‘You’re a nuisance’: Savage attack on elderly Horsham man

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By , 18/04/2019 12:43

Scroll down to read the letter. AN elderly man has been left shaken after a motorist wrote him a vile letter for allegedly holding up traffic while he walked to get his morning newspaper.

Each morning, Bill O’Connor walks a few blocks from his home in Horsham’s north-westto a service station on Baillie Street.

The motorist alleges in the letter that in doing so, Mr O’Connor, 78, forces him or her to stop and wait.

The motorist,who left the letter at Mr O’Connor’s home, writes that Mr O’Connor “can’t even walk properly”and is a nuisance.

“That’s the fourth time I’ve had to wait for you to walk across the road, why can’t you walk like a human?” the letter reads.

Mr O’Connor’s carer Rod Kennett said his client’s morning walk to get the newspaper was something he had donefor 10 to 15 years.

“He lives by himself, and his routine is to get up and walk to the service station,” he said.“Icare for him every day and get there about lunchtime. On Tuesday last week I got there and he said, ‘I’ve got mail’.

“I was very upset when I read the letter. Bill said he’d had a similar letter before, about two years ago.

“I said to him to take note ofthe car and the number plate, but that’s obviously a bit hard for him to do.

“It just put a lot of thoughts through my mind. Iwas trying to picture if he’s halfway across the road, or if he is stepping in front of the car. But his eyesight is alright.”

RELATED:The content of the letteris confronting but it is real and it’s happening in our backyard | editorial

Mr Kennett and Mr O’Connor reported the incident to police.

Mr Kennett said the incident was hard for both him and Mr O’Connor to deal with and process.

“Iclean public toilets for a living and I’ve seen a lot of things in that line of work; this letter is worse than any of that,” he said.

“An elderly person can’t walk down the street in the country without getting abused.

“It’s a form of road rage, what this person wrote. Their attitude has to change.

“This person knows Bill is going to be crossing the road at that time, but he thinks Bill shouldn’t exist.

“They’re pretty thick-skinned, the older generation, but they shouldn’t have to go through this.”

Mr O’Connor said receiving the letter was hurtful, but said he was tough.

He said it would not deter him from continuing to walk to buya newspaper each day.

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Croker right for Raiders after head knock

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By , 18/04/2019 12:43

After passing concussion tests, Jarrod Croker says he is right to take his place against Newcastle.Canberra captain Jarrod Croker has backed the increasing care around head knocks in the NRL after he was on the end of a heavy hit in round one.

The Raiders favourite has declared himself a certain starter for their clash with Newcastle at GIO Stadium on Sunday night after passing all head injury assessments.

The classy centre was barrelled over by Gold Coast’s Konrad Hurrell during the Green Machine’s 30-28 loss to the Gold Coast.

Croker left the field immediately for assessment, but was given the all-clear to see out the game.

The 27-year-old said he had undergone four tests this week – including a computer-based assessment – to prove his fitness for the Knights.

“It was unfortunate there in round one, but I’m lucky I was okay to be allowed to go back on and I’ve taken all the precautions this week,” Croker said.

“It’s obviously all to protect the player, even though at the time you think you’re alright and don’t want to do all the tests.

“I’ve failed a few ones before so I was pretty happy to pass that one.

“It’s a light-on sort of week after it, but that’s what the rules are and it’s a pretty good thing to stick by.”

While Croker will take his place, Joe Tapine’s dislocated finger sees him go out of the Raiders team that is anxious to make amends for a heartbreaking first-up result.

Croker said there had been no panic in the team despite the loss mirroring some of the close games the Raiders were on the end of last season.

“It was a tough one to swallow first up having a nice lead, then being beaten on the bell was disappointing,” Croker said.

“We’ve spoken about just leaving that on the Gold Coast and getting straight back into it this week.”

Lynch says AFL the focus as big call looms

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By , 18/04/2019 12:43

Victorian AFL clubs are keen to lure Tom Lynch away from Gold Coast, but he says footy is his focus.The AFL’s hottest free agency property has more immediate priorities, with Tom Lynch saying footy is his only focus.

