Umpire ‘runs for his life’ from angry fans at junior football grand final

An umpire was forced to “run for his life” as angry fans and parents at an under-15s football grand final threw punches and chased him off the ground, in Melbourne’s west on Sunday.
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A wild brawl broke out on the ground at Hoppers Crossing Reserve, after the umpire gave two consecutive 50-metre penalties to Point Cook, in the last 30 seconds of their grand final against Albion.

An image taken from video of the melee at Hoppers Crossing footy ground. Photo: Courtesy of 3AW via Facebook/@joel.ives3

Police are investigating the matter as an “affray”, a police spokesman said.

The match was tight, with Albion ahead by a few points, but the penaltiesled to Point Cook kicking a goal and winning the premiership.

John Dodd, who was at the reserve to watch his grandson play in the under-13s grand finalon the neighbouring oval,ran over to watch the end of the under-15s matchbecause it was a close game.

Mr Dodd said he saw an umpire give two 50-metre penalties against Albion, one for overstepping the mark and then another after an Albion player “mouthed off” at the umpire.

“That put him [the Point Cook player]right in the goal square. The siren went and he kicked a goal, they were a few points down and Point Cook won,” Mr Dodd said.

“And then, like bang, people began running onto the ground, and abusing the umpire.

“There were supporters and parents throwing punches at him. He wasrunningaway, dodging punches, and if he had fallen over Idon’tknow what would have happened.

“He was running for his life in a junior football match, which is ridiculous.”

Mr Dodd, a football umpire himself, said the 50-metre penalties were “legitimate” and the incident “should never have happened”.

“He paid what he saw. It was a disgrace.Without umpiresyou wouldn’t have a game,” he said.

Paramedics were called to the ground, on Hogans Road,to treat a man aged in his 30s, believed to be the umpire, about 4.30pm on Sunday.

He had minor injuries to his upper body but was not taken to hospital, an ambulance spokesman said.

The aftermath of the brawl was broadcastlive on Facebook, with adults scuffling and hurling abuse.

As spectatorswaitfor the players and umpires to leave the change rooms, aman can be heard in the 20-minute video, which was obtained by radio station 3AW,saying, “It’ll erupt again, when they start coming out.”

“What’s happened is, mate, there’s been two free kicks been called,” the man says.

“The umpire called another 50 that won Point Cook the game, and then all the Albion supporters got stuck into this umpire.

“Would have copped maybe five or six punches to the face, bolted off the ground, it was pretty funny to see that. And then the coppers have rocked up and there have been more fights since.”

Ivo Havard, Point Cook Football Club’s president, said it was disgraceful to see such aggressive behaviour directed at umpires.

“The sport, and the league, and the Albion footy club, are tarnished from the behaviour of maybe six people who reacted so badly to a loss,” Mr Havard said.

“These umpirescome to work and do their job for the day, and they leave the ground after basically being bashed, it’s not good at all.

“It was a crazy situation that escalated, and it got to a point where adults are behaving badly at an under-15s game of sport.”

When asked whether there should be security guards at junior football grand finals, Mr Havard said: “No way, it’s an under-15s game of support, we shouldn’t have to go down that path.”

Albion Football Club administratorChantelle Hyett​said the club had no comment at this stage.

“We’re obviously still trying to piece together what happened for ourselves,” she said.

The Western Region Football League has been contacted for comment.

Cars hit koalas as breeding season heats up

Port Stephens Koalas hasurged motorists to be on the lookout with no less than five of the mammals struck over the weekend.
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Two koalas were seriously injured –one of them undergoing surgery on Monday morning –while another three were killed.

DANGER ZONE: Port Stephens Koalas secretary Ron Land on Port Stephens Drive last September. Picture: Sam Norris

“It’s been a pretty bad weekend,” care and rescue coordinator Simone Aurino said.

“It’s horrible but we’ve been lucky that people have stopped and assisted us.

“Nelson Bay police helped us with two of those and it’s lovely we’ve got the community onside.”

The strikes occurred on Nelson Bay Road, Port Stephens Drive and Clarence Town Road (Seaham).

POST OP: ‘Jace’ underwent surgery for a broken arm and broken leg on Monday morning at the hands of Dr Donald Hudson, Noah’s Ark Veterinary Services.

