Notorious gang behind Williams’ death

THE man charged with killing Carl Williams at Barwon Prison on Monday is an enforcer for a gang whose members have terrorised fellow prisoners since the mid-1970s.
Nanjing Night Net

The present incarnation of the gang is known as Prisoners of War. Many of its members have the letters ”P.O.W.” tattooed on their knuckles or arms.

The gang started as the feared Overcoat Gang that dominated Pentridge Prison’s H Division from 1975 until the early 1990s, and has some similarity to the notorious Aryan Brotherhood in American prisons.

Most members of the original Overcoat Gang have died violent deaths but its survivors include its founder Mark Brandon ”Chopper” Read, gunman Amos Atkinson, murderer Greg Brazel, robber Gordon ”Sammy” Hutchinson and bareknuckle bash artist Frankie Waghorn.

The man caught on ”security” film bashing Williams to death on Monday afternoon is a living link with Read’s original Pentridge gang, prison sources claim.

They say the killer entered Pentridge as a teenager shortly before ”Chopper” Read was released in late 1991, and was inducted into the gang because of his size, strength and violent tendencies.

”He was a violent young hood. Very young but big, tall, athletic and muscled up,” one former member of the gang recalled yesterday. Read ”handed him the reins” before leaving Pentridge, he said.

Read’s parting advice to the rising standover man had been to ”stay in one division and to bash all your enemies” as they came through it.

The original Overcoat Gang was so called because its members wore heavy prison-issue overcoats made in the prison. The grey coats had blue patches stitched over the heart of the wearer front and back, so that armed guards on prison towers could ”shoot to kill” more easily in a riot or escape attempt.

The bulky coats offered some protection from makeshift ”shivs” and were ideal for hiding weapons. Read often wore similar coats on the rare occasions he was out of jail in the 1970s and 1980s because he could hide firearms in the pockets.

Read believes young right-wing prisoners were attracted to the gang after he was photographed, as a joke, with two large prison officers wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods.

A Barwon Prison source confirmed yesterday that Prisoners of War is dominated by ”white Australians”. The gang is one of four main groups in prison, the others being ”Kooris, Asians and Middle Eastern” gangs, he said.

”Prisoners of War were more dominant 10 years ago but the other prisoners still talk about them,” the source said.

The prisoner charged over Williams’ death ”is a bit of a nutcase” and could reputedly organise bashings in any part of the jail, the source said. He was one of two men with Williams when the former drug dealer was attacked with an iron bar taken from an exercise bike.

The Overcoat Gang was born in 1975 after a painter and docker gunman, John Palmer, accused Chopper Read of eating extra sausages issued for Christmas lunch. Read denied the accusation and bashed Palmer, allegedly with the knowledge of prison guards, starting a long-running vendetta that became known as the ”Sausage War”.

Another gang victim was ”Mad Richard” Mladenich, attacked with a spade in a labour yard. Mladenich, who refused to give evidence against Read over the attack, survived but was shot dead on Carl Williams’ orders during the gangland war.

Former gang members that are now dead include Peter Simon Evans, John Joseph Price and American citizen Daniel Albert James, who died in a US mental asylum after serving a long sentence in Pentridge.

John Palmer is still alive and last known to be driving a fork-lift on the Melbourne docks. He has given up crime. It is unknown if he still eats sausages.

