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Call For Criminal List On Ships

Cruise ship captains would be warned if any known sexual predators were aboard, under a plan put forward by Dianne Brimble's family.
The proposal, which would also alert senior crew to any passengers with a history of violence, is contained in a 10-point plan of reforms handed to the Federal Government for greater protection of travellers.
The family say the blacklist would allow security teams aboard liners to keep a close watch on anyone who might pose a threat.
Mrs Brimble, 42, died naked on the floor of a cabin occupied by four men. The cause of death was an overdose of the date-rape drug GHB, or fantasy.
"We as a family have had to suffer and we don't want anyone else to suffer," Mrs Brimble's former husband, Mark said.
The plan calls for tight screening by federal officials of the criminal histories of passengers and crew before liners set sail.
"Vessels should be notified of high-risk felony committers such as rape, sexual assault, abuse, sexual predators, violent behaviour, etc, so that the vessel may take discreet precautionary measures to ensure no acts are committed against either another passenger or a crew member," it says.
The plan calls for a review of crime at sea law to consider forcing ships to return to port to ensure speedy investigation of serious crimes.

The Daily Telegraph (3-07-2006)




 

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Brimble Case Hit By Blunders

THE initial New South Wales police interview with Letterio Silvestri, one of the eight persons of interest in the death of P&O cruise passenger Dianne Brimble, is so flawed it may jeopardise any future criminal proceedings.
Serving and retired senior detectives and a defence lawyer contacted by The Australian yesterday expressed concerns about the crucial interview after it was released by NSW deputy state coroner Jacqueline Milledge.
The "highly unusual" interview was riddled with procedural deficiencies that may be ruled inadmissible in a criminal court, the sources said. NSW water police conducted the interview on September 26, 2002, two days after the Brisbane mother died naked on the floor of the cabin of four Adelaide men, including Mr Silvestri.
An autopsy revealed she had died of a toxic mixture of alcohol and gamma hydroxybutyrate, a drug known as "fantasy". According to sources, it appeared police failed to formally caution Mr Silvestri at the start of his interview, which took place in the captain's lounge while the Pacific Sky was in New Caledonia. There was no formal caution on a written transcript of the taped interview, one former senior detective noted, which is a basic procedural requirement when conducting a record of interview with a suspect in a potential criminal matter.
At the end of the interview, the officers also failed to give Mr Silvestri the opportunity to declare that his answers were true and correct and given of his own free will, another key procedural requirement, the sources said. "Even if the water police officers considered him as only a witness and not a suspect at that early stage, it would appear they took no precaution to make the interview admissible to be used in any criminal proceedings at a later date," a retired senior detective said. The Australian asked the NSW police yesterday if plainclothes Senior Constable Victor Rulewski and Senior Constable Erdinc Ozen of the water police considered Mr Silvestri a suspect or merely a witness at the time of the interview.
Chief Superintendent Peter Dein and a spokesman for NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus said it was inappropriate to comment on issues before the coroner.
Suspicious deaths would normally be investigated by homicide detectives, but it has been revealed police headquarters overruled that after water police said "this is our trip". It is understood that all police overseas travel in 2002 had to be signed off by the police minister.
NSW Opposition Leader Peter Debnam said the revelations raised serious questions about the resourcing and approval of the investigation. "It would seem necessary for the Government to detail the then minister and the commissioner's involvement in the establishment of the initial investigation," Mr Debnam said.
At the Sydney inquest last week, Mr Silvestri said his cabinmate Mark Wilhelm had given Brimble, 42, the drug that killed her and she had "fully consented".
Mr Silvestri had also told police that the alleged date-rape victim was an "overweight ugly dog" who "f..ked up" his holiday.
Ms Milledge on Friday ordered his testimony could not be used against him in court proceedings.

AAP (3-7-2006)
Steve Barrett


Mum's Final Horror

THEY are the last known words uttered by a mother of three left to die a humiliating death on the floor of a stranger's cruise ship cabin.
"I'm not like that -- I don't do that sort of thing," Dianne Brimble is believed to have said -- loudly -- just hours before her death.
The harrowing account of her last moments was recounted to the Glebe Coroner's Court in Sydney yesterday, a day her family described as a "dark day".
Mrs Brimble's family, including her eldest son, Sebastian, endured a traumatic morning at the inquest as a recording of a police interview with one of eight Adelaide men named by police as being persons of interest over her death was played to the court.
They sat motionless as Letterio "Leo" Silvestri described Mrs Brimble as "a fat, ugly dog" and complained that her death had ruined his holiday.
Mrs Brimble's ex-husband, Mark Brimble, said outside the court: "I think this morning was a very dark day for the entire family.
"The last 24 hours we've found extremely, extremely hard, but as every day goes past we're getting closer and closer to the truth. Today has been excruciating and it's not getting any easier for us at all."
Mrs Brimble died on board the Pacific Sky on September 24, 2002, after boarding the ship less than 24 hours earlier.
The inquest has heard allegations she was drugged with a date-rape substance called fantasy and raped before some of the eight Adelaide men photographed Mrs Brimble engaged in sex acts with at least one of them.
Joanne Muller, who said she was trying to sleep in the cabin next door to where Mrs Brimble's body was found, gave evidence yesterday that she awoke some time after 2am to loud noises, talking and a general commotion coming from the next-door cabin.
When asked by counsel assisting the inquest, Ron Hoenig, what she had heard being said, Mrs Muller broke down before saying: "I heard the woman say: 'I'm not like that and I don't do that sort of thing'.
"They were disgusting," she said later, referring to the men in the cabin next door.
The inquest was adjourned yesterday for one week.
The eight persons of interest -- Mr Silvestri, Mark Wilhelm, Matthew Slade, Dragan Losic, Petar Pantic, Ryan Kuchel, Luigi Vitale and Charlie Kambouris -- are expected to be called to give evidence at the inquest later this year.