Mrs Aurino said Port Stephens Drive was the usual suspect.

“We had only released a koala on Saturday that had previously been hit there,” she said.

“It had been in rehabilitation for three weeks. Luckily it wasn’t among those injured over the weekend.”

Volunteers have reported that koalas have become active in recent days as they begin to shake off the cooler weather.

“The message for motorists is that breading season has begun early so they’re on the move,” Mrs Aurino said.

“If you see a koala injured don’t delay in calling us. Early intervention is the key.”

Simone Aurino wants more spent on koala habitat protection.

Mrs Aurino urged motorists to store the 24 hour rescue number0418 628 483 in their phones.

“If you hit a koala it can be very stressful and difficult to find the number,” she said.

“This is especially the case at night but people can call us 24 hours.”

The koala strikes come amid planning for a koala sanctuary at One Mile. But Ms Aurino said a hospital alone wasn’t enough.

“We need to be mindful of the destruction of their habitat,” she said.

“This will keep happening until we address it.”

Port Stephens MP Kate Washington echoed the call for habitat preservation.

She’s renewed her call for the state government to buy back the six hectares of land it sold “by mistake” overlapping the Mambo Wetlands.

“The NSW Minister for the Environment talks a lot about the importance of koalas, but there is no practical support on the ground,” Ms Washington said.

“Instead, the government is making matters worse byselling off core koala habitat.

“I again urge the minister to buy back the Mambo Wetlands to prevent the further decline of our local koala population.”

Talk of a buyback has cooled since last year.

The buyer, Maitland aged care developer Phil Unicomb, was in recent weeks said to be in discussions to develop the site.

Meanwhile the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald has said Mr Unicomb must come forward if he truly did want to sell the land back.

Mrs Aurino is among the executive of Port Stephens Koalas.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Vintage members cheering for Perry

Members at The Vintage will look on with pride whenDylan Perry tees it up Tuesday morning in the US Amateur at Riviera Country Club.
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The 22-year-old from Aberdeen has been a beneficiary of The Vintage Junior Golf Foundation, which is funded by donations from club members and the club itself. It has raised more than $30,000 to help Perry become one of the world’s best amateurs, including paying for his tours to the UK and US in the past two years.

“Dylan was introduced to our foundation because, while his family were making great sacrifices, they simply couldn’t meet all his golfing expenses,” foundation chairman Stephen Leathley said.

“We took Dylan on because he fitted the bill of the type of kid we seek to look after – he was not from a privileged background and needed financial assistance.

“In terms of world amateur golf ranks, Dylan is now at 41, having come down from 885 at the beginning of 2016, so he has reached the elite amateur goal we set.”

The foundation, which began in 2010, has also raised $40,000 to help Jack Clarkinto Clayton State University in Georgia.

Perry now lives on the Gold Coast, where Leathley introduced him to a long-time friend and former NSW cricketer Scott Hookey to help“harden his mental edge”, but he still has close contact withThe Vintage.

Leathley said the club’s members followed Perry’s progress closely, including his run to the final of the British Amateur in June.

“Ben Ferguson, one of the other Aussies, he got knocked out, but he took his iPhone around and live-fed it to Facebook, so we were watching it on Facebook in the members’ lounge.

“He’s the talk of the club at the moment. Everyone’s pretty excited to see how he goes this week.He’s just such a humble, gracious young man.”

Perry was a junior motocross champion who broke his leg badly in a crash then switched to cricket and finally golf when he was 14.

Leathley said he had “that X-factor” which could carry him to greatness when he turned professional.

“Dylan swings the club as well as anyone, better than most of them, and whathe’s got between the earsgives him that something special.

“He needed support from someone. It costs a lot of money to go ever there. He’s been over there for nearly three months.

“He is a great role model for young people and is from the same mould as Adam Scott and Jason Day, and he will be a future superstar of this sport like these two.

“He is well and truly loved by allthe members here at The Vintage, and we have been that way about him since the day he got here.

“The day before he left for the UK on his current tour, Richard Mercer had him on the driving range with 20 or so juniors we have in our program and Richard was getting Dylan to show the kids how to hit a range of golf shots.The kids lovedhim, and they all want to be like him.”

