The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia on October 7, 1997 · Page 3
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia · Page 3

Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 7, 1997
Page 3
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THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1997 (Gilford 6sl feaxsomne loa.ii sliark By GLENDA KORPORAAL in London The murdered Australian nurse Yvonne Gilford had a reputation as a fearsome loan shark who hired Filipino heavies to threaten and beat up debtors, according to a Scottish pharmacist working in Saudi Arabia at the time. The Independent newspaper in London says it has seen a copy of the witness statement made by Jacqueline Taylor, who was working in the King Fahd Medical Centre in 1996 while her husband was general manager of a local company. In the statement, Mrs Taylor says her son Derek, who holds a black belt in karate, had been Japanese woman abducted and killed in Cairns By PHILIP CORNFORD Police are hunting a killer who abducted a young Japanese woman in daylight on Cairns's busiest tourist esplanade and murdered her. Dental records confirmed yesterday that a naked body found in a swamp is that of Ms Michiko Okuyama, 22, who disappeared in Cairns 18 days ago. "It's definitely a murder investigation," a police spokesman said. The absence of clothes suggested she might have been sexually assaulted. Miss Okuyama (pictured) was last seen at midday on September 20 getting off a bus on The Esplanade wearing a blue singlet, brief, dark-coloured shorts, red and white thongs and approached by one of the Filipino enforcers and asked if he could fill in for one of them who was on holiday. "Derek told me he was being asked to approach various people to intimidate and threaten them because they owed Yvonne Gilford sums of money they had borrowed from her," she said. "It was common knowledge that persons who were in debt to Yvonne Gilford were followed by the Filipinos, who had been issued with photographs of their victims. "My understanding was that most people who owed Yvonne Gilford money and failed to repay on time were threatened and intimidated and eventually paid carrying a "bum" bag. She posted two letters and planned to go shopping. She did not speak English. Police broke the news to the girl's parents, who flew to Cairns shortly after Ms Okuyama disappeared. "It's a dreadful tragedy for them," police said. Ms Okuyama, a service station attendant in Yokohama, came to Australia in the hope that she could get a job diving on the Great Barrier Reef. "Michiko has been talking to us that her dream is becoming a diving guide to introduce to the world this wonderful Great Barrier Reef," her father, Mikio, said earlier through an interpreter. Her body was found on Saturday morning by a man who had returned home after six days away and noticed a smell of decay coming from a swamp at the rear of his property at Manunda, about two kilometres from where Ms Okuyama vanished. The body had been covered with dried palm fonds and branches and was badly decomposed. Police were waiting on the results of a post-mortem examination to learn the cause of death. A team of homicide detectives from Brisbane has joined the investigation. Ms Okuyama had been in Cairns for 10 days. She had a scuba diver's certificate and was planning to spend a year in Australia developing her skills. Yvonne Gilford, left, Deborah Parry and Lucille McLauchlan. their outstanding debts to her." Mrs Taylor says Ms Gilford took advantage of the failure of the hospital to pay the nurses regularly. Many younger nurses borrowed from her at exorbitant rates of interest Ms Gilford would charge interest of 25 per cent a month. Failure to pay would result in another 25 per cent being added to the debt. Mrs Taylor says she had been told of a nurse who had been beaten by three Filipinos and suffered three broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder because she had not paid her debt Mrs Taylor, who said it was also "common knowledge" that Ms Gilford was a lesbian, says she learnt of the murder after returning home to Scotland. "No-one was surprised by the fact that she .had been murdered," Mrs Taylor allegedly says in the statement. "I think most people expected it to happen long before this." Two British nurses, Deborah Parry and Lucille McLauchlan, were charged with the murder and are being held in a Saudi jail. McLauchlan has been sentenced to eight years' jail and 500 lashes. Parry is awaiting sentence. The Independent notes that the Saudi court which tried Parry and McLauchlan refused to consider Mrs Taylor's statement in its deliberations. Ms Gilford's family refused last night to comment on the loan shark claims. Her brother Frank and her former boyfriend and friends in South Africa where