have again proven a deadly combination with a 61-year-old Melbourne man the latest person killed by the dog breed.

Leo Biancofiore was mauled to death in his suburban Mill Park home on Wednesday night, with witnesses recounting how his desperate wife Donata, also injured and hospitalised, tried to stop the attack.

Neighbours were alerted to the dog attack about 6.40pm when they heard the terrified screams of Donata, also known as Donna.

Neighbours told The Age they arrived to distract the dog by banging on their fence and using a hose, to no avail.

They were too afraid to jump their fences, believing they too would be attacked.

“He was defenceless,” an neighbour named Alex said. “It was vicious, it was complete kill mode. It was guarding him like prey.”

When police arrived on scene they fired shots to try and prevent the mauling. It was too late for Leo who died at the scene.

Leo regularly used crutches and a wheelchair, neighbours said on Thursday. It is believed he was on crutches inside the house when the attack started and ended up outside.

American Staffordshire terriers are believed responsible for four fatal dog attacks in Melbourne and NSW this year.

Victims include a 51-year-old man who suffered a medical condition before being attacked. A 72-year-old woman and a man aged 40 were killed in other attacks.

The latest killer dog, reportedly called Junior, belonged to Leo’s son and has now been euthanised with the consent of his daughter-in-law.

“It’s an older dog, it’s quite familiar with all of the members of the family and my understanding is it’s out of character for the dog,” Senior Sergeant Glenn Parker said.

A neighbour said there had never been trouble with the animal before.

“There was no stopping it. It’s a giant pit bull,” he told The Herald Sun.

Another witness said the dog was “going nuts”.

The dog was not registered with the local City of Whittlesea council and there had been no prior reports to the council about the dog.

“The dog was euthanised last night and council will continue to assist Victoria Police with their investigation,” said council spokeswoman Liana Thompson.

RSPCA Victoria’s Tegan McPherson said there were several causes of dog attacks, but breed wasn’t necessarily one of them.

“Breed alone is not a reliable predictor of aggressive behaviour,” she told ABC Radio.

ADVERTISEMENT

“From what we’re hearing, this dog didn’t necessarily have a background of aggressive behaviour until this incident.”

Donata was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.

2. Three dead and two in hospital after boat capsizes in Newcastle.


A 16-year-old girl and her father were clutching onto an overturned catamaran while three other passengers, including the teen’s grandparents, drowned in rough seas off Newcastle.

Authorities were alerted when an emergency beacon was activated from the capsized boat 13 nautical miles off Stockton Beach about 10.10am on Thursday.

The teenager and her 50-year-old dad were winched from the water and taken to John Hunter Hospital to be treated for hyperthermia.

The girl’s 78-year-old grandmother and grandfather and a third unidentified body were retrieved from the water by Marine Rescue, NSW Police said.

“The two people that they retrieved from the water were actually clutching on to the overturned vessel,” Ambulance NSW Inspector Luke Wiseman told reporters in Newcastle.

The rescue mission was complicated by high seas, strong winds and debris in the water, he said.

Authorities say all five people were wearing life jackets.

The 11.7-metre catamaran had left Shoal Bay earlier on Thursday morning and was heading south toward Ettalong Beach on the Central Coast.

Detective Acting Superintendent Grant Healey said it was unclear how the boat capsized, with police yet to speak to the two survivors.

“The conditions were difficult,” he told reporters in Sydney.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We had 25 to 30 knot westerly winds with the sea at one to two metres coming the other way. So it was fairly messy out there.”

Authorities have not yet been able to recover the overturned catamaran, which is drifting out to sea.

“As soon as there is favourable sea conditions there will be an attempt to salvage the vessel,” Det Acting Supt Healy said.

“But while the weather is like it is, all we can do is let the boating community know where it is.”

A strong wind warning is in place along the NSW coast, from the Hunter down to Eden.

Roads and Maritime Services are urging fishers and boaties to be extra cautious, with choppy conditions expected on exposed bays as well as dangerously rough conditions offshore.

3. Breast implants facing ban in Australia over links to rare cancer.

An Australian ban on a range of textured breast implants has been recommended after a review of apparent links to rare forms of cancer.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s proposed regulatory action – which could include cancelling, suspending or recalling implants – follows a review of an apparent association between anaplastic large cell lymphoma and some implants.

The announcement comes as legal firm Slater and Gordon revealed it is considering a class action against the manufacturers of the implants, Allergan Australia.

Slater and Gordon’s Andrew Baker said a few dozen women who have the implants and the rare cancer have contacted the firm and a decision would be made about a class action in coming months.

He said the women were not told about possible risks of the product so were not able to choose alternative implants.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If there is a risk that’s known about a product like this it needs to be disclosed to patients so they can make an informed choice about the products that are put into their bodies,” Mr Baker told AAP.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government supported the TGA’s proposed action.

France and Canada acted in April to remove certain textured implants from their markets.

As of April, the TGA had received 76 reports of anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants in Australian women.

