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The letter a mother-of-eight left her jealous husband before vanishing for 60 years

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the letter a mother of eight left her jealous husband before vanishing for 60 years

Two days after Daphne Hampstead suddenly walked out on her husband Sidney and eight children in 1958 a letter in her handwriting arrived at his western Sydney home.

‘My darling Sid,’ the 39-year-old began the note. ‘Oh darling what it is costing me to write this letter, you will never know.’

More than 60 years after that letter was written a coroner has ruled that Daphne Hampstead lived until she was 89, dying in Queensland without ever being found.

New South Wales Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott ruled on Wednesday that Daphne had begun several new lives after fleeing her marriage and children.

Daphne caught a taxi from the family’s dairy farm on Cowpasture Road at Bossley Park in the early hours of May 10, 1958 carrying photographs and most of her clothes.

Two days later her husband received the letter in Daphne’s hand inside an envelope with a postmark from nearby Fairfield.

The disappearance of Daphne Pearl Hampstead (pictured) has been solved more than 60 years after she walked out on her husband and eight children. A coroner has found she had moved to Queensland and started several new lives before dying of cancer in 2007 aged 89

The disappearance of Daphne Pearl Hampstead (pictured) has been solved more than 60 years after she walked out on her husband and eight children. A coroner has found she had moved to Queensland and started several new lives before dying of cancer in 2007 aged 89

The disappearance of Daphne Pearl Hampstead (pictured) has been solved more than 60 years after she walked out on her husband and eight children. A coroner has found she had moved to Queensland and started several new lives before dying of cancer in 2007 aged 89 

Two days after Daphne disappeared a letter in her handwriting arrived at his western Sydney home. 'My darling Sid,' the 39-year-old began the note. 'Oh darling what it is costing me to write this letter, you will never know.' The letter's words are reproduced in this image

Two days after Daphne disappeared a letter in her handwriting arrived at his western Sydney home. 'My darling Sid,' the 39-year-old began the note. 'Oh darling what it is costing me to write this letter, you will never know.' The letter's words are reproduced in this image

Two days after Daphne disappeared a letter in her handwriting arrived at his western Sydney home. ‘My darling Sid,’ the 39-year-old began the note. ‘Oh darling what it is costing me to write this letter, you will never know.’ The letter’s words are reproduced in this image

‘I left work today, I just can’t go on,’ she wrote. ‘I thought there was no love left at home for me at all. But I have realised how wrong I was over the last week. 

‘I think it has been a week I shall never forget. I am going away for a while (by myself) don’t worry about me, I will be okay. 

‘I know now I can always come to you for understanding I do wish I had known that before dear.’

Daphne also sent a letter to her daughter Daphne Lillian asking her to look after her father and her younger brothers and sisters. 

Five years later Daphne somehow learned one of her twin sons, 19-year-old Barry, was critically ill in hospital and wrote him a letter postmarked from Wyong on the NSW Central Coast.

She expressed concern for her son but indicated she could not visit him, although she signed off ‘from someone who loves you very much’.   

Daphne was born Daphne Pearl Jones at Cootamundra in the NSW Riverina on July 13 or 15, 1918, and married local boy Sidney Hampstead in 1936.

The couple eventually had eight children: Leslie, Patricia, Marcia, Daphne, twins Barry and Clifford, Helen, and Janet.

They lived at Cootamundra, Tumut, Grafton, Taree, Oxley Island and Muswellbrook where they worked as share farmers before buying their own farm at Scone. 

Financial difficulties forced the family to move to the Bossley Park dairy in 1956, by which time two of their daughters were married and living at Muswellbrook.

‘Daphne was a loving mother who enjoyed cooking and was apparently social and engaging,’ Ms Truscutt found. 

