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CRIME

Frenchwoman ‘insane’ when she stabbed Perth man

An Australian judge on Tuesday ruled a young Frenchwoman not guilty of the bizarre stabbing murder of an elderly man in his Perth home, finding she was insane at the time of the killing.

Valentina Marie Strabach, 22, pleaded not guilty to stabbing Murray Vernon Quartermaine more than 200 times with a pair of scissors in his home in Western Australia state in January 2011 due to her unsound mind.

“I conclude that… the accused was insane at the time of the killing of Mr Quartermaine and is not criminally responsible for her actions,” Supreme Court of Western Australia Commissioner Kevin Sleight said in his judgement.

Under questioning by police, Strabach, who had arrived in Australia only weeks before the killing, said she felt compelled to commit the murder because she held the delusional belief Quartermaine was a paedophile.

She said she met 79-year-old when she was lost, and he offered to give her a lift to where she was staying. She then asked to go to his home because she wanted to see if he was a child sex offender.

Once there, Strabach found a pair of scissors that she used to stab him repeatedly, leaving him with chest wounds, and perforating his lungs, bowel, liver and jugular.

She also amputated his genitalia and both his big toes.

Sleight said he was satisfied Strabach was suffering from a mental illness in the form of paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the murder, and she was influenced by hallucinations ordering her to kill him.

“It must be stressed that there was absolutely no basis for the accused concluding that Mr Quartermaine was a paedophile,” Sleight said.

“However, in her psychotic state the accused had developed a delusional obsession about paedophilia.”

The court was told that Strabach, reportedly a dual Australian-French citizen, had previously sought medical help in France and was prescribed strong medication, but stopped taking it as she was unable to function properly.

She will be detained at a mental health hospital in Perth until she is released by an order of the Western Australian governor.

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CRIME

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

France is set to announce new measures this week to prevent youngsters from accessing porn websites, in the latest round of a years-long struggle to protect children from explicit material.

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

“I plan to put an end to this scandal,” Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the Parisien newspaper on Monday.

France’s data protection and media regulators Cnil and Arcom are set to announce their latest proposals to rein in porn websites which are in theory subject to a 2020 law requiring age verification.

Previous attempts have been held up by privacy and technical concerns, as well as court action by the websites.

To its frustration last September, a Paris court ordered Arcom to enter into mediation with several porn websites including market leader Pornhub, holding up efforts to block them.

READ MORE: France hits Google and Facebook with huge fines over ‘cookies’

Under the new proposal, people wanting to access explicit material will need to download a phone application that provides them with a digital certificate and code, the Parisien reported.

The code will be needed to access a porn website under a system “which will work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online,” Barrot told the newspaper.

“2023 will mark the end of our children accessing pornographic sites,” he added.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to former school teacher Brigitte Macron, promised to make protecting children from porn a priority during his bid for re-election last year.

In November, he launched the Children Online Protection Laboratory, an initiative that aims to bring together industry giants and researchers to look for ways to shield minors online.

In September last year, a report entitled “Hell Behind the Scenes” by French senators concluded that there was “massive, ordinary and toxic” viewing of porn by children.

The report found that two thirds of children aged 15 or less had seen pornographic content.

The French production industry has been roiled by a series of sexual assault cases in recent years in which women have come forward to allege rape, mistreatment and manipulation by directors and fellow actors.

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