Perry will hit off in the second last group at along, tough Riviera layout at 2.21pm Monday California time (7.21am Tuesday AEST) in what are forecast to be sunny, benign conditions.


Vintage members cheering for Perry TweetFacebook Blake Windred at the Canadian AmateurCharlestown’s Blake Windred is onhis way home from North America after tying for 35that the Canadian Amateur Championship in Toronto on Sunday. The teenager shot rounds of 73, 70, 72, 71 in a field of 270.

“Again not the result I wanted, but another cut made andhit it great. Just didn’t make the putts,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Played a lot better than what the score showed this week but learnt a lot playing in another new country.”

Windred is heading to California for a putter fitting at the Scotty Cameron studio before flying home.


European Tour star Andrew Dodt has joined theHunter contingent atthe co-sanctioned $1.5million Fiji International this week as the Australasian PGA Tour swings back into action after the winter break.

Dodt is 26thon the Race To Dubai money list on €775,258 ($1.16million), almost twice as muchas his previous best season on tour, in 2015, and five times what he earned last year.


Muree’s Steve Hassett was the leading Hunter golfer at the NSW Country Championship in chilly Goulburn, shooting 71 and 73 for a four-over total and 14thplace.

Former Branxton champion Mark Hale, now playing at Mudgee, tied for third at even par, three shots behind the winner, Gungahlin Lakes’ Jake Davies.

Toronto’s David Alexander was 26that eight over, a shot in front of Waratah’s Mick Coutman.

The Newcastle and Hunter River district sides will now contest the NSW Zone 2 Regional Championship this weekend in Taree.

Hunter River are the defending champions in the team event after last year’s championship in diabolical conditions at Magenta Shores.

Newcastle:Warren Gorton,Michael Musgrave,Robert Smythe,Leigh Anthony,Tony Southward (masters);Greg McMillan,Michael Wade,Mick Coutman,Josh Greenwood,David Alexander,Matt Lister (open);Brayden Petersen,Reece Green,Jordyn Ward,Tom De Groot,Luke Ferrier (colts);Brij Ingrey, Josh Robards,Jesse Fittler,Harry Cleare,Caleb Bromley (juniors).

Sanctity of confessional should be breached: royal commission

Changes: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse chair Justice Peter McClellan. The commission has recommended sweeping changes to the criminal justice system to address the almost insurmountable barriers faced by victims.THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has recommended sweeping changes to criminal justice systems across Australia, including breaching the sanctity of the confessional to hold clergy responsible for reporting child sex crimes.
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“Clergy should not be able to refuse to report because the information was received during confession,” said commission chief executive Philip Reid on Monday as the commission released its landmark Criminal Justice report.

Shine the Light: the Newcastle Herald’s complete coverage of the Royal Commission

“The royal commission heard of cases in religious settings where perpetrators who made a religious confession to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness. The report recommends there be no exemption, excuse, protection or privilege from the offence granted to clergy for failing to report information disclosed in connection with a religious confession.”

The report includes a broad range of legislative and policy changes, including reform to police and prosecution responses, evidence of complainants, sentences and appeals, and grooming offences.

The 85 recommendations in the report are in response to what commission chair Justice Peter McClellan described in April as the almost “insurmountable barriers” facing sexual abuse victims in the justice system.

They include the new offenceof “failure to report”, after the commission heard extensive evidence from across the country showing victims and survivors of child sexual abuse reported the abuse both as children, and adults, with little or no response from institutions.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseCriminal Justicereport recommendations responded to lower rates of sexual abuse convictions in the criminal justice system when compared with conviction rates for other criminal offences.

Although the commission had focused on child sexual abuse in institutions, the85 recommendations are likely to improve responses to child sexual abuse in all contexts, Mr Reid said.

Cruise bruised: star hurt in Mission: Impossible stunt

American actor Tom Cruise appears to have suffered an injury while filmingMission: Impossible 6.
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Footage of the stunt, in which the 55-year-old actor takes a running jump between two building rooftops, has leaked online.

The jump falls short, however, and Cruise can be seen slamming into the side of the target building instead of landing on it.

The incident occurred during filming in London this week.

Tom Cruise, mid-air, before the stunt goes wrong. Photo: Screen grab from Sunrise.

