What’s Selling: New suburb record set in Lambton with historic home

SOLD, AGAIN: This Federation home is one of the most well-known in Lambton. It was built in 1919 and has just been bought by its fourth owner. It has been sold three times now, and Scott Purnell has done every deal.
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Lambton’s most significant residence ‘Cartrefle’, at 79 Howe Street, sold for $1.54 million on November 23, setting a new residential sale record for the suburb according to n Property Monitors.

The four-bedroom 1919 residence set on a large corner block was marketed by Dalton Partners’ Mr Purnelland Joanna Cook.

Mr Purnell also sold the propertyin 1997 for $250,000 and in2007 for $525,000.

The previous suburb record for a house sale in Lambton was$1.201 million in 2013.

The pair alsosold 4 Walter Parade, Black Hill, on 2.5 acres last month for $1.7 million to the previous owners of Cartrefle.

McGrath Estate Agents’ Neil Fry sold 7 Sea Cliff Place during the week for aCaves Beach residential record of $2.75 million.

Heath Baird, of Baird Real Estate, described the $700,000 sale of a four-bedroom home at 4 Chapman Street as “unheard of in Cessnock”.

He said the market was moving well in the city with plenty of buyers coming from Newcastle, Sydney and the Central Coast.

First National’s George Rafty sold a four-bedroom home on over 1000 square metres in Charles Street, Cardiff for $660,000.

Meeks Real Estate’s Paul Meeks sold a four-bedroom dual level home in Forest Hill Estate, Garden Suburb for $785,000.

First National Altitude’s Bridgette Audetsold 17 Hillview Crescent, Macquarie Hills for $535,750.

Walkom’s Thomas Hook sold a three-bedroom home in Bernice Crescent, Waratah West for $470,000.

Ray White’s Stephen Dorman sold6B Bonarius Street,Edgeworthfor$470,000 and Dalton Partners’ Anthony Merlo sold a home in Palisade Street, Edgeworth for $580,000.

Nest Realty’s Michael Barber sold 63 Delasala Drive, Macquarie Hills for $480,000.

PRDnationwide’s Joel Soldado sold 79 Fleming Street, Wickham for $740,000, a renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on 207 square metres.

Dalton Partners’ John Kerr sold 6 Hope Street, Jesmond for $615,000. a three-bedroom home on 468 square metres.

McGrath Estate Agents’ Todd Mason sold 140 St James Road, New Lambton, which was marketed with a price guide of $1.25 million to $1.375 million,for an undisclosed sum prior to auction.

A brand new home at 4 Milne Street in Shortland was sold by Street Property Group’s Damon Sellis for $568,000.

Villager Property’s Allyson Little sold 80 Lonus Street, Whitebridge, a four-bedroom home plus studio for $975,000.

Two games out: Marrone receives leniency after ball-boy incident

Adelaide United defender Michael Marrone was last night hit with a four-game ban for knocking down a ball boy during the FFA Cup final but could be free to play next weekend after his near impeccable record was taken into account.
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A Football Federation disciplinary committee found Marrone guilty of serious unsporting conduct for his red-card offence last week but decided to suspend two matches of his sentence on the account of his honest mistake and immediate steps to make amends.

It means Marrone will miss Friday night’s A-League game against Sydney FC but having missed last weekend’s 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, he will be free to play against Melbourne Victory on December 8. A two-game suspended ban will hang over his head for the duration of the A-League season and will come into effect in the event of a similar offence, with details of that penalty to be confirmed on Wednesday.

Represented by interim club chief executive Nathan Kosmina, Marrone suggested he had no intention of colliding with the ball boy during extra time of the FFA Cup final. He apologised for the incident once again and did not contest his mistake, suggesting it was an error of judgment.

“I just wanted to take a throw-in. I was motioning for the ball,” Marrone said. “I thought he was going to just give it to me.”

Marrone’s disciplinary record was taken into account and viewed favourably, having received just one red card in 188 professional games in previously and that was for an unrelated offence. Marrone apologised immediately after the incident and attempted to speak to the boy after the game, but respected the family’s wishes for that to take place later in the week. Marrone did not complain when he received a red card from referee Kris Griffiths-Jones.

Marrone presented an email he sent to the ball boy’s father the day after the game, apologising for the incident. He also made a public statement reiterating his remorse, presented testaments from his teammates, coaches, news articles in his defence as well as character references from a former Adelaide United official.

“He has a very good record for a defender. He also – by all accounts – has a very good reputation as a player,” disciplinary committee chair John Marshall SC said.

However, the disciplinary committee ruled that the incident was worthy of the mandatory ban of one game, plus an additional three, two of which were suspended due to Marrone’s good character and the sincerity of his apologies.

Adelaide United accepted the ban.

