A MAN was shot in the leg inside a Hallam home, and police are probing motives for the shooting. The 21-year-old Hallam man who shot the victim using ... Read More »
A TRAVELLING salesman who ripped off his employer’s fuel card for more than $8700 has been ordered to reimburse the proceeds and perform unpaid community work.
Dimitrios Fotopoulos, 48, pleaded guilty to 35 offences relating to illegally using a Caltex Star Card 104 times at a number of service stations in greater Melbourne in 2013 and 2014, Dandenong Magistrates’ Court heard.
Invoices were sent from 34 Caltex stations including two each in Dandenong and Keysborough, as well as Doveton, Kooweerup, Narre Warren and Noble Park.
Fotopoulos claimed he had not stolen the card. It had been provided by his employer Samsung Australia for driving his car for work purposes, defence lawyer Adam Maloney told the court on 29 August.
Samsung had, however, told Mr Maloney it didn’t use that particular card, the court was told.
According to a police summary, the card had been misplaced by a La Trobe Valley plumbing business.
Police alleged Fotopoulos knew the card’s PIN from working at the plumbing firm as a service delivery driver.
Mr Maloney conceded Fotopoulos had used the card with “dishonest intentions” but did not have a gambling or drug addiction to blame.
Fotopoulos left Samsung in late 2014 – by his own choice – to be a full-time carer for his mother, Mr Maloney said.
In sentencing, magistrate Jack Vandersteen noted there had been a “breach of trust” by Fotopoulos, but took into account the accused’s age and the delay since the offences.
Fotopoulos was convicted and placed on a 12-month community order including 125 hours of unpaid work.
He was ordered to pay $8748.70 in compensation.
BERWICK students have helped raise more than $4000 for charity to help less fortunate children.
Some 500 St Francis Xavier College students had the opportunity throughout August to raise money for the Ruben Centre through the school’s Read-A-Thon program during Book Week, ending Friday 26 August. This year’s Book Week theme was ‘Australia – Story Country’.
Berwick student Sonia Rossitto raised the most funds from securing many sponsors to donate a certain amount of money for each book she read, collecting a total of $300.
The Ruben Centre is a non-profit, charity organisation run by the Christian Brothers African Province. It provides quality education, health, financial and social services to children and families in the Mukuru slum community on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.
The school offers free primary education to 2500 children.
For more information, visit, www.rubencentre.org.
A SECURITY audit was conducted at Pakenham police station after it was subjected to an explosives attack in March, but recommended safety upgrades have not yet been put in place.
Pakenham police Inspector Shane Smith confirmed the station is due to undergo specific security upgrades which aren’t planned for other Victorian police stations.
The comments come in the wake of the station again firebombed in the early hours of Monday 29 August – two weeks after police discovered attempts had been made to infiltrate a restricted security zone.
A source with close links to local police said they “aren’t too happy” about it, particularly given both police-targeted firebombers have not been caught.
Inspector Smith was unable to go into detail about areas of security concern highlighted in the audit as per Victoria Police policy.
However, he did admit that the proposed security works are yet to take place.
“Things are being reviewed, assessed and looked at,” he said.
“Some works take a long time to get specifications done.”
A Victoria Police spokesperson did not explain why the audit recommendations have not yet been funded, but said some security works have been undertaken.
“Several more upgrades are scheduled to begin shortly, for security reasons it would be inappropriate to go into further detail,” the spokesperson said.
It’s unclear whether the security upgrades already completed relate to recommendations handed down in the March audit or as part of upgrades being made to stations statewide.
Inspector Smith said improvements pitched for Pakenham police station were specific to security matters identified at the site, unlike uniform state-wide rollouts including the fixture of a security screen at station front counters.
Pakenham police station was fitted with a security screen less than a week after the first firebombing attack at the station in line with Victoria Police’s anti-terror policy.
A lit Molotov cocktail was lobbed at Pakenham station’s front door about 12.50am on Saturday 12 March by a balaclava-wearing offender who police have not yet been able to identify.
In mid-August, attempts were made to infiltrate a security zone at the station.
Security fencing around the perimeter of the station was compromised sometime before 2am on Sunday 14 August when it was discovered by officers.
And most recently, a second firebomb was lobbed at the station from over a back fence.
Police are still searching for the unknown offender who threw the firebomb at the station headquarters at 12.55am on Monday 29 August.
It’s unclear if the non-actioned security upgrades were technological or physical, within the building or protecting the exterior.
Inspector Smith said members operating out of the station did not feel they were in harm’s way.
“They are feeling pretty good. They are being kept informed and are under no immediate security risk. We take all the precautions we can,” he said.
No officer has been injured in the station attacks.
Inspector Smith said it was likely funding for the upgraded security works were being assessed in line with other funding priorities statewide.