Cruise is connected to wires at the time, so there was likely no real risk of a fall during the stunt.

In the footage, the impact looks serious and, once delivered by wire to the roof, Cruise limps away, unsteady on his feet.

The footage was leaked to the tabloid news website TMZ.

While the footage is presumed to be shot by a third party, it is also possible it has been deliberately leaked as a marketing stunt for the film.

Neither Cruise’s personal representatives, nor Paramount, the studio behind the film, have commented on the footage.

Footage of the stunt mishap, in which the 55-year-old attempts to run and jump between two London rooftops, has leaked online. Photo: Francois MoriMORI

The film is the sixth in theMission: Impossiblefranchise, directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

It also stars Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Angela Bassett and Alec Baldwin.

Based on the television series of the same name, theMission: Impossiblefilm franchise has pulled a cumulative box office total ofaroundUS$2.7 billion since its launch in 1996.

Production commenced on the film in Paris in April; aside from London, other filming locations include New Zealand, India and Norway.

The production moves to New Zealand later this month; it moves to Norway before September.

The film will be released in 2018.

Couple vows to divorce if same-sex marriage is legalised

A Canberracouple have vowed to get a divorce, ending their “sacred” 10-year union, if Australia allows same-sex couples to legally marry.
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Nick Jensen and his wife Sarah believe widening the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples threatens the sacred nature of the union and leaves the door open to polygamy.

The Christian couple have beenhappily married for over a decade, have no intention of separating and hope to have more children. For all intents and purposes they have a healthy marriage.

Butin a novel protest against any successful move to legalise same sex-marriage in Australia, MrJensen wrote in an article published inCanberra CityNews on Wednesdaythat they are prepared to divorce.

“My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same sex couples,” said Mr Jensen, who is director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, whichpartners with the Australian Christian Lobbyto offer scholarships designed to develop a Christian worldview and foster leaders in government policy.

Mr Jensen told Fairfax Media that he and his wife entered into their marriage “as a fundamental order of creation, part of God’sintimate story for human history, man and woman, for the sake of children, faithful and for life”.

“And so, if later on in the year the state does go ahead and changes the definition of marriage and changes the terms of that contract then we can no longer partake in that new definition unfortunately,” he said.

Legalising same-sex marriage would undermine “our most sacred institution, and have serious consequences for children who would grow up without a mother or father,” Mr Jensen said.

He also feared that recognising same-sex couples would mean that the definition of marriage could be expanded even further.

“Once you say that marriage is detached from children, [that it’s] just about love, then when three people come to the state and say ‘well we’re all in love’, then the state has no grounds, except unjust discrimination, to say why they can’t get married,” he said.

“When it becomes detached to the child’s right to a mother and a father and the sacred institution that it is, then suddenly it becomes meaningless and those boundaries can’t be put back in place,” he said.

The move is in stark contrast to high-profile celebrities who have vowed not to marry until gay marriage is legalised.

While Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reneged on their promise not to marryin 2014, former Wallabies captainDavid Pocock and his partner Emma Palandri pledged in 2011to not get married until same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.

Trump presidency like having Charlie Sheen in charge of Hollywood

DONALD Trump is often portrayed as the devil incarnate in global media with notable negative focus in Australia that borders on obsession and that’s not just fake news.
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But experienced Australian and US agribusiness consultant David Farley says a major contrast is occurring at grass roots level in regional America, where lived reality is contradicting the media’s constant, frenzied attack on the US president.

The former Australian Agricultural Company boss has had an extensive relationship with the US over 35 years.

He returned home from a fact finding mission and consulting contract – from May to the end of last month – with some strong impressions on the current political landscape in America and its impact on farming with flow on effects for Australian agriculture, which he shared with Fairfax Agricultural Media.

Mr Farley said on the ground in the US “things are getting done” at a rapid rate and the shift in political dynamics, following Mr Trump’s election late last year, is being reflected in the powerful agricultural nation’s improved economic standing with job creation.

“The Trump effects and views within regional and rural America are totally inversed to those within the major west and east coast cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York,” he said.

“Donald Trump is being heralded as a man of trade, a man of regional infrastructure spending and a man of his word, making ‘America First’.

“And his slogan ‘Making America Great Again’ is still resonating across regional America.

