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A NSW woman allegedly stabbed her 5yo daughter and several strangers in Salamander Bay knife attack, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. A NSW woman allegedly stabbed her 5yo daughter and several strangers in Salamander Bay knife attack.

A woman is being assessed in a New South Wales hospital after she allegedly stabbed a number of people, including her own child, with a sheathed knife.

The incident occurred at Salamander Bay, in the Hunter region, at about 5:40pm on Tuesday. The 26-year-old woman was allegedly armed with a knife and accompanied by her five-year-old daughter when she got into the back seat of a car that was stopped along a road near the intersection of Scott Circuit.

She allegedly stabbed the male driver with the sheathed knife, causing minor cuts to his shoulder, as his 15-year-old daughter looked on.

The woman then left the car and walked with her child into a nearby supermarket where she stabbed a number of customers, causing minor cuts and abrasions. It is alleged she then turned the knife on her child, causing lacerations to her head.

A number of staff and customers at the store ran outside and locked the doors while calling police.

The woman has been taken to Mater Hospital where she is being treated for lacerations to her fingers and head. She will undergo a mental health assessment.

Her daughter was taken to John Hunter Hospital to be treated for lacerations to her scalp, which are non-life-threatening. Three men attended a local clinic for superficial injuries.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you’re based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image source: Channel 7. 

2. Sydney shop guard jailed for child kidnap and indecent assault.

A young girl kidnapped and indecently assaulted by a Sydney shopping centre security guard has been described as “remarkably resilient” and courageous for reporting the crimes almost immediately.

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The then-three-year-old was taken by Mohammad Hassan Al Bayati from the DFO Homebush playground, down a fire exit and to an unmonitored area a week before Christmas in 2016.

After a NSW District Court jury found Al Bayati exposed his penis and touched the girl’s underwear during 11 minutes away from surveillance cameras, Judge John Pickering on Friday jailed him for four-and-a-half years.

He will spend a minimum of two years and six months behind bars for the kidnapping with intent to obtain sexual gratification, act of indecency and indecent assault.

Al Bayati had responded to a report of an unattended and distressed girl at the centre’s playground when he took the girl by the hand and walked her towards the fire exit.

The guard, who still denies the crimes, later returned her to the playground and berated the waiting mother.

Police only became involved after the girl, who cannot be named as she is a child victim, told her father later that day Al Bayati showed her his “needle” and “tried to kiss my bum bum”.

Judge Pickering, who described the footage of the girl and guard walking down the fire exit as haunting, said the girl showed “remarkable resilience through her courage” to describe the incident to her parents, police and the court.

“It’s quite remarkable because I think of how many three-year-olds would be able to articulate what happened to her,” the judge said.

“(She) did her best to explain what happened but again it is an enormous ask on a three-year-old to outline precisely what happened.”

Judge Pickering sympathised with the girl’s parents, who earlier told the court of mental health issues stemming from the incident, and said the mother undoubtedly regrets leaving the girl and her older sister in the playground to do her Christmas shopping.

But he said mothers should be entitled to leave their child in a shopping centre play area without the expectation the centre’s guard would cause harm.

By the time Al Bayati arrived at the playground, the girl was no longer distressed and was playing happily on the slide.

Among his explanations for taking the girl was the belief her mum was in the toy shop and taking a route via the fire exit was the shortest path there.

Judge Pickering said that claim was “unusual in the extreme” but warned it was pointless trying to think logically about why someone would take a happy child down a fire exit away from public view.

“People who commit these kinds of acts process way outside the normal thought processes and there is no point trying to make sense of an act of this nature,” he said.

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“The gall of the offender to lecture the mother about the dangers and risks of leaving her in the play area, when he ended up being the greatest risk, is one of the most curious parts in this matter.”

Al Bayati will be eligible for parole in mid-2021.

3. Victoria police brutality victim awarded $400k.

An Aboriginal man who was brutally bashed by police during a counter-terrorism raid in Melbourne has been awarded $400,000.

Eathan Cruse was 19 when police officers tied his hands behind his back, slammed him into a fridge and beat him in the April 2015 raid.

Mr Cruse was arrested on suspicion of involvement with a plot to behead a police officer on Anzac Day the same year, but was never charged.

The arrest was unlawful and a “cowardly and brutal attack”, Supreme Court Justice Melinda Richards ruled on Tuesday.

While Mr Cruse was lying on the kitchen floor when an officer grabbed his hair and told him “there’s more to come” or “there’s more where that came from”.

As he was taken out of the home, one of the policeman said “don’t say a f***ing word”, the court was told.

Police officers also should have given “careful consideration” to taking Mr Cruse into custody knowing he was of Aboriginal descent, the justice said.

She found there were no reasonable grounds for officers to suspect him of terror offences or that he committed any offence.