she lived have all denied she was a lesbian or would be engaging in loan shark practices. In a statement in London last night, the accused nurses' Saudi lawyers warned Mr Gilford that he should sign documents waiving the death penalty for Parry and saying his sister was not a lesbian as soon as possible. Mr Salah al-Hejailan said Mr Gilford signed a legally binding contract on September 19 agreeing to sign the statements on receipt of the $US1.2 million ($1.6 million) blood money in a trust fund in Australia. The money was deposited last week. The statement suggests that Mr Gilford may have made further demands. Mr al-Hejailan says that under Saudi law Mr Gilford had already effectively waived the death penalty by engaging in serious negotiations over money. Horseplay . . . Chrissy with Josh Mitchell, right, and the family, above. Photographs by andrew meares i a, . .4 .'.V v. . fif .v : i i Yep, boot-scooting's just ot a lot more horse power By NADIA JAMAL In the cut-throat world of competitive bootscooting, an Australian horse with seven different dance moves is causing a stir in line dancing circles, both here and overseas. Chrissy, an eight-year-old Australian quarter horse mare from just outside Canberra, is set to create line dancing history when she becomes the first four-legged creature to take part in the Australian Line Dancing Championships in Tamworth in January. But an entry form and video of the horse dancing with her human family created a dilemma last week for the producer of the national titles, Mr Joe Mac Manamon. He said it raised important questions about the show's criteria, such as w hether a competitor needs to have tw o feet, could a competitor w ith four feet be included in a team and should Chrissy dance alone or with another dancer? Mr Mac Manamon said he was forced to seek advice from local and overseas experts about her eligibility. "They ail started laughing their heads off and thought it was a joke," he said. Her family were offended when I asked if Chrissy was really a horse. I was told she was not just a horse but also a member of the family. "Technically the horse was line dancing and doing all the difficult bootscooting steps that many normal dancers have trouble coming to terms with. She can do seven different steps, including forwards, sidewards, the dip, and she bows at the end. "Her family were offended w hen I asked if Chrissy w as really a horse. I was told she was not just a horse but also a member of the family." So after four hours of consultation, which involved faxing the competition rules to line dancing experts in Canada, Ireland and the United States, Mr Mac Manamon was of the opinion the horse could not be excluded from entering. "Our rules do not stipulate that an entrant has to be a human being," he said. Chrissy's family, Judy and Tom Mitchell and their two children Sammyjo and Joshua, said they could not see any reason why her application should be rejected. "She is a very talented horse who just draws attention to herself everywhere she goes," Mrs Mitchell said. Chrissy even has her own song, Chrissy 's Dance, a five-minute-long bootscooting soundtrack written for her by the Country Freedom band from Yass. But Mr Mac Manamon said new s of the horse's entry had swept line dancing circles around the world. It had not gone down well with the serious bootscooting set, said Mr Mac Manamon. "I have received 70 calls in the last five days from dancers and instructors saying is this for real and asking if they would really be competing against a horse in Tamworth," he said. "A lot of people are now realising that although it started out as a joke, we do have something serious on our hands. "But I think we will have to draw the line if we get entries from dogs and cats." . if if A V,. f3hMt4' rJ-w L - . - -- J w ,V Caution on claims HRT lifts risk of breast cancer By LEIGH DAYTON and agencies The largest study ever conducted on the possible link between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer has found that some women using the treatment have an increased risk of the disease, according to reports in the British press. The study, conducted at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) in Oxford, is said to have found a 35 per cent extra risk of breast cancer for women who had undergone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for more than 11 years. In certain unspecified groups, the risk could be double, claimed a report in the Sunday Times. But experts have cautioned that the findings are inconclusive and media reports of the unpublished research are inaccurate. A spokesman for the ICRF said the Sunday Times report was "seriously misleading". "We need to recognise that the journalist did not have access to a copy of the final research," he said. In order to