Daphne Hampstead was 39 when she vanished from an old dairy farm on Cowpasture Road at Bossley Park in Sydney's western suburbs. Pictured: Cowpasture Road

Daphne Hampstead was 39 when she vanished from an old dairy farm on Cowpasture Road at Bossley Park in Sydney's western suburbs. Pictured: Cowpasture Road

Daphne Hampstead was 39 when she vanished from an old dairy farm on Cowpasture Road at Bossley Park in Sydney’s western suburbs. Pictured: Cowpasture Road

‘Daphne and Sidney are described to have had a loving relationship however Sidney was possessive and jealous and violent to Daphne.

‘After leaving the farm in Scone and moving to Bossley Park the domestic violence became more frequent.’ 

Daphne worked in the city as a cook – under the name Daphne Hanson or Hamson – and would leave home in the early hours of the morning, returning about 4pm. 

‘However, as time went on her returning hours became later around 10pm and Sidney likely suspected she was having an affair and he became more obsessive,’ Ms Truscott found. 

Daphne Hampstead's family hired private investigator Luke Athens (pictured) to investigate her disappearance

Daphne Hampstead's family hired private investigator Luke Athens (pictured) to investigate her disappearance

Daphne Hampstead’s family hired private investigator Luke Athens (pictured) to investigate her disappearance

Daughter Daphne Lillian found a letter from a man called Eugene who lived in Tasmania and it was speculated her mother had joined him, as he had promised to pick her up from the airport.

However, Ms Truscott heard the letter had been ripped into pieces; whether that was done by Sidney or Daphne was still unknown.

‘Daphne’s departure caused Sidney to be a broken man and he buried his sorrows in alcohol,’ Ms Truscott found. 

He lived with Daphne Lillian from 1963 and in early 1973 moved to Dubbo in the state’s central west where he spent the last six months of his life with daughter Marcia. 

A 2012 coronial inquiry into Daphne’s disappearance found she was likely dead but it could not be determined how or when she died.  

One of Daphne’s granddaughters, Donna Gough, then decided to look further into her fate and hired private investigator Luke Athens. 

In a report Mr Athens found Daphne had changed her name to Daphne Pearl Onslow and modified her date of birth to make herself six years younger.

She moved to Queensland, was living with a plantation farmer called Roy Shaw from at least 1963 and began calling herself Daphne Shaw.

Mr Shaw died in 1972 and Daphne began a relationship with his close friend Raymond Charles Jones who had a daughter Diann. 

Following a ‘celebration’ of her relationship with Mr Jones in 1973, Daphne became known as Daphne Jones.

The couple lived at many locations in Queensland before moving to Maryborough on the Fraser Coast in 2003, a year before Mr Jones died. 

Mr Jones's daughter Diann and her husband Tyrone Green were listed as Daphne's next of kin when she died of cancer at Maryborough Hospital on November 7, 2007 aged 89

Mr Jones's daughter Diann and her husband Tyrone Green were listed as Daphne's next of kin when she died of cancer at Maryborough Hospital on November 7, 2007 aged 89

Mr Jones’s daughter Diann and her husband Tyrone Green were listed as Daphne’s next of kin when she died of cancer at Maryborough Hospital on November 7, 2007 aged 89

Mr Jones’s daughter Diann and her husband Tyrone Green were listed as Daphne’s next of kin when she died of cancer at Maryborough Hospital on November 7, 2007 aged 89. 

After receiving the private investigator’s report, Daphne’s granddaughter Donna met with Diann and Tyrone.

The pair told Donna her grandmother had a ‘magnetic, charismatic personality’ and ‘disliked talking about her past’. 

The family compared pictures of Daphne Hampstead and Daphne Jones and agreed they were of the same woman. 

Diann and Tyrone made statements to the coroner in which they said Daphne had talked of having twin sons but mentioned no other children.

‘She was very guarded about her history,’ Ms Truscott found.

On Wednesday NSW Deputy State Coroner Elaine Ms Truscott (pictured) found Daphne Hampstead, Daphne Onslow, Daphne Shaw and Daphne Jones were the same person

On Wednesday NSW Deputy State Coroner Elaine Ms Truscott (pictured) found Daphne Hampstead, Daphne Onslow, Daphne Shaw and Daphne Jones were the same person

On Wednesday NSW Deputy State Coroner Elaine Ms Truscott (pictured) found Daphne Hampstead, Daphne Onslow, Daphne Shaw and Daphne Jones were the same person

‘Diann reports that in 2006 she saw that Daphne was using a paper shredder and remarks that this was consistent with her experience that Daphne would destroy all things about her past.’