Mr Cruse was left with physical injuries including a concussion, a cut in front of his left ear and bruising on his face, neck and upper body and has untreated major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder with paranoid ideation.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” Mr Cruse, who is now 23, said outside court. “I just feel vindicated.”

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Police had argued Mr Cruse was not handcuffed while he was being struck and the action was a reasonable attempt to subdue him.

While the justice found Mr Cruse was a truthful witness, Justice Richards did not find some of the police officers’ evidence credible.

She awarded him $400,000 in damages including $200,000 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment and $20,000 for further medical treatment.

“I do not consider that amount ($400,000) is sufficient to bring home to the State of Victoria and Victoria Police the enormity of the abuse of power that occurred here,” she said.

Aggravated damages of $80,000 and exemplary damages of $100,000 were also awarded.

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service helped Mr Cruse when he complained to Victoria Police about the allegations and police misconduct, but the force found the claims were unsubstantiated.

“Today, a Supreme Court judge has effectively overturned that decision and referred the conduct to IBAC,” Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Nerita Waight said.

Mr Cruse came to the attention of security agency ASIO because of his friendships with terrorist Numan Haider and IS fighter Irfaan Hussein.

Haider was fatally shot by police after he stabbed two officers at Endeavour Hills in 2014, Hussein was killed in 2015 while fighting in Syria and his friend Sevdet Besim was later imprisoned over a foiled beheading plot.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said it would be inappropriate to comment on the case as it may be subject to an appeal.

“There are well established oversight and complaint mechanisms available where there are concerns over police action and they are available to all members of the public,” she said in a statement

4. “You don’t understand how much this means to me.” Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova at US Open.

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Image: Getty.
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Serena Williams was not about to let Maria Sharapova make a match of their US Open first-round showdown in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

In her first match at Flushing Meadows since last year's loss in a chaotic, controversial final, Williams stretched her winning streak against Sharapova to 19 matches with a near-flawless 6-1 6-1 performance devoid of drama.

Asked whether she could even imagine losing that many matches in a row across 15 years against one opponent, Williams paused for a moment, then replied: "Gosh, I never thought about it like that."

She now leads her head-to-head series with Sharapova 20-2.

"Every time I come up against her," Williams said, "I just bring out some of my best tennis."

This match lasted just 59 minutes as Williams won twice as many points, 56-28. She saved all five break points she faced and broke Sharapova five times.

"I always said her ball somehow lands in my strike zone," Williams said. "I don't know. It's just perfect for me."

Few players would have stood a chance against Williams as she began her bid for a record-tying 24th grand slam title by dispatching the now world No.87 Sharapova in their first meeting at the year's final major.

"You don't understand how much this means to me," Williams said in her on-court interview.

"I am going against a player who's won five grand slams. She is such a good player, you have to be super focused. It was a fun match."

Williams arrived at the US Open, where she's won six titles, accompanied by questions about her back but that didn't seem to be an issue on Monday night.

"The body's good. I feel good," Williams said.

"My back's a lot better. So I'm excited. This is going to be fun."

Only once before had Sharapova lost a night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium, she is now 22-2.

"You can write me off. There are many people that can write me off... As long as it's not the person that's inside of you, you'll be OK," the Russian, who has again battled shoulder injuries, said.

5. 1 in 3 public school students in NSW and Victoria experience racist bullying.

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One-in-three public school students in NSW and Victoria have experienced racist bullying at the hands of their peers, an Australian university study has found.

The study of 4,600 primary and secondary students was undertaken at public schools with higher indigenous and migrant populations.

Nearly half of the students surveyed - 43 per cent - reported seeing teachers direct racially-motivated discrimination at other students.

The Speak Out Against Racism survey - led by the Australian National University and Western Sydney University - revealed indigenous Australian students and those with ethnic minority backgrounds suffered the most, with 40 per cent reporting racial discrimination by their classmates.

Among the same group, 20 per cent also reported racism from teachers.

A joint statement from opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek and opposition multicultural affairs spokesperson Andrew Giles said the report was a call to action, as "our schools reflect our society".

"It is unacceptable that as many as one-in-three school-age children have been abused, threatened and discriminated against simply because of who they are, where they may have come from, the faith they profess or how they dress," it said.

Sixty per cent of students said they had witnessed another student suffering racial discrimination from their peers.

However, 60 per cent also said they intervened most of the time to stop the bullying or support the victim. Less than eight per cent said they joined in, but 12 per cent said they did nothing.

"Racism and racial discrimination profoundly limit opportunities and have potential for serious lifelong consequences. The findings from SOAR show the extent of this burden for many Australian children and present an important call to action," lead researcher and ANU associate professor Naomi Priest said in a statement.

The results of the survey will be used to develop a program that encourages and equips students and staff to intervene in racist bullying situations.

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