ICC considers helicopters to ensure all T20 teams arrive

ICELAND’S volcanic eruptions have prompted a desperate International Cricket Council to consider flying England’s players out of the country via helicopter and low-flying aircraft to ensure their participation at next week’s World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean.With air traffic grounded across Europe on account of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat last night told the Herald of plans to charter flights from Dubai to the Caribbean to ensure all players could attend the tournament. Lorgat added that cricketers based in the UK could meet the Dubai charters via helicopters and aircraft not susceptible to volcanic ash.”We will do everything possible to ensure the players get to the Caribbean,” Lorgat said. ”We will find a way to get them there, even if that means chartered flights out of Dubai. There is some optimism that recent test flights could open the door for normal flights to resume but, if not, we will look at all possibilities to ensure the attendance of players from the UK, even if it means getting them to Dubai on helicopters and low-level flights.”Cricket Australia officials are awaiting confirmation of the ICC’s contingency plans for the World Twenty20, which begins on April 30. The team is scheduled to depart on Thursday ”We’re liaising very closely with them but we’re deferring any comment for now,” spokesman Peter Young said.Meanwhile, Iceland’s volcano has done what the NRL could not – tie down Karmichael Hunt. The former league star, now plying his trade in French rugby union, is just one of many Australian and international athletes affected by the Eyjafjallajokull eruptions, having been forced to cross France overland after continental flights were grounded.Hunt was a member of the Biarritz side forced to take the long train trip to Paris for their crunch match against Racing Metro after their original flight was cancelled.He expressed his displeasure before the match, writing on his personal Twitter account: ”Our flight to Paris is cancelled due to ash. we may have to take the Bus, not happy!”The Hockeyroos face a different challenge, having already arrived in Chile for a tournament. Doubt remains over the other participants, apart from the hosts.Perhaps the sport hardest hit has been football. Fulham’s Australian goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer, has seen preparations for his side’s Europa League semi-final against Hamburg thrown into chaos after the players were forced to drive from London to Germany. Schwarzer has called for their opponents to suffer a similar journey for the return leg.Barcelona have also hit the road on the 1000 kilometre trip to Italy for their clash with Inter Milan to keep their Champions League semi-final date. Lyon are planning similar measures if they can’t fly to Germany for their clash against Bayern Munich.Other Australians affected by the ash include tennis players Sam Stosur and Alicia Molik, who need to get to the Ukraine for a Fed Cup World tie.After their FINA World Series event in Sheffield, England, was cancelled, many of the world’s top divers – including Matthew Mitcham – were stuck in Mexico, forcing them to compete again in that country.
Nanjing Night Net

McGlynn out

SYDNEY recruit Ben McGlynn will miss at least the next two weeks after suffering a quad strain during the early stages of last Saturday’s win over North Melbourne.McGlynn remained involved for the remainder of the match and nailed a goal despite the injury, picking up 11 possessions along the way. However, a scan taken yesterday revealed the full extent of the problem, which could see the former Hawthorn forward sidelined for up to four weeks.McGlynn was perhaps the most lightly-hyped of the many new faces to arrive at the SCG over summer but his impact has been considerable, most notably with a five-goal haul against Adelaide in round two.”It’s not great because Ben has been playing really well, but the best part about our forward line in recent weeks is that the goals have been shared around,” Swans coach Paul Roos said.Sebastian Hassett
Nanjing Night Net

Kornes is placed on notice for staging

KANE CORNES has become the first footballer to be officially investigated for staging. Although the 27-year-old has escaped without sanction, Port Adelaide believe he has been placed on notice by the match review panel and could be targeted as a repeat offender.The incident that caught the eye of the AFL’s independent investigator happened in the opening minutes of Sunday’s round-four clash with Geelong at Skilled Stadium in which Cornes fell to the ground after allegedly clashing with Corey Enright.Port were contacted by the AFL on Monday and Cornes was called in by football staff at the club and shown the vision in which the midfielder initially threw his head backwards and then collapsed to the ground. He was not given a free kick.Both player and club insisted, upon examining behind-the-goal vision, that Enright had made contact. The match review panel determined the vision was inconclusive.Cornes was one of four footballers singled out by the AFL umpiring department in its pre-season DVD on rule changes and interpretations.The Herald understands Cornes was also looked at but not officially investigated by the panel following an incident in the round-two game against West Coast. At least one North Melbourne player has also been scrutinised unofficially for staging – one of several footballers looked at this season under the new rules.The rule stipulates that a player found to have staged for a free kick or 50-metre penalty would receive a warning in writing. A second offence would bring a $1600 fine, reduced to $1200 with a guilty plea.The AFL announced in an interestingly worded statement that Cornes had been investigated but not found guilty due to lack of evidence. Media relations manager Patrick Keane’s weekly match review panel report stated: ”The panel said that given the vision available, it could not determine as to whether the player was bumped to the ground, or fell to the ground.” Neither the AFL nor Port Adelaide would comment last night, although the unofficial view from the club was that Cornes could now face constant scrutiny.
Nanjing Night Net