On Wednesday Ms Truscott found Daphne Hampstead, Daphne Onslow, Daphne Shaw and Daphne Jones were the same person. 

‘I note that the notice of Daphne’s death exhibited in the newspaper indicated that she was the beloved wife of the late Roy Jones,’ she said in her findings.

‘Loved mother and mother-in-law of Diann and Tyrone, Ted, Esme (deceased) and Theresa (deceased). The loved Nana of 7 and Great nana of 10.

‘Added to that she was the mother of eight and grandmother and great grandmother from her NSW family.

‘I hope having the record adjusted to reflect that Daphne’s death is properly recorded in some way brings a sense of completeness to both Daphne Pearl’s NSW and Queensland families.’ 

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Woolworths shopper left in stitches after supermarket accidentally delivered 17 KILOS of carrots

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woolworths shopper left in stitches after supermarket accidentally delivered 17 kilos of carrots

An amused shopper has shared the hilarious moment Woolworths accidentally delivered her 17 kilos worth of carrots.

The woman, from Sydney, had purchased just two kilos of carrots in her online order – but she was surprised to find 17 bags among her grocery haul.

In a TikTok video, the customer can be heard laughing hysterically as she filmed the two large shopping bags filled to the brim with carrots.

An amused shopper has shared the hilarious moment Woolworths accidentally delivered her 17 kilos worth of carrots

An amused shopper has shared the hilarious moment Woolworths accidentally delivered her 17 kilos worth of carrots

In a TikTok video, the customer can be heard laughing hysterically as she filmed the two large shopping bags filled to the brim with carrots

In a TikTok video, the customer can be heard laughing hysterically as she filmed the two large shopping bags filled to the brim with carrots

An amused shopper has shared the hilarious moment Woolworths accidentally delivered her 17 kilos worth of carrots

‘Woolworths online f***ed up and sent us 17 kilos of carrots,’ the woman said in her video, before bursting out with laughter.

‘Does anyone eat carrots? What the f***.’

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Woolworths for comment.

The woman quickly saw the funny side as she confirmed she was giving away the root vegetables to her family and friends.

‘I have some family and friends taking some off my hands,’ she said.

The video has since been viewed more than 90,000 times, with dozens of people sharing similar stories about their online order mistakes. 

The woman, from Sydney, had purchased just two kilos of carrots in her online order - but she was surprised to find 17 bags among her grocery haul

The woman, from Sydney, had purchased just two kilos of carrots in her online order - but she was surprised to find 17 bags among her grocery haul

In a TikTok video, the customer can be heard laughing hysterically as she filmed the two large shopping bags filled to the brim with carrots

In a TikTok video, the customer can be heard laughing hysterically as she filmed the two large shopping bags filled to the brim with carrots

The woman, from Sydney, had purchased just two kilos of carrots in her online order – but she was surprised to find 17 bags among her grocery haul

‘I once thought I had ordered eight individual onions without realising it was actually eight kilos,’ a shopper wrote.

One mother said: ‘I ordered and paid for two sweet potatoes, I got 12,’ while another added: ‘I got sent 36 eggs, just wanted 12.’ 

Another woman said she purchased just five single bananas but ended up with 25 while one family revealed they received $45 worth of ginger for free. 

One pet owner said: ‘I ordered 20 cans of cat food and they sent me 168… at least my cats are well fed for a while.’

Many asked the woman whether she had made a mistake by accidentally adding 17 bags of carrots to her order but she insisted she only purchased two.

However, an employee defended the supermarket, claiming she’s noticed a number of customers mistakenly ordering more items than intended.

‘Trust me, I do online orders at Woolies. No one packs this by accident, but it’s relatively common that people order kilos of produce by mistakes,’ she commented on the video.

