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Footscray hit-run sees man injured, dog dead in Melbourne

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A man is in hospital with serious injuries and his dog is dead in a hit-run incident in Melbourne.

The 44-year-old local and his dog were waiting at traffic lights in Footscray about 8.30pm on Sunday when they were struck on Ballarat Road, near Gordon Street, police say.

Watch the video above

The car ran into the front of a shop and its four occupants ran from the scene before the man was taken to hospital.

His dog died at the scene. No one in the shop was injured.

The car ran into the front of a shop and its four occupants ran from the scene.

Police arrested a 48-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Footscray, about 10pm. They are in custody and assisting police with their inquiries while the search continues for the other two.

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Police have appealed for witnesses.

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Tense moment postman acquitted of the murder after seven years behind bars walks out of TV interview

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A postman who was wrongfully convicted of bludgeoning an elderly grandmother to death walked out of a television interview when asked about a previous assault conviction. 

Steven Fennell, 60, was sentenced to life in jail for the 2012 murder of Liselotte Watson, 85, inside her Macleay Island house, off the coast of Brisbane.

Fennell spent almost seven years behind bars before the High Court acquitted him of murder in September.  

During a tell-all interview with Seven’s Sunday Night, Fennell stormed off when asked about a previous conviction for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. 

In 1995, Fennell was sentenced to one year and four months behind bars for an attack on his then girlfriend Bernadette Woodward. 

Fennell tied her up with ropes during sex before beating her up, leaving the then 22-year-old with two haemorrhaged eyes and a bruised chest.  

When the incident was brought up during Sunday night’s interview, tensions reached boiling point.

‘No I don’t wish to speak about that at all. I don’t wish to answer one question [about the Bernadette Woodward case], not one question,’ he said before walking out on the interview with Matt Doran. 

‘You didn’t tell me we were going down this road,’ Fennell said to a producer.

‘If you find the interview so boring you’ve got to bring that up.

‘[I won’t say anything] about that particular case. It has no relevance to anything, it’s a grubby piece of media and I won’t participate in it.’ 

During Mr Fennell’s 2013 court case into the death of Mrs Watson, the jury was told he had gone to the Macleay Island police station and requested someone check on his elderly friend on November 13, 2012.

He told officers he was worried about an ’86-year-old lady who he had a lot to do with’, and a note he had left in her letter box about 6am that day – explaining he would miss their normal coffee meeting as he was going to the mainland – was still there in the afternoon, and her door was locked.  

Officers found her dead on the floor of her bedroom with a doona partially wrapped around her.

A pathologist found she had been struck in the back of the head between four and six times with a hammer-like object.

Liselotte Watson, an 85-year-old widower, was bludgeoned to death in her home in 2012

Liselotte Watson, an 85-year-old widower, was bludgeoned to death in her home in 2012

Liselotte Watson, an 85-year-old widower, was bludgeoned to death in her home in 2012

Just days earlier, a toiletries bag filled with banking documents and weighed down by a rock was found floating in the water at nearby Thompson Point.

The discovery was made on November 10 and reported on November 15. 

Police were convinced the murder was a premeditated attack carried out by someone the retired nurse knew.

Despite no forensic evidence being left at the crime scene, police quickly zeroed in on Fennell.

Fennell, a junk mail delivery driver, had struck up a close friendship with Mrs Watson about a year before her death.

The father-of-one would often drop in and have a cup of tea with the elderly grandmother, and also help with grocery shopping and picking up her prescriptions.

Before long, Mrs Watson started to trust Fennell with her money.

‘I just felt [doing her banking for her] was the right thing to do, simply helping out an elderly lady who couldn’t get to the bank,’ he told Sunday Night before he stormed out of the interview.  

While looking for a motive for the murder, investigators discovered there had been abnormally large withdrawals from Mrs Watson’s bank account.

In some cases the withdrawal slips had been altered, even changing $3,000 to $8,000.