Blues unfazed on Fowler uncertainty

SYDNEY FC insist they won’t be rushed into making a formal bid for Robbie Fowler despite both Perth Glory and North Queensland Fury stepping up their efforts to win the signature of the revered striker.While the Sky Blues are still raging favourites to emerge with Fowler’s signature given his desire for a stint in Sydney, the pace of negotiations has been slower than anticipated.But even though Perth have boldly stated plans to make the 35-year old their marquee player next season and the Fury have expressed their desire to retain him, Sydney are refusing to rush.”We’ve been in talks with his manager [George Scott] since we first established contact about 10 days ago but we haven’t reached a point yet where we’ve made an offer,” club boss Edwin Lugt said. ”It does not force us in to a different process.”Sebastian Hassett
Nanjing Night Net

Indian cricket’s ‘black money’ under scrutiny

NEW DELHI: Investments in Indian Premier League cricket teams are under scrutiny as allegations of corruption engulf the multibillion-dollar tournament.The Indian government has announced a sweeping investigation into ”all aspects” of the IPL’s financing, including complex team ownership and funding structures. The Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said any ”wrongdoers” identified would not be spared.”All aspects of IPL – including its source of funding, from where the funds were routed, how it has been invested – are being looked into,” he told parliament.Taxation officials have already visited the offices of Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, who is under pressure to step down.Mr Mukherjee’s announcement follows the resignation of the Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, over his role in bidding for a new IPL team. He was accused of using his office to help a female friend get a stake in a new franchise in the south Indian city of Kochi. Mr Tharoor, 54, formerly a senior official in the United Nations, was considered one of India’s most talented ministers.More than 40 Australians are involved in the IPL as players, coaches, support staff and umpires. Australian stars including Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey and Andrew Simmons will take part in the finals series of the league starting tonight.Mr Modi dismissed reports on the allegations as ”speculations” on Twitter. ”Welcome all investigation – ready to extend all co-operation,” he wrote.The Mauritius firm EM Sporting Holdings Limited owns the Indian company Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited, which in turn runs the Rajasthan Royals. Shane Warne is the captain-coach of the Royals, winner of the inaugural IPL in 2008.Lalit Modi’s brother-in-law, Suresh Chellaram, holds a 44.15 per cent stake in EM Sporting Holdings, stoking suspicions that Mr Modi may have a hidden stake in the Royals. But the Royals chairman, Manoj Badale, said yesterday there were “no hidden stakes” in the franchise.Senior Indian opposition leaders have called for the IPL to be disbanded. The Communist Party leader, Gurudas Dasgupta, told parliament the league was being used for money laundering and illegal gambling ”under the nose” of the Finance Ministry: ”Players are bought and sold like vegetables. Betting is taking place openly. It is not cricket but an organised gamble.”The former railway minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav, called for the IPL and the governing cricket body the BCCI to be nationalised.The Minister for Indian Overseas Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, called the IPL ”glorified gambling with black money” and demanded an inquiry into Mr Modi’s connections with an opposition party.The IPL’s estimated value has more than doubled in the past year to $4.5 billion, according to the research company Brand Finance, ranking it among the world’s 200 most valuable brands.
Nanjing Night Net