‘I had someone order 35 bags of mushrooms one time. When they came in to pick up, they said they only meant to order one.’

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Wendie-Sue Dent given 25 years for poisoning partner for $300,000 estate

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wendie sue dent given 25 years for poisoning partner for 300000 estate

A woman who poisoned her partner with a deadly cocktail of morphine, valium and tramadol to claim his $300,000 estate has been jailed for at least 25 years.

Wendie-Sue Dent, 62, was handed the lengthy sentence in the Supreme Court of South Australia on Monday for her shocking murder of her lover David Lawrence.

She had been found guilty in April of murdering her de facto husband inside his Morphett Vale home, south of Adelaide, in December 2015. 

The conviction was handed down despite Dent repeatedly denying the charges.

The prosecution alleged Dent, who lived at Dapto in NSW’s Illawarra region before her arrest, administered Mr Lawrence a mixture of serious medications – including 20 doses of morphine.

Wendie-Sue Dent, 62, was handed the lengthy sentence at the Supreme Court of South Australia on Monday

Wendie-Sue Dent, 62, was handed the lengthy sentence at the Supreme Court of South Australia on Monday

Wendie-Sue Dent, 62, was handed the lengthy sentence at the Supreme Court of South Australia on Monday

She had been found guilty in April of murdering her de facto husband David Lawrence at his Morphett Vale home, south of Adelaide, in December 2015

She had been found guilty in April of murdering her de facto husband David Lawrence at his Morphett Vale home, south of Adelaide, in December 2015

She had been found guilty in April of murdering her de facto husband David Lawrence at his Morphett Vale home, south of Adelaide, in December 2015

A post-mortem examination revealed the toxic levels of morphine alone were enough to kill the 62-year-old.

The prosecution also accused Dent of faking Mr Lawrence’s will.

In sentencing on Monday, Justice Tim Stanley said she had exploited her victim’s love for her own financial benefit.

‘Mr Lawrence was besotted with you,’ he told Dent.

‘Ultimately you killed him for your own financial gain.’

The judge said Dent had preyed on his kindness and generosity and had compounded the hurt caused to the family by continuing to pursue his money.

He rejected suggestions she had acted in a ‘self-induced intoxication’ of opiates that had clouded her judgment.

‘I am not in a position to make a finding as to whether you administered the fatal cocktail or you induced Mr Lawrence to do so, but it makes no difference to your culpability for his death,’ the judge said.

‘Not only did you not demonstrate any contrition or remorse for your crime, but you have compounded the grief and suffering of Mr Lawrence’s siblings by the continued pursuit of Mr Lawrence’s money.

‘Your actions demonstrate your determination to pursue the plan to enrich yourself through his murder.’

The judge said Dent had preyed on David Lawrence's kindness and generosity and had compounded the hurt caused to the family by continuing to pursue his money

The judge said Dent had preyed on David Lawrence's kindness and generosity and had compounded the hurt caused to the family by continuing to pursue his money

The judge said Dent had preyed on David Lawrence’s kindness and generosity and had compounded the hurt caused to the family by continuing to pursue his money 

The judge imposed the mandatory head sentence of life in jail but set a non-parole period of 25 years

The judge imposed the mandatory head sentence of life in jail but set a non-parole period of 25 years

The judge imposed the mandatory head sentence of life in jail but set a non-parole period of 25 years 

The judge imposed the mandatory head sentence of life in jail but set a non-parole period of 25 years, meaning she will not be eligible for parole until 2042.

Outside court, Mr Lawrence’s nephew Blake Lawrence said the family was pleased with the 25-year sentence which meant Dent was likely to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

‘She exploited David. He was a kind, loving, gentle person and she took advantage of that for her own greed,’ he said.

‘She’s a callous, remorseless individual. We’re glad to see her stay behind bars.’

Dent has launched an appeal against her conviction, arguing the guilty verdict was unsafe and unsatisfactory based on the evidence at her trial, including her love for Mr Lawrence and his love for her.

She said the prosecution had also not properly discounted the possibility that his death was an accident.