Steven Fennell, 60, who was aquitted of the 2012 murder of Liselotte Watson, stormed off mid-interview when asked about a previous assault conviction from 1995

Steven Fennell, 60, who was aquitted of the 2012 murder of Liselotte Watson, stormed off mid-interview when asked about a previous assault conviction from 1995

Steven Fennell, 60, who was aquitted of the 2012 murder of Liselotte Watson, stormed off mid-interview when asked about a previous assault conviction from 1995

When asked if he made the changes between the amounts, Fennell responded with: ‘I can’t say, I can’t say because I’ve already given evidence at the Crime and Misconduct Commission.’

Fennell said he never stole a single dollar from Mrs Watson.

But investigators focused on Fennell as a prime suspect, as he’d already been convicted of fraud in four states dating back nearly four decades.

In one case from when Fennell was 27, he bragged to a newspaper about ripping someone off nearly $250,000.

But he denied this ever happened, and said he made up how much he stole from people.

‘I guess it does [make me an expert liar],’ he said.

But the interview soon turned sour when reporter Matt Doran asked Fennell about an internet search he looked at on the morning of Mrs Watson’s murder.

‘In the morning there is a record of you being logged in on your computer and at some stage approaching 8am you access a website which says “weird places people hide money in their homes”,’ Doran said. ‘A pop-up materialised and you accessed it.’

But Fennell denied this, and claimed he was on the Yahoo homepage at the time and a bait advertising link called ‘do you want a cheaper home loan?’ popped up.

‘I pressed the button and was redirected to ”weird places people hide their money”. How long was I on the website for? If you’ve read the trial and you’ve read the expert’s opinion [I was on there for] less than one second; on and off,’ he said.

‘I’m saying that’s where it linked to. It was the evidence that was presented by the police expert and again a waste of the jury’s time and misrepresented as you’ve done here which is starting to p*** me off.’

Fennell said he went to Mrs Roberts’ house on the morning of her death to return a biscuit tin, but he doesn’t remember exactly when or even if he returned later in the day.

Fennell blames this on a brain condition that affects his short term memory. 

But Mrs Watson’s neighbour Loretta McKie claims she saw Fennell arriving at her home at 2pm on the afternoon police believe she was killed.

Fennell was arrested in March 2013 and found guilty by a jury of murder about three years later

Fennell was arrested in March 2013 and found guilty by a jury of murder about three years later

Fennell was arrested in March 2013 and found guilty by a jury of murder about three years later

Ms McKie said after hearing a bike coming down the street, she looked out her bathroom window and saw Fennell enter Mrs Watson’s house.

‘About 20 minutes later I heard him start the bike up and go again,’ she said.

But Fennell said he doesn’t remember going to Mrs Watson’s house at around 2pm that day.

‘I would have been looking for Mrs Watson because I wouldn’t have been able to raise her because by that time I’ve already taken the biscuit tin back earlier in the morning,’ he said.

‘I’m not arguing I was never there, I’m not debating I was never there. But for that period of time; no.’   

In September, a High Court quashed Fennell’s conviction after finding the prosecution’s case on his motive was ‘extremely weak’ and that his window of opportunity to commit the murder was ‘very small’.

Fennell is now planning to sue the state of Queensland for around $7million.

Steven Fennell (pictured centre with his wife Helen and son Adam) was acquitted of murder in September after spending nearly seven years behind bars

Steven Fennell (pictured centre with his wife Helen and son Adam) was acquitted of murder in September after spending nearly seven years behind bars

Steven Fennell (pictured centre with his wife Helen and son Adam) was acquitted of murder in September after spending nearly seven years behind bars 

WHAT HAPPENED TO LISOLETTE WATSON: 

November 10, 2012: A toiletries bag with banking material belonging to Mrs Watson is found floating in water at Thompson Point

November 12, 2012 – 9am: Liselotte Watson was last seen alive 

November 13, 2012 – 6am: Steven Fennell leaves a note in Mrs Watson’s mailbox to let her know he won’t be around for coffee that morning

November 13, 2012 – 3.30pm: Mr Fennell calls police and asks them to conduct a welfare check after noticing his note was still in Mrs Watson’s mailbox 