“Marrone and the Club are happy with the fair and reasonable result and are looking forward to moving on and to focus on Friday night’s match against Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium,” a club statement read.

Suburb Profile: Wickham

An inner-city suburb undergoing change DEVELOPMENT: An artist’s impression of the view from new complex Eaton on Union, which will comprise 114 apartments.
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HARBOUR LIVING: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and the Commercial Fisherman’s Co-operative Limited are in Wickham.

NEW HUB: The brand new Newcastle Interchange in Wickham was officially unveiled to the public in October. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookSUBURB SNAPSHOTEnjoying a harbourside location, this inner city suburb is on the move.

It is bordered by Newcastle harbour, Tighes Hill, Hamilton and Newcastle West and is hometo around 1100 people.

That figure is set to grow rapidlywith several apartment complexes under construction and more to come.

Historical fact –the first mayor of Wickham was James Hannell.

LIFESTYLENewcastle City Council has identified the suburbas key to the city’s development with a Wickham Master Plan in place.

It is proving a popular place to live for first home buyers, young families, investors and downsizers due to its accessibility to the harbour as well as proximity to cosmopolitan Beaumont Street, Honeysuckle precinct and Newcastle’s cultural centre.

FROM THE EXPERTWickhamis a main beneficiary of the $650 milliongovernment revitalisation projects in Newcastle.

Projects such as the new transport interchange andthe light railare transforming the city centre by strengthening connections between the city and waterfront, creating job opportunities, providing new housing and public spaces connected to better transport.

This has combined with the University City Campus NeW Space and the new law courts to create a vibrant inner city.

Making Wickham an urban villageis one of the aims of the council’s master plan, whichhas enabled the area’s transformation from old industrial sheds to modern state-of-the-art residential apartments.

Improvements in the area have assisted property sales price growth of over 27 per centin the past 18 months.

Buyers are seeing the long-term benefits of living in this inner city hub.

– Presented by Scott Walkom, Walkom Real Estate

Craig Ransley cleared over charges laid following ICAC inquiry into Doyles Creek deal at Jerrys Plains

NOT GUILTY: Newcastle businessman Craig Ransley, right, has been cleared over charges that arose from an ICAC inquiry into a mining deal at Jerrys Plains in the Upper Hunter. Newcastle businessman and mining entrepreneur Craig Ransley has been cleared of wrongdoing, over charges stemming from a corruption probe into the grantingof a lucrative coal exploration licence in the Hunter Valley.
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The same inquiry by the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) led to the high profile jailing of former NSW Labor Minister Ian Macdonald and union boss John Maitland earlier this year.

But District Court Judge Peter Zahra has exonerated Mr Ransley for his role in the deal, throwing out three charges against him of making a false statement to obtain money.

The charges were laid by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions after the ICAC hit Mr Ransley with a corrupt conduct finding in 2013.

The Newcastle Heraldwas unable to reach Mr Ransley for comment on Tuesday.

Macdonald was found guilty of misconduct in public office, after he corruptly awarded the exploration licence to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd in 2008, without a competitive tender process.

The licence was granted to his political ally John Maitland, who was spruiking plans for a ‘training mine’ at Jerrys Plains.

Read more:

Deal signed over suckling pig dinnerFormer union boss John Maitland escapes third trial on ICAC chargesIan Macdonald found corrupt by ICAC again‘You’ve made my day’: former Labor minister convictedMaitland – who has been convicted of being an accessory to public misconduct – went on to secure a $15 million windfall when Doyles Creek Mining was sold to listed company Nucoal Resources.

Mr Ransley was a business associate of Maitland’s and a director of Doyles Creek Mining.

During the judge-alone trial, Crown prosecutors alleged Mr Ransley allowed false statements to be published in the company’s two applications to the NSW Department of Primary Industries for the exploration licence in 2008.

In the applications, Doyles Creek Mining claimed it had signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with community and business partners, which demonstrated broad support for the training mine proposal.

However it has emerged that one of the MOUs – with a Hunter organisation known as Coal Services – never existed at the time either application was made in 2008.

Coal Services is an industry-owned organisation which provides health insurance and training services to the mining industry.

There is also doubt over the existence of an MOU between Doyles Creek Mining and the Hunter Region SLSA Helicopter Rescue Service, better known as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Although the organisation’s board voted in favour of entering into the MOU, a signed copy of the document has never been located.

But in a verdict handed down on Monday, Judge Zahra found that it had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Ransley was at fault for any reference in either of the applications to documents that did not exist.

He said that “in assessing the criminal culpability” of Mr Ransley, it was importantthat the charges only related to “limited alleged criminal conduct” in the context of the broader coal deal.

“It must be kept in mind that the accused is not charged with the offences for which the former Minister Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland were tried and convicted,” he said.