“There is a great confidence in Trump as being a leader for the working class man, as a leader for USA international trade and more equitable trade agreements for America.”

Mr Farley said Mr Trump didn’t break the recent US droughts, didn’t create the international demand for American agricultural products and didn’t set monetary policies to deflate the US dollar.

David Farley (right) on his recent US fact finding mission with Terry Houchin, a cotton farmer and soft agricultural commodity investor from Bakersfield, California.

But he said the new President was enjoying the political and domestic “applause” for his performance across regional America, including the farm sector.

“Within regional US, Donald Trump is revered as a President for America and not a President for the world,” he said.

“Regional American is of the notion that a healthy prospering America is good for the world.

“One dry laconic West Texas cotton producer summarised the Trump presidency as ‘like having Charlie Sheen in charge of Hollywood’,” he said.

“He told me the new President was ‘shaking things up in an immediate and ill-mannered way – yet we like it’.”

Mr Farley said an “interesting” observation of social change had also evolved within regional communities across the US.

He said with 20-plus years of war and conflict engagement in the middle east engaging millions of Americans – on either the front line or support within the war logistics supply chain – and the brutal personal reality of the 2009-2016 financial recession, a regional society had developed across a wide age group of 25 to 60 year olds, with a greater emotional intelligence of their personal and regional purpose of being.

“Regional Americans believe they are a greater necessity to the prosperity of America than ever before,” he said.

“It was regional America that voted Trump into the presidency and its Trump’s commitment to making America great again that is fuelling their bellies to improve productive output and their personal wellbeing.

“Regional America is about securing American safety, productivity, export and profit, and other issues, like fringe social issues, if necessary, can be discussed after church on Sunday.”

In his 35 year relationship with the US, Mr Farley has owned businesses in California and Texas while managing farmer marketing co-operatives from California through to Tennessee.

His current business Matrix Commodities trades US agriculture physical and derivatives products, meaning his interest in the new political regime must remain proactive.

He said after 35 years working and visiting the US, “I never seen the economy is such great health”.

But there is one very soft under belly to the US economy and its citizens and that is within its inability to structure and offer fair and equitable health services to all its citizens, he said.

Mr Farley said another purpose of his extended recent US trip was to examine other critical events like the long-running Californian drought breaking and how the nation’s agriculture sector was performing after the government’s abandonment of traditional farm support programs.

He said Californian agriculture and agribusiness was now “back in full business” after eight years of drought.

Irrigation water is strong and will remain so for the next few years with storages full and aquifers recharged, “bringing California back to its formidable position as the US and the world’s largest agricultural economy”, he said.

Mr Farley said extensive and large new plantings of almond and pistachio orchards within the San Joaquin Valley irrigation reliant region of California was also notable.

He said the powerful agricultural Valley was also expanding seasonal crops of corn and alfa crops to support a growing dairy industry and long fibre Pima cotton plantings were “pushing out” traditional Acala cottons.

Mr Farley said the Californian drought had seen Australia fill international supply chains over the last half decade for crops like almonds.

But he said Australia’s position would be “quickly retrieved” by Californian agribusiness and producers, with the drought having now broken, taking immediate effect during 2017 and 2018.

More broadly throughout the US, Mr Farley said a combination of profitable farm-gate prices for corn, soybean, cotton and wheat, underwritten by excellent seasonal conditions – from a platform of adopting advanced technologies in both seed genetics and mechanical engineering transacting with high speed data – had put US agrarian farmers in a stronger position to absorb financial cut-backs to historical Farm Bill programs.

He said US protein producers like beef, hogs and chicken had enjoyed good profits from a unique sequence of confident domestic consumer demand, inflated further by excellent export performance into global markets, off a descending USD value

“Production energy charges off low cost oil and gas prices have further supported both farming groups into producing superior profits,” he said.

“Labour costs and productive performance are also impressive and very internationally competitive compared to Australia.”

Mr Farley said US agriculture had a focused business model of sustainability and profit, which was “clearly reflected” in the three levels of government, industry representative bodies and most importantly the Federal Secretary of Agriculture’s office, with a clear mandate of producing, securing and marketing sustainable, safe food for the domestic and international trade.