November 13, 2012  4:30pm: Mrs Watson is found dead in her home at Macleay Island 

November 15, 2012: A local resident reports finding the toiletries bag to police, who find a hammer in the same location later that day

March 14, 2013: Mr Fennell is charged with murder and taken into custody

March 21, 2016: Mr Fennell is found guilty by a jury and given a life sentence for the murder of Liselotte Watson

March 29, 2016: Mr Fennell launches an appeal 

July 21, 2017: The appeal is dismissed

April 3, 2019: Mr Fennell appeals to the High Court of Australia

September 11, 2019: Mr Fennell’s appeal is granted and he is acquitted of murder and immediately released from prison  

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New tragedy for family of missing Leah Croucher as her 24-year-old brother is found dead

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The family of missing Leah Croucher has suffered more heartbreak tonight after her 24-year-old brother Haydon died in hospital.

The circumstances of his death are not yet clear but his passing was confirmed by distraught father John.

Haydon’s sister Leah, with whom he was very close, has not been seen since February this year and massive police searches and appeals have failed to find any trace of her. 

She disappeared while on the way to work in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.  

Leah Croucher's family face new heartbreak tonight after her 24 year old brother Haydon was found dead (pictured together)

Leah Croucher's family face new heartbreak tonight after her 24 year old brother Haydon was found dead (pictured together)

Leah Croucher’s family face new heartbreak tonight after her 24 year old brother Haydon was found dead (pictured together)

John, a martial arts instructor, told of the family’s devastation at the death of Haydon tonight.

He said: ‘What kind of life is it that you can speak to your son on Thursday evening to reassure him that we all feel the same sadness at Friday 15th, approaching nine months with no news about Leah is a terrible thing to face. 

‘We promise to meet up the following day so we can face it together. Hours later police knock at the door and tell you that Haydon is fighting for his life. 

‘The doctors say the prognosis is bad. You sit by his bedside and watch him deteriorate by the minute. You have to say your goodbyes. 

‘What do you say in that situation?

‘You tell him you love him. You reminisce about funnier times. You beg him to come back to us. 

‘Finally you have to tell him to go and be at peace. 

Haydon's sister Leah, with whom he was very close, has not been seen since February this year

Haydon's sister Leah, with whom he was very close, has not been seen since February this year

Haydon’s sister Leah, with whom he was very close, has not been seen since February this year

Leah Croucher, 19, was last seen in Furzton, Milton Keynes just after 8.15am on February 15

Leah Croucher, 19, was last seen in Furzton, Milton Keynes just after 8.15am on February 15

Police have been combing CCTV evidence in a bid to locate Croucher

Police have been combing CCTV evidence in a bid to locate Croucher

Leah Croucher, 19, was last seen in Furzton, Milton Keynes just after 8.15am on February 15 (right). Her family last saw her at around 10pm the evening before

‘You hold him as he slips away. To say our hearts and minds are broken is an understatement.

‘Haydon was a kind, generous, funny, witty and loving person and in his words an amazingly good looking bloke. 

‘He had a huge heart. He was only 24. Too young to be gone forever. 

‘He has left behind two families and friends that loved him dearly. We will all miss him. Always.

‘Be at peace Haydon. If Leah is up there with you look after each other as always, until we get there. We love and miss you both terribly. 

‘Our world could not be more broken than it is now.’

Haydon had been involved in the search for his younger sister and in May appeared at Aylesbury crown court accused of threatening a man who had dated the 19-year-old.

Miss Croucher's parents John and Claire Croucher held an emotional press conference in February appealing for information. John has now confirmed their son's death

Miss Croucher's parents John and Claire Croucher held an emotional press conference in February appealing for information. John has now confirmed their son's death

Miss Croucher’s parents John and Claire Croucher held an emotional press conference in February appealing for information. John has now confirmed their son’s death

He accepted a restraining order from Judge Francis Sheridan and the prosecution was dropped.

At the time the judge told him: ‘This is a real tragedy. You and your family are entitled to and deserve our utter sympathy’

Leah went missing from her home in Emerson Valley on Friday February 15 this year. 