“The evidence may support a conclusion that the accused was aware that Mr Maitland was acting with the Minister Mr Macdonald to circumvent the proper processes in the application for an exploration licence … and he may have been aware that Mr Maitland and Mr Macdonald were acting corruptly.”

But Judge Zahra found that while Mr Ransley had a “strong motive to act dishonestly” due to the financial returns that could be achieved through the coal mine, that did not prove that he knew any of the statements published in the applications were false.

The first application – for consent to apply for a mining exploration licence – was made in March, 2008.

Doyles Creek Mining was then given the green light to lodge its formal application with the department, which it did seven months later in October.

Just before the first application was lodged, the reference to an MOU with Coal Services was removed from a cover letter at the request of Mr Maitland.

However subsequent references in the body of the application were never deleted. They remained in an identical submission lodged in October.

Mr Ransley was on business overseas at the time the first application was lodged, and his lawyers argued he was unable to review the final version of the document on his Blackberry.

Judge Zahra could not determine whythe reference to the Coal Services MOU ended up in the application, but said the evidence did not show that Mr Ransley had any hand in it.

The judge found the negotiations over and signing of both MOUs appeared to be the domain of Mr Maitland.

This was although Mr Ransley was heavily involved in putting together the applications, Judge Zahra found.

“Please ensure you go over this with a fine tooth comb,” Mr Ransley wrote in one email to his colleagues.

“Remember, the department will pull the submission to pieces and try and test our assumptions and operation validity. Otherwise bloody good job by all.”

The general manager of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Richard Jones, was responsible for signing the MOU on his organisation’s behalf.

He told the court if the document hadn’t been signed it was an “oversight” andit was “very likely” he communicated to Mr Maitland the MOU was in place.

“The management of the helicopter acted in such a way that represented to others that such a signed MOU existed,” Judge Zahra found.

It was found the time lapse from when the mine deal occurred to when the charges were laidaffected the quality of evidence from witnesses.

“Had the allegations been brought to light and the prosecution commenced much sooner, it would be expected that the memory of witnesses for details of events would have been clearer,” Judge Zahrasaid.

Appeal against one-year sentence for two ‘stale’ rape offences

A one-year non-parole sentence for a man who twice raped a sex worker at knife point was “manifestly inadequate”, the Crown has argued on appeal.
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But his defence lawyers said the offences were “stale” and the sentence reflected the constructive, law-abiding life he had lived since committing the crimes in 1990.

Robert John Hall was 32 when he called a 23-year-old escort worker to his motel room in Kiama on the NSW south coast. There he taped bandages over her eyes and sexually assaulted her twice while holding a large knife near her body.

“If you do that again I’ll f—ing kill you,” he warned when she tried to turn around.

Police closed the investigation the same year but in 2007 Hall submitted to a DNA swab after he drove off from a Queensland service station without paying for petrol.

The DNA sample linked him to one taken from the woman at Wollongong Hospital and stored on a national police database, leading to a renewed investigation.

After a jury found him guilty last year, he was sentenced in September to a five-year head sentence with a minimum of one year in jail.

District Court Judge Peter Whitford said the case was “highly exceptional”: since the offending Hall had shown “exemplary devotion to his family”, integrity in business and a willingness to volunteer.

“Mr Hall has already established that he can rehabilitate himself, and indeed has,” Judge Whitford found.

“He has become a fully participating, productive member of society.”

Hall, 59, sat slumped in a chair in prison on Tuesday, appearing via video link before the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal as the Crown argued his sentence was far too lenient.

“Both the non-parole term and the head sentence are manifestly inadequate,” a barrister, who did not wish to be named, said.

The Crown said while Judge Whitford had found Hall committed “objectively quite terrible criminal conduct”, other remarks in his judgment showed he had not treated the crimes seriously enough. For example, Judge Whitford had said the sexual assaults took place over a “relatively short” period of time, about 15 to 30 minutes.

The Crown also said Hall, who had claimed the sex was consensual, “has not in any way acknowledged his guilt” and that his sentence failed to reflect his lack of remorse.

But Hall’s barrister, Richard Wilson, said his client should not face a longer prison term, partly because of the “staleness” of the offences committed in 1990.

“It’s so far in the past of the offender that his situation is entirely different,” Mr Wilson said, pointing to Hall’s family ties, age and lack of reoffending.

“His plea of not guilty, and therefore his lack of remorse, say nothing about his prospects of rehabilitation,” Mr Wilson said.

He told the judges that Hall’s giving, positive behaviour “eclipsed” the lack of contrition and that there was less need to deter others from criminal activity where the crimes dated back decades.

Justices Carolyn Simpson, Robert Allan Hulme and Helen Wilson retired to consider their decision. Hall would be first eligible for release next August.