The appeal court will rule on a date to be fixed.  

Wendie-Sue Dent’s sentencing

Wendie-Sue Dent poisoned her partner David Lawrence, 62, in 2015 with a toxic cocktail of drugs including morphine, valium and tramadol. 

The Crown alleged she murdered Mr Lawrence and faked his will to claim his $300,000 estate.

A post-mortem examination revealed the toxic levels of morphine alone were enough to kill the 62-year-old. 

Justice Tim Stanley said Dent had shown no remorse or contrition and had exploited Mr Lawrence’s love for her own financial benefit.

‘Ultimately you killed him for your own financial gain,’ the judge told her.

‘I am not in a position to make a finding as to whether you administered the fatal cocktail or you induced Mr Lawrence to do so, but it makes no difference to your culpability for his death. 

‘Your actions demonstrate your determination to pursue the plan to enrich yourself through his murder.’ 

Mr Lawrence’s nephew Blake Lawrence said the family was pleased with the 25-year sentence which meant Dent was likely to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

‘She exploited David. He was a kind, loving, gentle person and she took advantage of that for her own greed,’ he said.

‘She’s a callous, remorseless individual. We’re glad to see her stay behind bars.’ 

Dent has launched an appeal describing her conviction as unsafe and unsatisfactory on the evidence at the trial.

She claims the pair were ‘besotted’ with each other, had planned to marry and Mr Lawrence had made arrangements for her to be taken care of after his death.

Dent says the Crown had not properly discounted the possibility that Mr Lawrence’s death was an accident.

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Traffic returns to normal in post COVID-19 Australian cities except Melbourne

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traffic returns to normal in post covid 19 australian cities except melbourne

Melbourne is the only city in Australia that has not returned to normal levels of traffic on the roads because of its harsh COVID-19 lockdown, new data reveals.

Foot and car traffic significantly plunged in all Australian cities in March as COVID-19 restrictions came were introduced.

Apple Data, which tracks mobility trends around the world, revealed only in the past two months have drivers slowly returned to the roads with restrictions now softened.

By June, most cities recorded a return to normalcy on the roads – cities like Perth and Brisbane had even higher numbers of cars on the roads compared to pre COVID-19.

Predictably, Melbourne has the worst figures in the country with its September numbers well below average and just as bad as they were seven months ago.   

Melbourne is the only city in Australia that has not returned to normal levels of car traffic as it battles through the harshest COVID-19 lockdown in the country, new data reveals (pictured, a quiet Western Ring Road and Tullamarine Freeway in Melbourne)

Melbourne is the only city in Australia that has not returned to normal levels of car traffic as it battles through the harshest COVID-19 lockdown in the country, new data reveals (pictured, a quiet Western Ring Road and Tullamarine Freeway in Melbourne)

Melbourne is the only city in Australia that has not returned to normal levels of car traffic as it battles through the harshest COVID-19 lockdown in the country, new data reveals (pictured, a quiet Western Ring Road and Tullamarine Freeway in Melbourne)

Public transport has been the worst hit with 85 per cent less commuters catching a train or bus while 65 per cent less drivers are on the roads. 

The city has been locked in Stage Four restrictions since August with residents not allowed to leave their homes after 8pm and only one person allowed to shop for each household.  

Melbourne

Car and foot traffic and public transport figures drastically descended in mid March and reached the lowest figures in April.

Public transportation fell by a staggering 90 per cent while car and foot traffic dropped by 80 per cent.

Apple Data showed public transport, car and foot traffic in Melbourne are still well below average in September

Apple Data showed public transport, car and foot traffic in Melbourne are still well below average in September

Apple Data showed public transport, car and foot traffic in Melbourne are still well below average in September

More drivers slowly returned to the roads over the coming months as restrictions were softened in the states (pictured, drivers slowly returned to the roads in Sydney in June)

More drivers slowly returned to the roads over the coming months as restrictions were softened in the states (pictured, drivers slowly returned to the roads in Sydney in June)

More drivers slowly returned to the roads over the coming months as restrictions were softened in the states (pictured, drivers slowly returned to the roads in Sydney in June)

All three modes of transport looked to be on the mend and the number of cars on the road almost returned to normal in June.