Howard may have bid for top cricket job stumped

JOHN HOWARD’S bid for the vice-presidency of the International Cricket Council hit a major – and possibly terminal – hurdle after Zimbabwe sought to convince fellow council members that the former prime minister did not have appropriate support.The Herald understands Zimbabwe, full-voting members of the ICC, told delegates at a meeting in Dubai that Howard did not have the backing of New Zealand, despite that country jointly nominating him for the vice-presidency along with Australia.Cricket New Zealand is believed to have reiterated its support for Howard – despite initially pushing for a homegrown candidate, Sir John Anderson – but the matter might not end there.An ICC vote on the vice-presidency was deferred to a later date after several members were unable to attend the meeting due to flight restrictions caused by Iceland’s volcanic eruptions. Under the ICC’s rotational policy, an Australasian nominee will take over the ICC vice-presidency in 2010, and ascend to the presidency in 2012.ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat last night denied Zimbabwe were behind a move to block Howard’s nomination, but confirmed ”clarifications were being sought”.”It was felt clarity on the matter was needed and it will be discussed in the coming weeks,” Lorgat told the Herald.Howard was a vocal critic of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe – a patron of Zimbabwe Cricket – during his time in office. In 2007, Howard took the dramatic step of banning Australia’s cricket team from touring the African nation to avoid Ricky Ponting’s men being ”used as propaganda by this appalling regime”.”I don’t think it’s fair to leave a foreign policy decision of this magnitude on the shoulders of young sportsmen,” Howard said at the time. ”I hope the rest of the cricketing world understands that it would be a very good idea if the rest of the cricketing world adopted the same attitude towards Mugabe’s regime.”The ban was the first of its type since 1972, when tours to South Africa were prohibited. Zimbabwe reacted angrily to the decision, denouncing the move as ”desperate” and ”racist”.”This is also a racist ploy to kill our local cricket since our cricket team is now dominated by black players as we slowly transform cricket from being an elite sport,” Zimbabwe’s junior information minister, Bright Matonga, said of Howard’s decision.Zimbabwe have historically enjoyed the voting support of ICC members from the so-called Afro-Asian bloc, and a move to block Howard’s bid for the vice-presidency at the council’s next meeting cannot be discounted.The Herald understands the ICC has no process in place to deal with the black-balling of a presidency nomination, given that regional nominations in the past have always been rubber stamped by the council.
Nanjing Night Net

Cronulla call for partners in bid to save club

CRONULLA officials are set to step up their grand plan to save the embattled club by launching a public campaign for commercial partners in the proposed $110 million development next to Toyota Stadium.Without the estimated $7m a year it could attract to Cronulla’s coffers the debt-ridden Sharks may go under, club insiders say.The future of the Sharks has been the subject of constant speculation, with Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club having an estimated debt of $12m.The development, which would include 145 apartments for over-55s as well as a hotel, a supermarket and speciality shops, is the cornerstone of the Cronulla board’s goal to shore up the club’s future.The Sharks have spent the past five months working with a property consultancy firm in an effort to complete the details of a package to put to prospective joint venture partners.That process is almost finalised, the Herald has been told, and the club will soon begin an expressions-of-interest campaign in a bid to attract potential commercial partners to take to members at the next annual general meeting at the end of next month.The extent of the cash crisis at Cronulla was reignited on Sunday when coach Ricky Stuart said in the wake of a 44-16 loss to Brisbane – the Sharks’ fifth in six games this year – that the club was not spending to the full amount of the $4.1m NRL salary cap.Sharks chief executive Richard Fisk has since said that the club had in fact cut spending on its NYC and NSW Cup sides, not its top 25 players.But the clarification has done little to dull the spectre of gloom surrounding Toyota Stadium, where cash previously leaked by the football club – including pay-outs to past coaches Chris Anderson and Stuart Raper – has left the Sharks in a precarious financial position  and led to mounting speculation that the club could fold.Cronulla chairman Damian Irvine would not comment on the Sharks’ latest efforts to get the hotel and residential development moving but he has conceded previously that the ambitious project, which received approval from Sutherland Shire Council last August, was not “the panacea to our financial problems”.But unless the development goes ahead, the club’s future is bleak. The development, club sources say, would be irrelevant if the Sharks continued to spend in the unrestrained fashion that landed them in a financial heap.The new administration, headed by Irvine and Fisk, has made no secret of its mission to alleviate the club’s cash-flow problems since they took over the reins in the Shire.In their efforts to correct their revenue streams there have been staff cuts, reworking of flawed commercial deals, a vigorous membership drive and cuts to spending on their lower-grade teams.However, it is acknowledged that it will all come to nothing if the development – on land next to the Sharkies Leagues Club car park – does not attract commercial partners and proceed as planned.The club has ruled out selling the land in a straight-out fire sale, with the move seen by the board as a short-term fix that would likely keep them afloat for only two to three additional years.They have 18 months to act on their development application before it expires
Nanjing Night Net

