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Sydney news: Child rapist Anthony Sampieri dies in jail, Sidoti fronts ICAC hearing over property deals

MORNING BRIEFING: A man sentenced to life in prison after raping a young girl in a Sydney dance studio dies, while John Sidoti fronts ICAC hearing over Drummoyne property deals.

Here's what you need to know this morning.

Child rapist dies in jail

A man convicted for the high-profile case involving the rape of a young girl in a dance studio in Sydney's south has died in jail.

Anthony Sampieri, 57, was sentenced to life in jail last February for the 2018 rape of the seven-year-old, as well as for a series of harassing phone calls he made to women while on parole.

A court heard that Sampieri bound, choked and raped the seven-year-old girl after consuming the drug ice.

Sampieri was receiving treatment for liver cancer at Long Bay Prison Hospital.

Sidoti fronts ICAC
man wearing glasses looking sidewaysman wearing glasses looking sideways
The ICAC hearings into John Sidoti are expected to last four weeks.(

AAP Image: Dean Lewins

)

The corruption watchdog will today begin public hearings into the property dealings of NSW politician John Sidoti.

The member for Drummoyne resigned from cabinet and has stood aside from the Liberal Party while the Independent Commission Against Corruption  (ICAC) investigates. 

The ICAC is looking to allegations that Mr Sidoti improperly used his influence as an MP to impact development controls on land he's connected to in Five Dock between 2011 and 2018.

Mr Sidoti's move to the crossbench earlier this month reduced the Berejiklian government's majority to just one seat.

The government is now in minority after it was revealed the Nationals MP Michael Johnsen is under police investigation for an alleged rape, which resulted in him also moving to the crossbench last week.

More COVID restrictions lifted
two people sitting at a table outside a cafetwo people sitting at a table outside a cafe
There is a significant easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the state from today.(

AAP Image: James Gourley

)

NSW is one step closer to "pre-COVID" life after a swathe of restrictions were lifted early this morning.

For the first time in more than 12 months, there are no restrictions on dancing, while people are now allowed to sing in any setting.

They are among several restrictions lifted from 12:01am in response to a significantly lowered risk of community transmission.

There have been just two local cases recorded in the past two months — both linked to the hotel quarantine program.

Questions for Newmarch House
newmarch housenewmarch house
Nineteen people died from COVID-19 at the Anglicare Newmarch House last year.(

AAP Image: Dean Lewins

)

The head of Anglicare has been summonsed to appear before a parliamentary inquiry over the management of Newmarch House during the COVID-19 crisis.

Grant Millard has been forced to front the inquiry after 37 people in the Newmarch House aged care facility were infected with coronavirus last year and 19 died.

The inquiry is investigating the need to have registered nurses on duty at all times at aged care homes.

It is also focusing on staffing levels at nursing homes and what lessons can be learned in the aged care sector from COVID-19.

Traffic jam north of Sydney Loading

Two of three southbound lanes are closed on the M1 Pacific Motorway at Asquith due to a multi-vehicle crash just past Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road.

Southbound traffic is very heavy, with queuing back to Berowra. 

Motorists should allow plenty of extra travel time, and consider exiting the M1 at Berowra and use the Pacific Highway through to Wahroonga. 

Emergency services and traffic crews are on the scene. 

Second airport flight paths still not set

Residents concerned they will be affected by aircraft noise from the Western Sydney Airport have complained they still have not seen draft flight paths, five years after the project was approved.

Indicative flight path maps were included in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) released in 2015, but those plans haven't been firmed up and released publicly.

By the time the final EIS was released in 2016, a white box had been added over the area of concern with the words "indicative only - final flight paths not yet determined".

The document stated there would be no convergence point of arriving planes over Blaxland or any other single residential area, noting the strong community concern.

Monday's weather: 

Shower or two.

Sydney 

17

24

Parramatta 

14

23

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