The night before, she had not told her parents where she had been for 75 minutes.

She was last seen in Furzton, Milton Keynes just after 8.15am and was walking towards work. 

Her mobile phone and bank account have not been used since.

Three witnesses reported that a female that could possibly have been Leah was seen by Furzton Lake, another lake in the city on 15 February, between 9.30am and 11.15am. 

She was reported as being ‘angry, upset and crying’. A search of the lake was carried out but nothing was found.

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Kanye West opens up on spiritual journey at televangelist Joel Osteen’s church

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Kanye West made a highly anticipated appearance at televangelist Joel Osteen’s mega church in Texas on Sunday where he opened up about his faith and his latest album. 

The 42-year-old rapper appeared at the Lakewood Church in Houston where he talked about his ‘journey to his faith’ for about 20 minutes before the crowd of 17,000. 

‘I know God’s been calling me for a long time and the devil has been distracting me for a long time,’ West said when he took to the stage in a smart black suit.

The rapper opened up about his spiritual awakening, saying God gave him visions which inspired his gospel album and the creation of Sunday Service. 

‘When I was in my lowest points, God was there with me and sending me visions and inspiring me. I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a breakdown and there’s documentations of me drawing a church and writing about starting a church in the middle of Calabasas,’ he said.  

Kanye West made a highly anticipated appearance at televangelist Joel Osteen's mega church in Houston, Texas on Sunday

Kanye West made a highly anticipated appearance at televangelist Joel Osteen's mega church in Houston, Texas on Sunday

Kanye West made a highly anticipated appearance at televangelist Joel Osteen’s mega church in Houston, Texas on Sunday

The 42-year-old rapper appeared at the Lakewood Church before crowd of 17,000 where he said: 'I know God's been calling me for a long time'

The 42-year-old rapper appeared at the Lakewood Church before crowd of 17,000 where he said: 'I know God's been calling me for a long time'

The 42-year-old rapper appeared at the Lakewood Church before crowd of 17,000 where he said: ‘I know God’s been calling me for a long time’

The rapper opened up on his spiritual awakening, saying God gave him visions which inspired his gospel album and the creation of Sunday Service

The rapper opened up on his spiritual awakening, saying God gave him visions which inspired his gospel album and the creation of Sunday Service

The rapper opened up on his spiritual awakening, saying God gave him visions which inspired his gospel album and the creation of Sunday Service

Kim Kardashian was sitting in the front row with her daughter North to support West's speech

Kim Kardashian was sitting in the front row with her daughter North to support West's speech

Kim Kardashian was sitting in the front row with her daughter North to support West’s speech

‘Even after that I made the Life of Pablo album and said this is a gospel album. I didn’t know how to totally make a gospel album and the Christians that were around were too beaten into submission by society to not speak up and profess the gospel to me because I was a superstar. But the only superstar is Jesus,’ he said.  

‘All of that arrogance, and confidence and cockiness that y’all seen me use before God is now using for Him,’ West said to the cheers of the crowd. 

‘Because every time I stand up I feel that I’m standing up and drawing a line in the sand and saying I’m here in service to God and no weapons armed against me shall prosper.’ 

Osteen then asked him to speak about worshiping fame and money. 

‘It’s like the devil stole all the good producers, all the good musicians, all the good artists, all the good designers, all the good business people and said, “you gotta come over and work for me.” And now the trend, the shift, is going to change. Jesus has won the victory,’ West said. 

‘Now the greatest artist God ever created is now working for him,’ he added with a smile. 