tease out any relationship between breast cancer and HRT, Professor Valery Beral and her CRF colleagues reviewed 40 published studies on the topic, involving roughly 60,000 women. Their findings were neither presented as planned at a conference last Friday nor published simultaneously in a medical journal. Consequently, Professor Henry Burger, director of Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research at the Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne and president of the International Menopause Society, was "hesitant" about the significance of the findings. "I would emphasise that we must be extremely cautious about media reports when there has been no opportunity to examine the data on which they are based," he said. According to Dr Robyn Craven, medical director of the Jean Hailes Centre for Women and director of the Women's Health and Breast Clinic at the Freemason's Hospital in Melbourne, researchers have long sought to clarify the link between HRT and breast cancer. She said while some studies have found no association, others have suggested there might be a "small risk" for some women, especially those over 60. "The biggest risk for breast cancer is getting older," she said. Other risk factors are family history, obesity and alcohol intake. About a million Australian women now use HRT. Many-take it to alleviate the unpleasant side effects of menopause, including "hot flushes", weight gain, and mood swings. Evidence also indicates that HRT lowers the increased risk of brittle bones and heart disease which follows menopause and the decline of the hormone, oestrogen. Beazley gutless over rorts: PM The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, had "cast aside all the dignity" of his office and showed he was not up to the job by continuing to pursue the travel rorts affair even after the attempted suicide of Senator Nick Sherry, the Opposition Leader, Mr Beazley, said yesterday. Mr Howard continued to maintain yesterday that Mr Beazley should have sacked his Finance spokesman, who is still recovering in Canberra Hospital after slashing his wrists last Friday following revelations he had claimed some $43,000 in travelling allowances while staying at his mother's house outside Hobart. Mr Howard, who sacked two personal advisers and three ministers from his front bench over travel rorts, told the Nine Network's Today program that Mr Beazley had failed to show the same "guts". "I was prepared to take action in relation to the people in my team; Kim Beazley wasn't," Mr Howard said. "Because of the unfortunate events affecting Nick Sherry, of course I don't want to dwell unduly on his personal position. "But the fact remains that when the crunch came, the heat was on, Kim Beazley didn't have the guts to impose the standards that I had the guts to impose on my team." Mr Beazley accused Mr Howard of being "a desperate man lashing out ... He is just not up to the job. There may be a new ministry, but it still lacks a leader." Senator Sherry, meanwhile, was reported to be in a much improved condition yesterday, and able to take phone calls and see visitors, although he still was not expected to be released from hospital for a day or two. MIKE SECCOMBE The weed that outdoes drought By ANTHONY HOY Rural Editor What is the greatest degrader of farming land? The greatest threat to the agricultural production and economic viability of the entire Central and Southern Tablelands regions of NSW? Bushfire? Drought? Salinity? Soil and water erosion? None of these. It's the drought-resistant serrated tussock, a prolific South American grass introduced to Australia around the turn of the century. This noxious weed has increased its grip on NSW by at least 102 per cent since 1985, now claiming 740,000 hectares and spreading rapidly. Production of greasy merino wool on infested areas has declined by as much as 60 kilograms a hectare. Even moderate infestations lower sheep-carrying capacity by up to 40 per cent The problem is so serious it now threatens the economic future of entire tablelands' communities, according to the State Department of Agriculture weeds program leader, Dr John Fisher. And drought, the increasing problem of absentee landlords and poor farm finances are reducing the chances of turning the massive problem around, Dr Fisher says. 1 Kiwi? s . - v v. tm MARCH OF THE TUSSOCK Tenterfield 'i Grafton Worse than drought . . . Warren Bruce checks serrated tussock, which makes pasture land useless for grazing. Photo by andrew taylor Tamworth- 1 DuSbl mm .Taree- '",V! Singleton. Sydney A. i 1 "V 4 , The seed of serrated tussock wafts up to 30 kilometres in the lightest breeze, survives the sheep's digestive process, and remains dormant in soil for 14 to 20 years. "It continues to come back like hairs on a dog's back," Bombala