NRL referees stood down over gaffe

NRL referees Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton have been stood down from this weekend’s round of matches after inadvertently sin-binning the wrong player last weekend.Cummins and Sutton were held to account for a poor performance in Parramatta’s 22-8 win over South Sydney on Sunday, which reached its lowest ebb when Eels skipper Nathan Cayless was sin binned following a string of penalties in the second half.Replays showed that Daniel Mortimer and not Cayless had in fact committed the indiscretion when he stripped John Sutton of the ball.”Referees will continue to crack down on teams that continually breach the rules but it is clearly unacceptable for the wrong player to be sent to the sin-bin,” said referees boss Robert Finch, who backed the continued use of the sin-bin.”Referees are accountable for their performances and between the two of them this error should not have occurred.”It is now up to both Ben and Gerard to work their way back into the top grade, which I am sure they will do.”AAP
Nanjing Night Net

Getting physical with Olivia Newton-John

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN was so apprehensive about her risque 1981 hit Physical that she tried to prevent its release, the singer has revealed. ”I didn’t want to do it! I told my manager, ‘Let’s not put it out,’ but he said it was too late, it had already gone to radio and [spent] 10 weeks at No.1,” she explained to the Miami Herald. Newton-John then attempted to tone down the video for the song, which Billboard this year named the sexiest track based on popularity since 1958, by setting it in a gym.”I said, ‘Let’s make it about a workout. I don’t want it to go the other way,’ and yet it worked more in its favour,” she said. ”Everything I did against it seemed to help it. I insisted on wearing my clothes in the shower and then they said, ‘It was so sexy when you showered with your clothes on.’ In retrospect, it’s hilarious.” Newton-John sings a version of the hit with Glee’s villainous cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), for the Golden Globe award-winning show’s new season. But getting physical was not the only career move Newton-John has expressed some doubt about. ”I wasn’t sure about doing Grease, either,” she said.Schooner battle comes to a headWar has officially broken out between the NSW police union and the Australian Hotels Association over public drunkenness. The April issue of Police News carries a cover story on the ”tough stance on drunken violence”. In his editorial, the union president, Bob Pritchard, takes his nightstick to the AHA for ”continually harping on about the need for personal responsibility … anything that takes the focus away from the places that are causing much of the problem – their licensed venues”. Pritchard calls for reduced trading hours and lockouts which have seen a significant drop in assaults in Newcastle. But the AHA has hit back. In the industry publication The Shout, its NSW chief executive, Sally Fielke, seizes upon recent suggestions that there had been a rise in police not recording assaults in Newcastle because of pressure to meet crime targets. In an article ”Lies, damned lies and police statistics”, she declares: ”There is now no way the public, or the industry, can accept the much publicised improvement in assault figures in Newcastle, quoted by the police, as being in any way credible or even vaguely accurate.” Don Weatherburn, of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, points out that the rise in unreported assaults occurred after its evaluation of the Newcastle restrictions.KEEP YOUR SHIRT ONThe last time Bob Hawke and John Howard were in a room together one of them appeared to get down to their underwear, so a public debate tonight between the former prime ministers is eagerly anticipated. Granted, the spectacle is unlikely to be repeated: the aforementioned incident occurred at Hawke’s 80th birthday bash at the Opera House last December and Howard was actually an imposter: the burlesque dancer Gypsy Wood dressed as Howard before disrobing to the God Save the Queen. Tonight’s event, featuring the real Howard, promises to be a more sober affair when they debate ”the future of the global economy” at an Oxford Business Alumni Forum. Despite the potential dryness of the topic, the match-up at the Westin Hotel promises to be a milestone of sorts: Hawke, as PM, famously declined to debate Howard as opposition leader during the 1987 election campaign and the pair have not gone head to head since. In past years the forum has featured Paul Keating, Malcolm Turnbull, Kim Beazley, Tony Abbott and James Packer.TICKER TROUBLESTalkback thunderer Ray Hadley struck an unusually subdued note yesterday morning after being rushed overnight to the swanky Sydney Adventist Hospital, better known as the San. Hadley explained he has suffered from something called a ”right bundle branch block” – apparently a defect in the heart’s electrical system – since childhood. ”It doesn’t mean I’m going to fall off the perch any time soon, they tell me,” he assured his listeners, with perhaps unintended reference to his senior 2GB colleague Alan ”The Parrot” Jones, who has suffered a series of cancer scares. But after what Hadley termed ”an occurrence” at 7.30pm, it was suggested he should be in the hands of the doctors, who gave him the all-clear before they do more tests later this week. ”As Alan Jones once said famously, ‘We don’t do dying around here,’ ” Hadley said. ”Not now, anyway.”KRISTINA ON SONGThe state government’s carpet-bombing of the media with images of Kristina Keneally has extended to cyberspace, where for the past month the Premier has been starring on her very own YouTube channel. There are 18 videos, ranging from appearances on Sky News to her polished ”introduction” piece. The latest episode is an impromptu report to what appears to be a hand-held camera from outside the cabinet room at the Council of Australian Governments. As is YouTube’s habit, at the completion of the video the viewer is invited to click on videos on similar subjects, including the efforts of another famous Kristina – the Slovakian entrant in this year’s Eurovision song contest, singing Horehronie.A BIG DAY FOR THE QUEENQUEEN ELIZABETH II will celebrate her unofficial birthday – otherwise known as her actual birthday – today. But it could be fair to say that any celebrations for her 84th in London this week might be a bit of a season opener. Canada will officially celebrate the landmark next month and England on a Saturday in June. Australia has opted for a Monday in the same month, except for Western Australia, which prefers September. Whichever way, this year marks the first since 1926 where she can claim to have outlived The Sex Pistols’ former manager, Malcolm McLaren, who died on April 8. The band’s God Save the Queen hit No. 2 during her silver jubilee 1977.STAY IN TOUCH . . . WITH HOW GRAY WENT GREYTHE Apple employee who left the next-generation iPhone in a bar has been outed online – and it appears he has kept his job. Gray Powell, of North Carolina State University’s class of 2006, left the 4G phone in the field while testing it last month, the tech blog Gismodo revealed. The top-secret device then made its way into the blog’s hands via a bar stool at the Gourmet Haus Staudt in California after a good samaritan was unable to return it to its owner. The site then sent the web (and probably Apple’s PR team) into meltdown by publishing photos of the device – complete with a rundown of its features including a new camera, higher screen resolution and more mics – online this week.Gizmodo decided to give credit where it was due and identified the 27-year-old who made the global scoop possible. It also revealed his last Facebook status update, as typed into Apple’s new toy, before he apparently got distracted and lost it. ”I under estimated how good German beer is,” Powell wrote.WITH HOT POTSTHE MasterChef effect appears to have smoked the series returns of some of its rivals for the time slot. The reality show attracted an average audience of 1.69 million across five capitals for its return to Channel Ten on Monday night – an average 270,000 more than it scored at its debut last year, OzTAM data shows. That left some previously winning ratings recipes over at Channel Seven looking a lot less appetising. The return of The Zoo at 7.30pm attracted 861,000 viewers, down 41.6 per cent on its season average of 1.48 million last year. Find My Family at 8pm fared even worse, attracting an average of only 762,000 for its return – against a series average of 1.48 million for 2009. MasterChef’s debut did not match Underbelly’s 2.25 million audience, which slid to 1.92 million last Sunday.GOT A TIP?Contact [email protected]南京夜网.au or 9282 2179
Nanjing Night Net