The estimated risk of breast implant associated lymphoma is between one-in-1000 and one-in-10,000.

Experts do not recommend removal of breast implants where there are no problems with the implant.

Breast implant-associated lymphoma is usually cured if detected early.

Allergan Australia said it was reviewing the TGA action in relation to its Natrelle Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders.

“Allergan continues to stand behind the benefit/risk profile of its breast implants” including its Biocell products, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said there was no recommendation from any health authority, including the TGA, for patients with no symptoms to have their textured breast implants removed or replaced as a preventative measure.

Australia’s peak body for cosmetic surgeons said there was no cause for alarm for people who have the textured breast implants, and to consider all evidence before taking action.

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery said the risks of developing a cancer that spreads is extremely small.

“If patients do not have any symptoms, there is no need for any action because of this TGA announcement,” the College said.

Patients should speak to their surgeons if they have any concerns, it said.

4. Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka, dies aged 62.

ADVERTISEMENT


Denise Nickerson, best known for her role as Violet Beauregarde in the classic 1971 version of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, has died after being taken off life support.

She was 62.

Her family made the announcement on Facebook.

Nickerson suffered a severe stroke in June 2018 after which she entered hospital for treatment.

Despite entering a rehab facility later that year, her son Josh Nickerson took to Facebook earlier on Wednesday to announce her debilitating state which led to their decision to cease life support.

“They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable,” he wrote.

“We’re telling her it’s okay to let go.”

Nickerson’s son and his wife Jasmine also reported that she had suffered from seizures shortly after being admitted to hospital and later entered a “coma-like” state.

Nickerson was a young teen when she played the gum-chewing and sassy Violet, who turns into a giant blueberry, in the first movie version of the iconic children’s book, opposite Gene Wilder as Willie Wonka.

Before that, she appeared on Sesame Street companion series The Electric Company as Alison.

On Dark Shadows, she played Amy Jennings and Nora Collins from 1968-70.

After appearing in soap opera Search For Tomorrow and several small roles in films including Smile before retiring from acting at 21.

She continued to make her living as a nurse.

5. Federer and Nadal set to renew Wimbledon rivalry in grand final.

Roger Federer says Rafael Nadal can “hurt anyone on any surface” and dismissed the pair’s contrasting records on clay and grass as an indicator for who will triumph in their long-awaited Wimbledon rematch on Friday.

Federer and Nadal have not faced each other at the grass grand slam for 11 years since their historic battle in the 2008 final.

Federer earned his 100th Wimbledon win against Japan’s Kei Nishikori, while Nadal dismissed American Sam Querrey in straight sets to meet each other in a gigantic final-four clash.

The 37-year-old Swiss has been more successful on grass than any other surface, while his opposite Nadal has dominated the clay with 12 French Open titles.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Federer says a lot has changed in 11 years apart and he has noticed some key weapons Nadal might use against him.

“Rafa really can hurt anybody on any surface,” said Federer.

“I mean, he’s that good. He’s not just a claycourt specialist. He’s playing also very different than he used to.

“He’s serving way different. I remember back in the day how he used to serve, and now how much bigger he’s serving, how much faster he finishes points.”

Federer and Nadal have only played on grass three times and each match has been a Wimbledon final between 2006 and 2008. The 2008 final was the best of the trilogy.

Nadal’s epic five-set battle with Federer lasted four hours and 48 minutes and has been hailed as one of the greatest Wimbledon finals in history.

Nadal, aiming for a third Wimbledon title to add to his successes in 2008 and 2010, leads the overall head-to-head tally between the record-chasing pair with 24 wins and 15 losses.

While Nadal is known as the undisputed ‘king of clay,’ Federer has been the lord of the lawn with eight Wimbledon championships and became the first man to complete a century of victories at the All-England Club.

While Federer, who turns 38 next month, has seen 33-year-old Nadal’s game change on grass, the Swiss master has also evolved.

Federer, for example, switched to a larger racquet and began using a flatter backhand more frequently instead of a slice. Nadal has worked on his serving and that’s helped him once again be a contender on grass.

He reached the final during five consecutive Wimbledon appearances from 2006-11, winning twice, but hasn’t been that far since, including a series of exits against opponents ranked 100th or worse. Last year, he was beaten in five sets by Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

“Haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface. He’s serving way different. I remember back in the day, how he used to serve. And now, how much bigger he’s serving, how much faster he finishes points,” Federer said.

Djokovic is seeking his fifth trophy, and second straight, at the All England Club, while his opponent on Friday, Roberto Bautista Agut is making his grand slam semi-final debut.

Djokovic leads 7-3 head-to-head, but Bautista Agut won their two match-ups this season, both on hard courts.

“Going to try to use my experience in being in these kind of matches, get myself tactically prepared,” Djokovic said.

“Hopefully I can execute everything I intend to do.”

Tags: australian-news , news-3 , news-in-5 , news-stories
00:00 / ???