“US agriculture must produce and market food into the US economy that consumes circa 15pc of the take home pay of the average American – but go beyond 15pc and the effects are immediately felt in the discretionary spend areas of the economy,” he said.

“Australia still has capacity to learn from the intimate relationship that the US has between the producer, consumer and the health of the domestic economy.”

CBA to repay 65,000 customers about $10m for unsuitable insurance

CBA will repay about $586,000 in premiums to 10,000 customers it overinsured when they took out a home loan with the bank. Photo: Louie DouvisCommonwealth Bank will refund more than 65,000 customers a total of about $10 millionafter selling them unsuitable insurance when they applied for credit cards.
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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Monday said CBAsold CreditCardPlus insurance for credit card repaymentsto 65,000 customers who were unlikely to meet the employment criteria and would be unable to claim the insurance.

CBA would also repay about $586,000 in premiums to another 10,000 customers it overinsuredwhen they took out a home loan with the bank.

When a customer signs up for a mortgage, personal loan or credit card, banks often promote consumer credit insurance (CCI), which claims to help cover repayments if they lose their job, get sickor die.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said it was unacceptable that customers were sold insurance that didn’t meet their needs.

“Consumers should not be sold products that provide little or no benefit, and banks should have processes in place that ensure this,” he said.

ASIC said CBA andCommInsureidentified the issue and reported it to the watchdog.

ASIC earlier this month announced that banks had agreed to hold off on selling CCI to customers for at least four daysafter they’d applied for a card in a branch or over the phone, rather than on the spot.

It said thistype of insurance had long been problematic as customers were often unaware they had bought the cover, manyended up being ineligible when they made a claim, and the amount paid out by banks was much smaller than whatcustomers paid in premiums.

News of the refunds comes asCBA announced chief executive IanNarevwill leave the bank by June 30next year, and as it faces allegations it repeatedly breachedanti-money laundering laws.

Gay marriage: Backlash for Canberra couple who vowed to divorce if made legal

Canberra couple Nick and Sarah Jensen had hoped to spread the good word of the gospel when they appeared on the front page of a local newspaper vowing to divorce if gay marriage became legal.
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And that they may have achieved that. But not without instigating a backlash that has so far included:

Being uninvited from their friend’s upcoming engagement celebrationA reply fromMr Jensen’s brotherA massive party in anticipation of the pair’s divorceFake dating profiles depicting Mr Jensen as a gay man Uninvited from a friend’s engagement party: Nick and Sarah Jensen.

The Jensens are devout, practising Christians and Mr Jensen is director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, a partner of the Australian Christian Lobby.Hisfirst-person piece that came to national attention first appeared in Canberra’sCity News.

“My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same sex couples,” Mr Jensen wrote.

But the public outcry thatcame in the article’s aftermath led to consequences for the defiant couple.

One woman, Annie Haggar, discouragedthe Jensens from attending her upcoming engagement party. She and her fiance were high school friends with the pair and both attended the Jensens’ wedding. But when it came to their own ceremony, they ultimately resolved to inform Mr Jensen that”it was best he didn’t come” because he is “better at picking arguments than moments”.

“I’m sure everyone already married or currently engaged knows exactly that feeling, and how joyous declaring and celebrating that with your family and friends is,” Ms Haggar wrote in a piecepublished by News南京夜网419论坛.

“I’m entirely certain Nick and Sarah remember this feeling, too -and it’s a happiness Nick has decided some people should explicitly be denied.That offends me, and pretty much everyone I know.”

Mr Jensen’s own brotherpenned a reply,published byCity News, in which he distanced himself fromhis sibling’s views. But he also criticised the viciousness of the public reaction, saying the debate had “deteriorated” on both sides.

“I disapprove of what my brother has said, but I will defend to the death his right to say it. And your right to respond. But let’s do so in a way that is constructive,” Soren Jensen wrote.

And it’s not just those in the Jensens’ closecircle that have registered their displeasure.

More than 143,000 people have now vowed to attenda mock partytitled “Celebrating Nick & Sarah Jensen’s DIVORCE!” TheFacebook page for the event, hosted by Canberran Jesse Mount, has been inundated with happy snaps of same-sex couples, along with messages of support for marriage equality and condemnation of the Jensens’ stance.