Though the figures slowly plunged again with the biggest drops recorded around the time stage four lockdown restrictions were introduced at Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in August.  

Photos from around the same time showed eerily empty freeways and streets with residents forced to stay in their homes during certain hours of the day. 

In September, buses and train drivers are transporting 85 per cent less commuters. 

Sixty-five per cent less drivers are taking to the roads while 58 per cent less people are walking. 

Sydney

Sydney began to experience a dip in public transport and car and foot traffic in mid March, before car traffic returned to normal around June

Sydney began to experience a dip in public transport and car and foot traffic in mid March, before car traffic returned to normal around June

Sydney began to experience a dip in public transport and car and foot traffic in mid March, before car traffic returned to normal around June

Public transport, foot and car traffic figures dropped to their lowest in mid-April.

Public transport fell by almost 85 per cent and foot and car traffic dipped by around 70 per cent.

The roads were on their way to relative normalcy by June with car traffic slowly increasing. 

Though foot traffic and public transport have remained well below the average into September.

Around 30 per cent less people are walking while 50 per cent less commuters are catching the train or bus.  

Brisbane

Brisbane recorded its lowest public transport, foot and car traffic figures in mid April.

Cities like Perth and Brisbane even recorded higher numbers of people driving on the road compared to pre COVID-19 (pictured, traffic at the Queensland border in March as COVID-19 panic and restrictions began to sink in)

Cities like Perth and Brisbane even recorded higher numbers of people driving on the road compared to pre COVID-19 (pictured, traffic at the Queensland border in March as COVID-19 panic and restrictions began to sink in)

Cities like Perth and Brisbane even recorded higher numbers of people driving on the road compared to pre COVID-19 (pictured, traffic at the Queensland border in March as COVID-19 panic and restrictions began to sink in)

Public transport, foot and car traffic have slowly been recovering in Brisbane over the last few months with buses and trains still suffering the most

Public transport, foot and car traffic have slowly been recovering in Brisbane over the last few months with buses and trains still suffering the most

Public transport, foot and car traffic have slowly been recovering in Brisbane over the last few months with buses and trains still suffering the most

Public transport fell by almost 85 per cent while foot and car traffic dipped by almost 65 per cent.

The number of cars on the road slowly returned to normal by mid June.

Car traffic figures reached its year high peak of 25 per cent in mid July. 

Foot traffic and public transport figures still remain below average with almost 20 per cent less people on the footpaths and almost 50 per cent less commuters on trains and buses. 

Perth 

Public transport and foot and car traffic all dived in mid-March and reached their lowest points by mid April.

Car and foot traffic plummeted by 65 per cent while the public sector took the biggest hit with a 85 per cent plunge. 

Melbourne has been locked in Stage Four restrictions since August with residents not allowed to leave their homes after 8pm and only one person allowed to shop for each household (pictured, an empty Dandenong Road in Melbourne in August)

Melbourne has been locked in Stage Four restrictions since August with residents not allowed to leave their homes after 8pm and only one person allowed to shop for each household (pictured, an empty Dandenong Road in Melbourne in August)

Melbourne has been locked in Stage Four restrictions since August with residents not allowed to leave their homes after 8pm and only one person allowed to shop for each household (pictured, an empty Dandenong Road in Melbourne in August)

Both car and foot traffic slowly recovered over the ensuing months with both modes of transport returning to baseline by mid June.

Car traffic peaked in September with 40 per cent more vehicles on the road.  

Public transport remains well below baseline with 50 per cent less commuters using the system. 

Adelaide

All three modes of transport began their descent in mid March and bottomed out in mid April.

Car and foot traffic fell by almost 70 per cent and public transport plummeted by 80 per cent. 

Public transport figures still remain below baseline with almost a 20 per cent dip in commuters.

Car and foot traffic sit just above baseline.  

Apple Data does not provide mobility tracking for Darwin, Canberra or Hobart. 

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