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Matthew Scofield Sentenced For Fatal Christmas Party Prank - Qantas Collapse x 2 - Garry Sotheran Trial – Christian Crawford Drowning - Mercy Dash To Antarctic

MATTHEW SCOFIELD SENTENCED: Matthew Paul Scofield has been sentenced to two years jail for setting fire to his friend Gareth McFadyen at a Merrill Lynch Christmas Party. Gareth was set fire to in a toilet cubicle by Scofield reaching under the door. He was wearing a party grass skirt made from plastic. The Judge in sentencing Scofield said a prison sentence was necessary in order to reflect the sanctity of human life. Scofield has been given leave to apply for home detention.

QANTAS COLLAPSE: Auckland staff of Qantas met with the receiver of the airline today. Union members packed the meeting to ask receivers if and when they will get money. Some former management members were shut out. Receivers met with management at the head office yesterday. After the meeting the receiver said staff would probably get at least their $6000 entitlement. However they may not get this for months. The $6000 will be made up of wages and holiday pay. The Employees super fund is however safe.

QANTAS COLLAPSE : An Aussie 767 was in the country today ferrying Qantas passengers between Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Qantas have not yet decided what they will do in the long term. Dozens of small contractors are still struggling with their debts unpaid by Qantas – one in Queenstown has paid staff off with GST money and hopes the Government won’t miss it.

GARRY SOTHERAN TRIAL: The High Court in Palmerston North has begun hearing evidence against pilot Garry Sotheran. The crown is claiming that the pilot failed to carry out his legal duty and monitor the height and descent rate of the aircraft. The Jury was told that just before the crash the Dash 8 was 1500ft below the required height. Sotheran however claims that the altimeter jumped 1000ft as he looked at it. The crown says that the pilot was distracted by a problem with the undercarriage. Sotheran has had a harrowing six years since the accident. The case is expected to get very technical.

CHRISTIAN CRAWFORD DROWNING: Toddler Christian Alfred Crawford was found this morning drowned in a waterhole in the Waitakeres near Auckland.

MERCY DASH TO ANTARCTIC: A mercy dash to Antarctic has retrieved four ill and injured Americans from McMurdo Sound. So far the rescue has gone precisely to plan. With winter fast approaching flying to the Antarctic is not something taken lightly. Temperatures of 40 below zero on the ground mean a quick turnaround. The Hercules is expected back at around 9pm.

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