The Gold Coast key forward attracted plenty of attention at Wednesday’s captains’ day and straight-batted a succession of media questions about his future.

Victorian clubs are hovering with massive offers to try to lure him home.

But as the Suns’ co-captain builds his relationship with new coach Stuart Dew, Lynch says all he is worried about is round one.

“I’m just really looking forward to the season starting – we’ve had a positive pre-season; we’ve won two games and Stuart Dew’s been awesome,” Lynch said.

“I just have to concentrate on being the best footballer I am – that’s all I’m thinking about.”

Lynch was asked about the possible timing of talks with Gold Coast on his future.

“It’s pretty early in the season. We’re not even in round one, so I’m more thinking of that rather than the contract,” he said.

He would love a season similar to Richmond star Dustin Martin, who was last year’s free agency focus.

Martin won the Brownlow Medal, the Norm Smith Medal and the club best and fairest as Richmond broke their 37-year premiership drought.

Amid one of the AFL’s greatest individual seasons, Martin also signed a massive long-term deal with the Tigers.

Asked about Martin, Lynch grinned and said: “Brownlow Medallist and every award under the sun – that would be nice.

“Every player will deal with it differently.

“Dusty is obviously a super player and he really blossomed last year – he’s been a super player for a long time.”

Lynch added the speculation about his future had not been tough to handle.

“Not at all – it’s been fine so far,” he said.

“Pre-season, I’ve just put my head down and tried to work hard, implement Stuey’s new strategies and things like that.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bob Murphy predicted the Suns would make this season’s top eight.

The former Western Bulldogs’ captain said Gold Coast reminded him of his old club in 2015, when Luke Beveridge took over as coach and they improved rapidly.

The Suns are yet to make the finals.

“Obviously last year, Richmond came from 13th and the Bulldogs did the same thing, so it can turn quickly,” Lynch said.

“We know we have to work hard … we have a really good group.

“Stuey really cares about his players and he’s been fantastic since he came in.”

The Suns will have to overcome a challenging start to the season, with Metricon Stadium unavailable for a few weeks because of the Commonwealth Games.

“We’re just going to embrace it – we’re looking forward to going over to Perth for rounds three and four, play in the new stadium and spend a week over there together,” Lynch said.

Sharks targeted several players: Green

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By , 18/04/2019 12:43

Gavin Cooper claimed Sharks defenders deliberately targeted and twisted Matt Scott’s knee.North Queensland coach Paul Green says he is disappointed by Cronulla’s reaction to Gavin Cooper’s claim they used dirty tactics before accusing the Sharks of putting “several players” in dangerous positions in tackles.

Angry Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has fired a few shots back at North Queensland after Cooper claimed Sharks defenders deliberately targeted and twisted prop Matt Scott’s surgically repaired knee in the Cowboys’ 20-14 round one win last week.

But Green not only backed Cooper, he claimed Scott wasn’t the only player who was put at risk in tackles by the Sharks.

“It was taken a bit out of context with Coops,” Green said ahead of North Queensland’s Friday night derby with Brisbane.

“We didn’t say they were specifically targeting Matt Scott.

“I think there were several players that were put in dangerous positions with regards to having a couple of blokes on top of them and another swinging off their legs.

“That is in my opinion a dangerous position to get in with three guys hanging off you.

“It wasn’t just Matt Scott’s tackle.”

When told Cronulla forward Wade Graham had claimed the Sharks only used stock standard tackling technique, Green said: “I don’t agree with that”.

Flanagan took aim at Cooper after his claim went public, suggesting people would question the back-rower’s standing in the game if he continued to accuse the Sharks of dirty tactics.

But Green said on Thursday: “We back Coops 100 per cent.

“I am a bit disappointed they (Sharks) want to drag it on.

“But I don’t think Gavin Cooper’s standing in the game should be questioned.

“He’s been a terrific guy for the league and the sport for a long time.”

Scott’s appearance against the Sharks was his first NRL game since a serious knee injury last year in round two.

Scott said he would rather “leave it on the field” when asked this week if his knee had been targeted by Cronulla.

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