16.6 C
Byron Shire
March 31, 2023

Escaped killer to face court

Latest News

Is polluting a lake in a national park to support new housing ok?

From Byron Bay to Evans Head to Casino the questions about how we deal with what is politely termed ‘effluent’, and how that may or may not destroy our local environment, demand real and urgent answers.

Other News

Cartoon of the week – 29 March 2023

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Closing the Gap on Aboriginal health in the Byron Shire

Close the Gap aims to reduce disadvantage experienced by Indigenous peoples with respect to child mortality, childhood education, life expectancy and health.

Ballina council contractor debt waived after company goes bust

The Ballina Shire Council has voted to write off debt owed by a failed private company initially hired to develop six industrial lots six years ago.

Share flood stories at Mullum Farmers Market

To mark the anniversary of the 28 February 2022 flooding of Mullumbimby, which was followed by continued flooding throughout...

Cooler year ‘reprieve’ but trends continue, says Australia’s Environment Report

The latest annual report on the state of Australia’s environment has suggested that 2022’s higher than average rainfall could provide “a reprieve” for Australia and better enable it to cope with the forecast 2023 dry spell.

Corrie’s Frock Shop safe in family hands

Fifty-four years is a long time to be in the workforce let alone in the one business in the one town, but that is how Corrie van Dommele has spent most of her adult life – at Corrie's Frock Shop in Ballina, but now she is about to call it quits.

Escaped psychiatric patient Trent Jennings has been charged with offences allegedly committed while on day release from Morisset Hospital.

Jennings, who was arrested while sleeping in a black Mercedes 4WD in Byron Bay yesterday, escaped a murder conviction on grounds of mental illness after self-administering a cocktail of recreational drugs before tying up and killing a man in a Sydney park eight years ago.

Jennings has been charged with detaining a person for advantage, robbery and car theft.

It is alleged that Jennings stole the car on 29 December, while on day leave from the hospital, after tying up a man he met on the internet.

Police now admit that a series of bungles led to Jennings not having been detained earlier.

‘Clearly, something has gone wrong,’ assistant police commissioner Mark Murdoch admitted yesterday, when it was revealed that Jennings had been stopped by police for a roadside licence check the day he absconded and was issued with fines but allowed to drive on.

‘We did not know Jennings had committed the offences 24 hours before. We did not know he had absconded from Morisset Hospital. The cops, as I say, are not clairvoyants,’ he told media yesterday.

Police commissioner Andrew Scipione will make recommendations to improve communication between the police and health ministers over such incidents, he said.

Questions remain about why Jennings was allowed to leave the hospital alone and why authorities took three hours to alert police after he didn’t return at his appointed time.

Clinical associate professor at Sydney University, Michael Robertson, told ABC radio yesterday ‘it would be a standard of care that you would need to notify police if there was a patient who was a forensic patient who had absconded,’ he said.

But NSW chief psychiatrist John Allan has defended the length of time it took for Morisset Hospital to notify police Jennings had escaped, saying ‘it’s often important to give people a little bit of leeway’.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Appeal to locate man last seen at Casino on way to Tweed

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man from Grafton missing from the North Coast area.

Do you still need help to get two rooms fixed after the 2022 flood?

More than 80 Lismore residents have had help getting a few rooms in their flood-impacted homes re-sheeted and habitable following the devastating 2022 floods.  The...

$15,000 fine and warnings over illegal logging in Kyogle Shire

Urbenville-based logging company Rojech Pty Ltd were fined $15,000 earlier this month over logging operations near the entrance to the Border Ranges National Park in Kyogle Shire.

No street gathering policy for Ballina Shire

A majority of Ballina Shire councillors have voted against a Greens-led motion for a new policy enabling resident-led street closures for gatherings and play.