EX­CLU­SIVE EX­TRACT It was guilty un­til proven in­no­cent: The darkest hours

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JOHNATHAN THURSTON

one of the boys opened the door and gave her a spray.

I don’t know ex­actly what was said but the mes­sage was for her to go away and leave them alone.

We could still see her through the glass. One of the boys in my room opened the win­dow. “Get lost,” he yelled. “Just go home. We don’t want you here. F--k off.”

The woman started to scream and swear, but even­tu­ally she left and I went to sleep.

My alarm went off at 6.45am. I jumped out of bed, still half drunk.

“Let’s go,” I said to my room­mate. “We can’t be late.”

Our re­cov­ery ses­sion was to be held at an Olympic-sized pool lo­cated in a train­ing fa­cil­ity that was part of the ho­tel.

I grabbed my towel and gog­gles be­fore brav­ing the day­light.

“Hey, there’s that bird from last night,” a team­mate said as we made our way to the pool. “What the hell is she still do­ing here?”

I looked over and saw the young woman in black sit­ting on the side of the road, not far from the ho­tel of­fice.

She ap­peared to be wet and looked like she was cry­ing.

I shrugged. “Who cares?” I said. And I didn’t, not un­til Mon­day when all hell broke loose.

We were ush­ered straight into a room when we ar­rived at Bel­more for train­ing on Mon­day morn­ing.

Ap­par­ently a story had bro­ken on ra­dio that morn­ing, but most of us were obliv­i­ous.

“Boys, we have a very se­ri­ous mat­ter to ad­dress,” said Garry Hughes (Gaz), the Bull­dogs Foot­ball Man­ager in 2004. “I was ap­proached by two de­tec­tives iv in Coffs Har­bour b yes­ter­day. They T in­formed me

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