'When I was in my lowest points, God was there with me and sending me visions and inspiring me. I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a break down and there's documentations of me drawing a church and talking about starting a church in the middle of Calabasas,' he said

'When I was in my lowest points, God was there with me and sending me visions and inspiring me. I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a break down and there's documentations of me drawing a church and talking about starting a church in the middle of Calabasas,' he said

‘When I was in my lowest points, God was there with me and sending me visions and inspiring me. I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a break down and there’s documentations of me drawing a church and talking about starting a church in the middle of Calabasas,’ he said

'All of that arrogance, and confidence and cockiness that y'all seen me use before God is now using for Him,' West said to the cheers of the crowd

'All of that arrogance, and confidence and cockiness that y'all seen me use before God is now using for Him,' West said to the cheers of the crowd

‘All of that arrogance, and confidence and cockiness that y’all seen me use before God is now using for Him,’ West said to the cheers of the crowd

West is expected to return to the church at 7pm for a performance with his gospel choir to perform songs from his latest album Jesus is King

West is expected to return to the church at 7pm for a performance with his gospel choir to perform songs from his latest album Jesus is King

West is expected to return to the church at 7pm for a performance with his gospel choir to perform songs from his latest album Jesus is King

'Now the greatest artist God ever created is now working for him,' West said on Sunday

'Now the greatest artist God ever created is now working for him,' West said on Sunday

‘Now the greatest artist God ever created is now working for him,’ West said on Sunday

West explained he was inspired to turn to faith by his own upbringing where his father took him to church three times a week and his mother took him to church every Sunday. 

‘As I now have a family, I’m 42 years old and married for five years, there’s a blatant responsibility for me to become more like my mother who has gone to heaven and more like my father, who is working in building a water purification center in the Dominican Republic.’ 

West’s wife Kim Kardashian was sitting in the front row of the mega church with their daughter North listening in to his speech.  

The rapper then discussed his latest album Jesus is King. 

‘Closed on Sunday is the hardest record ever made because it’s talking about protecting your kids from the indoctrination of the media,’ West said, speaking on his track Closed on Sunday. 

Osteen asked what advice he’d impart to his younger self. 

‘You know, it’s nothing I can say to the younger Kanye through words. I could speak to the younger Kanye through music… We on they neck. This music coming every month. God is strengthening our hands. We have writers, producers, we’re taking all the most fire producers and bringing them back to God,’ West said. 

West closed out his time on stage with a prayer.  At the end of West’s speech the camera flicked to Kardashian who was smiling in the front row as the crowd applauded the celebrity couple.  

Earlier on Sunday Jenna Bush Hager shared a picture posing with Kardashian following an interview on Kim's time speaking with death row inmate Rodney Reed

Earlier on Sunday Jenna Bush Hager shared a picture posing with Kardashian following an interview on Kim's time speaking with death row inmate Rodney Reed

Earlier on Sunday Jenna Bush Hager shared a picture posing with Kardashian following an interview on Kim’s time speaking with death row inmate Rodney Reed

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Kardashian, along with a slew of other celebrities, have called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stall Reed's death sentence and look into new evidence that could exonerate him

Kardashian, along with a slew of other celebrities, have called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stall Reed's death sentence and look into new evidence that could exonerate him

Kardashian, along with a slew of other celebrities, have called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stall Reed’s death sentence and look into new evidence that could exonerate him

West is expected to return to the church at 7pm for a performance with his gospel choir to perform songs from his latest album. 

‘Kanye and Joel are friends. He’s been wanting to come out for some time and it just worked out for this weekend,’ Lakewood representative Donald Iloff said to the Houston Chronicle ahead of West’s appearance. 

Earlier on Sunday Today show host Jenna Bush Hager shared photos with Kim Kardashian, wearing the same gray oversized suit she wore to Sunday’s church service, following an interview about death row inmate Rodney Reed. 

Kardashian, along with a slew of other celebrities, have called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stall Reed’s death sentence and look into new evidence that could exonerate him. 

Reed, who was convicted for the 1996 Texas murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, had his execution, which was set for November 20, delayed by Texas officials thanks to the protest of high profile figures like Kardashian, Dr. Phil, and Rihanna. 

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday unanimously recommended a 120-day reprieve for Reed. The board’s decision now goes to Gov. Greg Abbott.  

On Friday Kanye West brought his Sunday Service program to the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, ahead of his performance at Osteen’s megachurch. 

The moving service saw inmates raising their hands to West’s music, much of it from his latest album, as the group of 100 singers and musicians performed early Friday morning. 

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