NEWS HR

New South Wales police have arrested a New Zealand doctor for allegedly inciting a sexual relationship with an 11-year-old girl and her mother. Dr Murray Govan, a 49-year-old specialist doctor who grew up in Dunedin, is alleged to have sent child abuse material before making arrangements to meet the woman and girl for sex. Investigations led to the man being arrested outside a hotel at Parramatta in Sydney’s west on Wednesday. Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man in March. The man allegedly talked about sexually explicit acts he wished to perform on the child and her 32-year-old mother, separately and together. Police will argue the man, who is living in Coffs Harbour, believed he was speaking to the 11-year-old’s mother. ‘‘The man was taken to Parramatta Police Station and charged with inciting a person as an accessory before the fact to attempted aggravated sexual intercourse of a person between 10 and 14 years of age, and using a carriage service for child pornography,’’ NSW Police said. Dr Govan grew up in Dunedin and studied at the University of Otago, graduating in 1993. He moved to Australia more than 16 years ago, where he runs the Coffs Coast Skin Cancer Clinic. He a Fellow of the Skin Cancer College and is a tutor for the Advanced Clinical Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery as well as a lecturer in the Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine. Skin Cancer College Australasia chief executive Lynette Hunt said the college board met on Friday and suspended Govan’s membership and directorship. The doctor appeared at Parramatta Local Court on Friday. He did not apply for bail, and remains in custody. He will reappear at Parramatta Court on Wednesday.

A contaminated salad containing duck meat is suspected of having killed five residents of a care home for the elderly in southern France. Four women and a man, aged from 76 to 95, died after eating the salad on Sunday night. In all, 20 people at the home near Toulouse suffered vomiting and other symptoms of food poisoning. Twelve of those taken ill are in hospital, but not in grave danger. The salad ingredients, including duck foie gras (pâté), are being examined.

Heartland Group Holdings Limited (NZX/ASX: HGH) has appointed Kate Morrison as an independent director of subsidiary, Heartland Bank Limited.

A woman has been accused of deliberately putting spicy food in the meal of an elderly man while working as a caretaker at an aged-care facility. Kyra Johnson, 30, was arrested by police, following reports she fed an 81-year-old with dementia jalapeño peppers, despite her knowledge he was not accustomed to eating spicy food. Employees at the Village on the Park retirement home allegedly saw Ms Johnson “chop up and place a jalapeño pepper” in a portion of the man’s eggs and feeding them to him, even though he did not require assistance eating. Witnesses reportedly told police they saw the victim “fanning and gasping for air to cool his mouth” after unknowingly eating the jalapeño peppers. Employees alleged it was Ms Johnson’s intention to cause the man pain and suffering. A witness reportedly said: “I hope that is not hot” prior to the meal being served, with Ms Johnson allegedly replying: “I hope it is”. The man reportedly relied on help from employees in the memory care unit. Ms Johnson, who no longer works at the aged-care unit, was arrested and charged with abuse by a caretaker.

A Sydney man is seeking more than half a million dollars in damages from the NSW Government for maliciously prosecuting a false rape claim made against him by his North Shore paediatrician wife. A jury acquitted the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, of rape, domestic violence, assault and other charges in 2017 after Sydney District Court Judge Mark Williams issued a rare Prasad direction. A Prasad direction allows a jury to find a defendant not guilty any time after the close of the Crown in cases where there is insufficient evidence to justify a conviction. On legal advice, the man had pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic violence — relating to an email and damage to his then-wife’s mobile phone (after discovering explicit text messages between her and another man) but the judge dismissed those charges without recording a conviction. The man spent 32 days in jail on remand, an “extraordinarily difficult” experience given he had no criminal record and one that continues to haunt him to this day. “I was never far from ending it all after my release from prison,” he told news.com.au yesterday. “The actions of police were so deliberate and savage that it made me doubt everything.” The judge slammed the case against the man as “most unsatisfactory” and said prosecutors had failed to take into account “cogent and consistent objective evidence” that backed up the man’s claim that the sexual encounter at the heart of the rape charge was in fact consensual. Defence lawyer Greg Walsh told the court the man and his legal team took photographic evidence that corroborated his story and discredited hers to the police, but it was ignored. “Was it ideological, was it wilful blindness? I don’t know,” Mr Walsh said. “All the evidence pointed to the fact that this was an innocent man who should not have been charged.”

Fionnagh Dougan has been appointed as the new joint Chief Executive (CE) for Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards (DHBs). She will start in the role on 1 July 2019.

An elderly woman has suffered an arm injury after she was allegedly pushed by an intruder inside her unit in an Earlville retirement village. It is alleged the 20-year-old Earlville man forced his way into three units at the Ishmael Rd facility last Friday night. He also allegedly tried to get into two other units. He allegedly confronted several of the elderly residents and requested money. The man is due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court later this morning.

A 75-year-old man accused of murdering a 70-year-old woman at a Kāpiti retirement village will remain unnamed for now. The man, who has interim name suppression, was excused from appearing in the High Court at Wellington this morning, Justice David Collins said. He is charged with murdering Edith Roderique between March 4 and 5. Discussions in court today could not be published, but Justice Collins said the matter would be adjourned “for the court to obtain further reports as to how the case will be progressed later this year”. He adjourned the case to a tentative date in May. Police were called to a unit at Coastal Villas retirement village earlier this month, where they found Roderique dead. A spokeswoman for the village confirmed there had been a “serious incident” and that police were investigating.