AAP (17-6-2006)
Lisa Davies


Sex Photos Of Mum Before Ship Death

PHOTOS were taken of a man having sex with a Brisbane woman the night before she was found dead during a luxury cruise, a coronial inquest has been told.
Dianne Brimble, 42, was holidaying with family and friends in September 2002 when she was found dead on the second day of her Pacific cruise.
Ms Brimble's body was found in a cabin belonging to four men she had met the previous evening.
It is believed she died from an overdose of the date rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as GBH, or fantasy.
Police have found photos of one of the men engaged in sexual acts with Ms Brimble shortly before she died.
Family and friends have told Sydney's Glebe Coroner's Court the devoted mother was a very moral person who did not approve of promiscuous sex or drug taking.
"Sex is a sacred thing for her," Ms Brimble's close friend Shauna Conroy told the court.
"She was very conservative in relation to sex."
The inquest, before Deputy State Coroner Jacqueline Milledge, continues.

AAP (9-3-2006)



'Sex Assault' On Drugged Mum

A BRISBANE mother of three was given a date rape drug and sexually assaulted before her death on a holiday cruise, a Sydney coroner's court was told today.
Dianne Brimble, 42, set out on a "holiday of a lifetime" with family and friends on the P&O liner Pacific Sky on September 23, 2002.
That night, Mrs Brimble met a group of eight men at a disco on the ship, Glebe Coroner's Court was told.
The following morning she was found dead in a cabin belonging to four of the men.
Police alleged Mrs Brimble was given the date rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as GBH or fantasy, before being sexually assaulted.
Counsel assisting the coroner, Ron Hoenig, told the court Mrs Brimble died in "absolutely reprehensible circumstances".
"The evidence will clearly show Mrs Brimble was killed," Mr Hoenig told the court.
"(She was) preyed upon by some people, having had administered to her a substance that broke her will or interfered with any ability of her to say yes or no."
The inquest before Deputy State Coroner Jacqueline Milledge continues.

AAP (9-3-2006)



Throw Body Overboard 'Considered'

A Brisbane mother was stupefied and sexually assaulted by fellow cruise passengers who considered throwing her body overboard after she died in their room, a Sydney inquest was told.
Mother of three Dianne Brimble, 42, set out on the holiday of a lifetime aboard the P&O cruise ship Pacific Sky on September 23, 2002.
The following morning she was found dead, apparently of an overdose of the date rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as GBH or fantasy.
Mrs Brimble's body was found in a cabin belonging to four men she had met at a disco on the ship the previous night.
The court was told police had found explicit photos of at least one of the men engaging in sexual acts with Mrs Brimble shortly before her death.
According to police witness statements, one of the men who was staying in the room told another cruise passenger that "some s..t went down last night", and that a woman had died, naked on the floor of their cabin.
He said the men had tried to carry Mrs Brimble back to her cabin but "there was too much traffic around".
According to the witness statement read to the court, the man went on to say they were going to throw her body overboard, but faced the same problem.
They had tried to give Mrs Brimble mouth to mouth before telephoning the ship's medical emergency number, the witness said.
Medical staff pronounced Mrs Brimble dead a short time later.
Counsel assisting the coroner, Ron Hoenig, told Glebe Coroner's Court Mrs Brimble died in "absolutely reprehensible circumstances".
"The evidence will clearly show Mrs Brimble was killed," Mr Hoenig told the court.
"(She was) preyed upon by some people, having had administered to her a substance that broke her will or interfered with any ability of her to say yes or no."
Mr Hoenig read from statements from family and friends of Mrs Brimble, who said the Brisbane woman considered sex a private matter that was an intimate thing between her and her partner.
"She would never entertain the idea of involving herself in any perverse, deviate or experimental sex," Mr Hoenig said.
Others who said they had been close to Mrs Brimble, including her de facto husband of 15 years, David Mitchell, gave evidence to the court today.
They all said Mrs Brimble was a devoted mother and a very moral person who did not approve of promiscuous sex or drug taking.
An ex-husband, Mark Brimble, represented family at the inquest and asked questions of witnesses.
Mr Hoenig said the court would hear evidence from other passengers from the cruise who said the men implied they earned a living from drugs and bragged about bringing drugs onto the ship.
GBH, the illegal drug apparently given to Mrs Brimble, interferes with the body's central nervous system.
It can cause the body to shut down and can be fatal if used in conjunction with other drugs, including alcohol.
Mr Hoenig said the men linked to Mrs Brimble's death also had apparently told passengers a coroner's report had cleared them of any wrongdoing.
They also reportedly said the captain of the liner had apologised to them and offered them a free cruise.
Meanwhile, Depute State Coroner Jacqueline Milledge ordered the subpoena of interviews with Mrs Brimble's family recorded for an upcoming episode of Australian Story.
The inquest continues tomorrow.

AAP (9-3-2006)
Alyssa Braithwaite




 

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