grazier and president of the Mount Piper Landcare Group, Mr Warren Bruce, said. It looks so innocent But it is so nutritionally poor that sheep with a full gut of serrated tussock will die from malnutrition.'' Biological control is still some way off, with material presently being tested in England. Control costs in many cases are as high as the value of the land, with many graziers faced with legal obligations to control the weed under the Noxious Weeds Act unable to justify economically chemical spraying and pasture improvement expenses totalling from $350 to $600 a hectare. This necessitates serious re- Less than 100 ha of shire infested 100-10,000 ha infected Over 10,000 ha infected. consideration of Tablelands land use if farming viability is to be maintained, Dr Fisher, who is also chairman of the Australian Weeds Management Committee and program leader of Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Weeds Management Systems, said. "We have to seriously look at changing marginal production areas, such as the rocky ridges, to forestry or native vegetation," he said. Nothing, absolutely nothing known to science can do more to Saw pur hair Than Clive's guaranteed No-Side-Effect Methods There are many causes for hair loss, each needing a difterent approach. If you are losing hair, it's vitally important that you get expert advice from a frofessional Trichologist specialising in air loss. Hormone imbalance, stress, wrong food, poor nourishment Bad habits of hair care are but a few of the factors that will take their toll on your hair and scalp and lead you towards a hairless future. They are disorders that will show up as falling hair, itchy scalp, dandruff, over oily or dry scalp and of course, thinning patches that snowball in size. Until now there has been a great silence on the major cause of baldness -genetics. Clive Clinics are not only willing to talk to you about why your parents are the reason for your baldness, but we also want to talk to you about the latest in invisible Hair Replacement Units, undetectable Hair Slit Grafts and treatmentsthat block the genetic messages from advancing your years unnecessarily. N A f N s ; ' d Shaft hair Fake M Outar 7 T PUCMM OF A C80WWG MIB Meaning you may be able to bypass your family's baldness and add a lifetime to your coverage, guarantees are usually included. Male and female pattern baldness is often worsened by health and dietary disorders. Sometimes these can be the sole reason for excessive hair loss. A small sample of hair, sent for a mineral analysis, can give your Clive Clinic Consultant the information to indicate vitamin, mineral or toxic problems even internal disorders that could be accelerating your hair loss and leading you towards unnecessary baldness. The sooner you start the better your results. A consultation and a thorough Clive Clinic Trichological examination of your hair and scalp costs only $25 and takes about 45 minutes. At the very least this will bring any problems to light and give you some peace of mind. If you are concerned about hair loss or a scalp condition, Clive Clinics is open 8.30am-6.30pm at 32 York Street, Sydney. Phone: 9290 2717. A PRODUCT SAFETY RECALL Woolworths, Safeway, Purity and Roelf Vos Supermarkets, Crazy Prices Stores and Woolworths Variety Stores. b NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS "ACME ELECTRONIC FLYING INSECT EXTERMINATOR" APR NO. GL91067 BAR CODE NO. 9300633910648 i i ACN 000 014 675 i 1800-633-272 Woolworths wishes to advise its customers that Acme Electronic Flying Insect Exterminators purchased since December 1996 and 1 bearing the code number I of 82206 and the APR NO. Q91067 (approval number) are being recalled for safety ' related reasons - removal of the base plate on this appliance whilst operating could be potentially hazardous. Both the code number (82206) and the approval number (Q91067) are printed on an adhesive label which is affixed to the upper casing of the appliance. The reason for the recall is that we have become aware through further tests conducted at our Quality Assurance Department that this product does not comply with safety requirements as set down in AS3150. Customers should cease using this appliance immediately and return it to their nearest Woolworths, Safeway, Purity and Roelf Vos Supermarket, any Crazy Prices store or Town Hall Variety store in Sydney and Rundle Mall Variety store in Adelaide . for a full cash refund. Whilst there have not been reports of problems associated with this product, the decision to recall the product has been taken in the interest of public safety. Woolworths apologises for any inconvenience caused. Customer enquiries may be directed to the Product Recall co-ordinator on toll-free number wws Keo

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