“They [the Jensens]have decided that being married together in a country where it’s legal for a man and a man to marry, or a woman and a women, is just too horrible. They’d much rather be divorced and I think we should all support and celebrate in their decision when the date finally does come,” Mr Mount wrote in the event description.

“We sure hope there won’t be any backing out on their behalf as hundreds upon hundreds of gays and gay rights supporters come to rejoice in the parting ways of these narrow-minded citizens which so many of us are ashamed to call Canberrans.”

Elsewhere, attempts to pillory the Jensens have led toan unknown Sydneysider creatinga profile for Mr Jensen on the gay hook-up application Grindr.

Someone created a grindr profile for the guy in Canberra who wants to divorce his wife to protest #MarriageEqualitypic.twitter南京夜网/t360v87S7e

— mat whitehead (@matwhi) June 13, 2015

“Married man soon to be back on the market,” the fake profile announces. “Just looking for NSA [no strings attached] and must be discreet. Live in Canberra but in Sydney for a few days – love this gay city!”

For those playing at home, the profile describes Mr Jensen as a “bear” (gay slang for hairy, larger gentlemen).

Nick Jensen, through a representative from the Australian Christian Lobby, declined to comment for this story.

– with Kate Aubusson

With friends like Lemuel Page…

DECEIT: Steve Josifovski thought he could trust his old school friend Lemuel Page, but eventually became just another of the con man’s many victims. Inset: Page and his then wife Fiona at a Josifovski family function in happier times. EVEN now, years later, Steve Josifovski doesn’t want to believe he was ripped off.
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After all, he and Lemuel Page had grown up together: they’d known each other since kindergarten at Waratah West Public School, spent their weekends together.

“We grew up very close,”Mr Josifovski said. “But when he turned 16 he moved to Sydney and we lost touch.”

Then one day in late 2001, without a word for more than a decade, Page turned up at Mr Josifovski’s family home in Waratah.

It didn’t take long before he was forced to take costly legal action to try to recoup more than $150,000 he invested with Page in shares that never eventuated and property deals. Then, for years Mr Josifovski’sold school mate assuredhim – “I made a bank transfer yesterday” -but repaidhardly a fraction of the original debt.

“Page has perfected his strategy,”Mr Josifovski said. “He’s an expert at taking people’smoney, he doesn’t care who you are.”

In a scathing judgement handed down in August 2010, Judge Margaret Sidis found Page “falsified documents”, “fabricated”evidence, lied about being involved in developments and took money for shares he never bought.

HAPPIER TIMES: Newcastle fraudster Lemuel Page and his then wife, Fiona, at a family function hosted by his old school friend Steve Josifovski who became one of Page’s many victims.

“Mr Page’s capacity for deceit was evident from the proferring of falisified documents to support his defence,”she said.

Judge Sidis ruled in Mr Josifovski’s favour and ordered Page pay him almost $250,000, plus more than $130,000 in legal costs.

Since the judgement became public, people keep calling Mr Josifovski. People he has never met. Fellow victims. Theyreported common and familiar threads.

Page has been up to his old tricks again.His lengthy history of leaving investors short-changed has beenexposed byFairfax Mediawithdozensof people detailinghow they havebeen ripped off by the con man.

Read more: PART 1 -The art of the con and Newcastle fraudster Lemuel Page

Page’s modis operandi is smooth.

He boasts of being a wealthy businessman, doing “high-end”property dealsand has made big money on the stock exchange.

He assured Mr Josifovski, and gave evidence in the court proceedings, that he had links with Theo Baker, adot南京夜网entreprenuer who was number 142 on theBRWRich 200 list in 2001 with an estimated wealth of $130 million.

Mr Josifovski, who runs a successful arcade machine business, was further convinced when Mr Baker signed on as a partner in the first property deal he got involved in to develop a disused Mayfield service station into units.

When contacted by Fairfax Media, Mr Baker said that he knew Page “from the past”and declined to make any further comment.

Since the 1990s, working from Newcastle or Sydney, Page has promoted himself as a financial wheeler-dealer.

His connections in business and real estate circles gave him contacts and credibility. His smooth talking did the rest.

CON MAN: Newcastle fraudster Lemuel Page getting into his luxury Mercedes G Wagon 4WD in The Junction.

