NEWS-HR

A jilted wife who got into a scuffle with her husband’s ex-lover has been fined $200 for breaching an intervention order against her. Werribee Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard Carmen Hewett had been ordered to stay away from her husband’s former mistress following a heated confrontation between the women over the 2017 affair. Ms Hewett’s defence lawyer told the court the amorous adulterers had met at an aged care home, where Ms Hewett’s mother-in-law lived and the would-be girlfriend worked. The intervention order prevented Ms Hewett from going within 200m of the mistress’s home or workplace. But Ms Hewett’s lawyers said his client had driven her husband — who she had since reconciled with — to visit his mother at the nursing home, parking about 100m away. They did not believe his former lover was rostered on that day. But when the one-time flame arrived at work and saw Ms Hewett’s car nearby, she approached her and started taking photos. An altercation broke out and both women ended up wrestling on the ground with Ms Hewett injured in the scuffle. Magistrate Kay Robertson said breaching an order was a serious offence which carried a maximum penalty of two years in jail. “There is no property in another person — because the victim in this case had an affair with your husband is a matter for you to sort out peacefully with him,” she said. “It doesn’t automatically give you the right to take action directly against the other person. “That’s why the intervention order was put in place and you have breached that order.” Ms Robertson noted there was little chance of future conflict between the women, as the former flame now no longer worked at the aged care home where Ms Hewett’s mother-in-law lived. Ms Hewett was ordered to pay $200 to the court fund.

Carino Care has a s.372 (Application to deal with other contravention disputes) to answer in front of Commissioner Cambridge in Hearing Room 11-5 – Level 11 in Sydney at 2pm (Gajtanouski).

Bounce Back Health Pty Ltd will defend a s.739 (Application to deal with a dispute) before Fair Work Commissioner Platt in his SA chambers (Chok).

Justice Mathew Downs, at the High Court in Auckland, cleared a sex offender’s criminal record after he argued he should be able to work in a rest home. A former teacher convicted of sex crimes against a 12-year-old boy over 30 years ago has won the right to have his criminal record cleared, in a precedent-setting case. The man, who has not been convicted of any other offences since, fought for his name to be cleared in an effort to gain employment as an older people’s carer. The Criminal Records Act, otherwise known as the Clean Slate Act, allows people to conceal convictions dating back seven years or more – providing they aren’t serious offences and didn’t result in jail time. In 2014, a decade since the Bill was passed, more than 100,000 people have had their convictions wiped. However, no case declined in the District Court has ever been successfully appealed to the High Court. The offending in the man’s case dated back to 1986, when he volunteered at a children’s camp where he met the young boy. During that time, the man repeatedly abused the child, which involved forcing him to touch his genitals. He told the boy what they were doing was “entirely natural” and they were “not doing anything wrong”. He was convicted for that offending 10 years later after details of the abuse was reported to police. When spoken to by police, the man admitted he had formed a relationship with the victim but said it was limited to kissing only. He further admitted a fascination with “man-boy” love relationships. He pleaded guilty to the abuse and was given a 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a term of community service. A suspended service means a person is only sent to prison if they offend again or break certain conditions. The man did not reoffend and after a career in another field, he decided he wanted to work in the elderly care sector. This led him to apply for his conviction to be disregarded last year in the District Court. During that hearing, a psychiatrist told the court the man posed a “low risk of re-offending” and work in a rest home would be a “low-risk environment”. That application was declined – with the District Court judge ruling “low risk is not no risk” and said potential employers should know about his past convictions when deciding to employ him. The man appealed the decision in the High Court. Justice Mathew Downs received affidavits from four different elderly care facilities who said they would not employ someone like the man due to his criminal convictions, irrespective of expert opinion. “It is highly likely [the man] will not be able to work in the aged care sector unless his criminal record is concealed,” Justice Downs stated. “[The man] appears otherwise suitable for this type of work.” The New Zealand police asked the judge to pay attention to the fact the man had travelled to Thailand twice – a country known for sex tourism. The judge noted that the obvious risk to allowing the man to do rest home work was him being exposed young children visiting relatives. In his judgement, Justice Downs said he had to balance the likelihood of reoffending against the hardship being faced by the applicant. The judge said the man was “fortunate” to not have been sentenced to prison at the time, which would have ruled him out of applying for a clean slate. “The case is on the cusp,” Justice Downs judgement read. “… It is highly likely [the man] will not be able to work in the aged care sector unless his criminal record is concealed. “Contact in that sector is likely to be limited, and even more likely to be in the company of others. “Offence opportunity is therefore low.” Justice Downs ruled the man’s convictions should be disregarded and his convictions were wiped from his record.

