Escaped Australian prisoner recaptured in pub ‘just wanted to see mum’

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Kayd Thorp, 24, took cover in bushland and swam across a Brisbane city creek to dodge search teams in a six-hour manhunt on Tuesday which ended when he was discovered having a pint in a local pub.

“I think his beer was still being poured when they swooped,” an officer told Australia’s Courier Mail newspaper. “He didn’t even get to blow the froth off.”

Thorp was preparing to board a flight to the southern state of Victoria to face charges over the fatal beating of a man in February when he managed to escape his police escorts.

Officers told Brisbane Magistrates Court that Thorp was not handcuffed and fled while officers were checking in their bags.

When he was caught, Thorp said he had only wanted to see his mother one last time before going to Victoria. It was unclear whether he had visited her during his six hours on the run, they said.

Thorp received a six-month term on Wednesday after pleading guilty to escaping lawful custody.

Australian states fight over ownership of giant crocodile

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The crocdile caught in a remote Aboriginal community in Australia's Northern Territory back in 1997. The crocodile caught in 1997. Photo: Splash

The exceptionally large reptile was believed to have been shot after terrorising a town in the Northern Territory during the 1990s.

Jeida Francis, 23, told the Northern Territory News that the deadly saltwater crocodile was caught in Manangoora, an outstation south-east of Darwin.

Mr Francis said that members of the community had seen others even bigger since the monster was shot.

“It was massive. There were three huge ones out there. One of them is still out there at the moment,” Mr Francis said.

“It is pretty well fed,” he said of the dead crocodile. “It took two LandCruisers to pull it out. They have one croc that is still out there. He should be getting to this size by now.”

Mr Francis said his aunt took the photograph.

However, his claims have been disputed by a Queensland man who has claimed that the photograph was taken just four years ago.

Chas Cole, from Katherine, said the image, which has become popular on the internet, came from Queensland.

“It was a friend of mine, who was a structural engineer, who took the photo,” he said.

“It tangled himself on the cables and drowned to death”.

Mr Cole said his friend took the photo half way between Normanton and Karumba in North Queensland.

“He sent me an email and said, ‘look at this’.”

The photograph has also appeared in the Cairns Post in December 2008 with a story claiming that the crocodile was shot in the Albert River, near the border with the Northern Territory.

Plastic bottle catamaran crosses Australian finish line (Reuters)

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By Pauline Askin Pauline Askin – 2 hrs 40 mins ago

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A catamaran made from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles sailed into Sydney Harbour on Monday after spending four months crossing 8,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about marine pollution.

The craft “Plastiki” and its six-man crew captured worldwide attention when it left San Francisco on March 20. The 60-foot (18-metre) catamaran was greeted by a flotilla of boats as it sailed through Sydney Heads, the gateway to Sydney Harbour.

“The crew are really very happy because everyone said they’d never be able to do it, you know a boat made of plastic bottles, held together with glue made from cashew nuts and sugar cane, and they did it spectacularly well,” Kim McKay, a spokeswoman for the “Plastiki” told Reuters.

The aim of the project was to draw attention to plastic pollution in the oceans. The designers also wanted to prove that waste can be used as a resource through design and construction.

The project was the idea of skipper David de Rothschild after he read a United Nations environment report on the state of the world’s ocean. De Rothchild, an adventurer and ecologist who founded climate awareness group Adventure Ecology (, is a descendant of the Rothschild banking family.

McKay said the 130-day voyage was reasonably trouble free with the craft standing up well to big seas and strong winds of over 60 knots between Noumea and Australia.

“The crew are elated to be in Sydney. It’s the culmination of four years of planning and hard work,” she said.

De Rothchild named the craft “Plastiki” in honour of the original Kon-Tiki voyage in 1947 by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl who sailed 4,300 miles on a raft made from balsa wood and other materials from South America to the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean.

The “Plastiki” will spend the next month at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

(Reporting by Pauline Askin, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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Real hare causes chaos at Australian greyhound race

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During a race meeting at Shepparton in the southern state of Victoria, a hare unwittingly ran on to the track in front of the racing pack of greyhounds.

Greyhound Ginny Lou spotted the interloper and peeled off from the pack to chase the hare, which managed to escape.

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After reviewing the official footage stewards declared the event a “no race”, according to Melbourne’s Herald Sun.

The $32,000 (£18500) that had been bet on the race was returned.

“Every time Ginny Lou sees a ball or something moving in the wind her ears prick up,” the dog’s trainer, Scott Stefanos, told the newspaper.

“So when she saw the hare, she chased it away and then ran back on to the track to finish the race.

“She was coming third before she saw it, but her little detour meant she ran last, not that it mattered in the end as it was called a ‘no race’.

“She’s pulled up really well and is as happy as Larry, wagging her tail this morning.”

The racetrack owners have sent several staff members to look for the hare. However it is not the first time that curious animals have wandered onto the track. Snakes and ducks have also paid the course a visit.

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