“Neither of us had much as kids,” Mr Josifovski said.

“I’ve worked all my life and I was really happy to see he’d done so well.

“He started coming up to Newcastle with some high-end people and he’d call up and ask me to catch up for drinks or dinner.

“It took about six months for him to start talking to me about getting into deals.”

The outward persona Page presented was spot-on. His lifestyle was lavish – luxury cars, expensive watches, a penchant for the high life and plenty of talk about his high-yielding share and property deals.

Trusting his old friend, Mr Josifovski invested $85,000 for share purchases and more than $90,000 for several property deals at Mayfield, South Sydney, Cardiff and Forster.

In the months, then years, that followed, Mr Josifovski found himself continually chasing Page to find out why the developments weren’t proceeding.

BODYBUILDER: Lemuel Page’s long-term partner Newcastle podiatrist Renay Bull.

Page used his notorious delaying tactics, blamed others for the problems, all the while persisting with the fiction that the money was about to arrive from his next deal.

Finally, Mr Josifovski ran out of patience.

Whatever the reason for the deceit, he had no intention of going quietly.

Increasingly unable to get Page on the phone, he first took legal action in the NSW Supreme Court over the Mayfield development.

That was settled out of court. Then he took action against Page in the NSW District Court.

“The sad thing with Lemuel is he is looking for deep friends and love,” Mr Josifovski said.

“When he finds it, he betrays their trust and leaves a trail of destruction.

“It’s why all victims need to speak up and come forward. are not alone.”

A four-day court hearing in August2010heard of fabricated documents, falsified invoices, missing reports, made-up property deals and doctored correspondence.

The nightmare was complete.

Judge Sidis said Page took money from Mr Josifovski claiming it would be spent on developments in Forster, South Sydney and Cardiff.

But Page had no interest in the developments and could not account for the missing money.

She further found that documents presented by Page to support his argument that he purchased shares for Mr Josifovski were “fabricated”.

She said claims by Page that funds were invested in the shares he identified were “obviously falsely supported by fabricated documentation and there was no evidence at all to establish what happened to the funds provided for the shares”.

She went further to say: “I rejected Mr Page as a witness of credit. I preferred the evidence of Mr Josifovski in all circumstances where there was a conflict between them.”

With debts of more than $17 million, Page signed a $180,000 personal insolvency agreement last November – that many creditors argued against – that saved him from bankruptcy.

COUPLE: Lemuel Page and Renay Bull.

Page claimed he only had $200 in the bank and couldn’t repay the millions he owed to former friends and associates.

An unsecured creditors list from 2015 showed Page owed $5.8 million to Sydney cosmetic dentist Dr Angelo Lazaris,$2.8 million to Sydney GPDonald Munro, $90,000 to his long-term accountant Phillip Joannou and $400 to Bartier Perry lawyer Chris Tsovolos.

Dr Munro, who has been involved inseveral developments with Page,did not respond to Fairfax Media’s requests for comment. Neither did Dr Lazaris.

Little detail was provided in the bankruptcy report by trustee Geoffrey McDonaldabout what theloans or investments were for.

Despite his cries of crippling financial stress, Pagestill lives a life of fabulous excess.

The 48-year-old is regularly spotted driving around Newcastlein a luxury Mercedes G Wagon 4WD and Porsche convertible, both worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

By a stroke of good fortune, he and his long-term partner, Newcastle podiatrist and bodybuilder RenayBull, live in a $1.2 million apartment overlooking Newcastle Beach.

Lies, theft and betrayal by mateIn 2016, Pagewas forced to sell numerous properties following a Supreme Court order that he had to repay one of his victims $2.8 million– but the apartment was bought by one of Page’s former companies calledParkway One, which is controlled by his ex-wife,Fiona Page.

“In the end I received half a cent in the dollar,” Mr Josifovski said.

“I just don’t understand how with a court judgement on my side that showed everything was fake, everything was made up, why doesn’t someone, somewhere along the way go that this is fraud.”

Page wassentenced to at least eight months’ jail on July 6after he sold a Sydney friend a cubic zirconia that was meant to be a $85,000 diamond engagement ring.

He hasappealedthesentenceand will reappear in the Sydney District Court next month.

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The Herald, Newcastle