A record number of South Australian paramedics are under investigation following a spike in adverse outcomes, including death, stemming from their decisions not to transport a patient to hospital. In the first calendar year since the $2.4 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital opened, up to 20 “adverse events” were identified, up from about a handful in previous years, according to sources within SA Ambulance Service. In correspondence circulated to paramedics, SAAS management said there was “a large and renewed focus on non-transport decisions as a result of a number of adverse events” that had resulted in deaths. Each event is being investigated, with “absent, poor or incomplete patient assessment and observations” a common theme, according to internal documents. It is unclear how many cases have involved a person’s death. “A preliminary review of these cases indicates there was often a lack of appreciation of the clinical risk associated with the patient’s presentation,” an SAAS memo to staff on December 20 said. The same document, issued by SAAS’s executive director of clinical performance and patient safety, Keith Driscoll, acknowledged that “system-based distractions such as ramping” had upped pressure on paramedics. “However, it is vitally important that we remain focused on providing the safest possible care,” he said. “We have a responsibility to contribute towards addressing this concerning trend in adverse ­patient outcomes.” Ramping — a term used when an ambulance is parked outside a hospital because there are no free beds to treat a transported patient — has been rife at the RAH since it opened in September 2017. The problem is not isolated to the RAH, with one woman developing bed sores after being ramped at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide’s south for eight hours on Monday. Ambulance union boss Phil Palmer said his members were “furious” at the extent of ramping that occurred within a system ­crippled by a lack of capacity. Mr Palmer conceded last year’s rise in adverse outcomes, but said a lack of resources rather than incompetence was behind the problem, which had coincided with a decline in quality assurance and clinical support for para­medics. “We said this pressure-cooker environment would cause mistakes … it’s a human thing,” Mr Palmer said. “There’s absolutely no doubt this whole issue with workload and ramping has already led to adverse incidents and will undoubtedly lead to others. “It’s a failure of the system, it’s not a failure of the individual.” Following Mr Driscoll’s memo to staff, SAAS team leaders held one-on-one meetings with paramedics. The service’s “treat no transport” guidelines were also updated. One paramedic welcomed the focus on education, but questioned whether it was a “box-­ticking” exercise by bureaucrats. The same paramedic said some within the service had ignored protocol requiring them to call for clinical assistance when assessing a patient.

Vivability Inc has a s.372 (Application to deal with other contravention disputes) with which it must deal before Fair Work Vice President Catanzariti in his Sydney chambers today (Clayton).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane will deal with a s.365 (Application to deal with contraventions involving dismissal) in front of Fair Work Deputy President Lake in his NSW chambers (De Maria).

Among any accolades or commendations that come Peter Maher’s way as he retires as Vinnies’ chief in Queensland none are likely to be more precious than a few words from one of his daughters. Looking back over more than 14 years in the chief executive officer’s chair, a comment from Peter’s daughter Belinda was up there among his most cherished memories. “One of the things (I remember) – and I think the highlight of my career, particularly with Vinnies – was when one of my daughters said to me, ‘Dad, I’m so proud of you …’,” he said. “That means more than anything else to a parent. So, that, to me, is what the society’s been about for me. “If that’s the message I’m giving my kids, that’s what’s important. “It’s not how much money I make or what I own or anything else like that. “That’s not what’s important. What’s the example I’ve set for my kids (is important).” Heading into retirement at the end of this month the 61-year-old’s looking forward to spending more time with those kids – Belinda and Juliette – and four grandchildren, with his wife Derrelle.