EXCLUSIVE: He is the recently departed senior News Corp employee who referred to drug users as “iceheads” and once wrote that he was “sick to death of aggressive addicts”. But when True Crime News Weekly outed Centralian Advocate editor Corey Sinclair as an alleged “ice junkie” himself, the News Corp journalist lost all his abilities to talk tough and instead ran cowering behind the might of Rupert Murdoch’s multi-million dollar legal team alleging that he was the victim of defamation. Yet all the while Mr Sinclair was hiding a few secrets – including a recent drugs arrest in inner-city Sydney for the possession of crystal methamphetamine and liquid fantasy (GHB), and a bizarre and twisted alleged defecation incident this year which saw him irrationally shitting on top of a hapless office worker’s desk.
Longtime News Corp employee, Corey Sinclair, is now AWOL after leaving his keys on his desk at the Alice Springs offices of the Centralian Advocate where he was the newspaper’s editor and mysteriously not returning a number of weeks ago in early October. It is alleged he simply walked out of the office and never returned. News Corp would not respond or comment about the matters when approached this week by True Crime News Weekly. However, it was only a few weeks ago, just before Mr Sinclair’s latest strange departure, that he was presenting a much different front.
In late August, Mr Sinclair had ordered “senior legal counsel” at the global media giant to send menacing threats of defamation to True Crime News Weekly. He did so after this publication had reported on claims by former colleagues at Sydney-based LGBTQI newspaper, the Star Observer, that he was an alleged “ice junkie” who bullied other staff members.
Mr Sinclair’s threats of defamation have since been reported on by leading Australian news and current affairs website, Crikey. Mr Sinclair’s threats saw him order News Corp’s senior legal counsel, Gina McWilliams, to claim that this publication had defamed him on a number of counts.
Mr Sinclair was the editor of the Star Observer for 10 short months from April 2016 until March 2017 when he abruptly left that position with “little notice” according to the owners of the nearly 40-year-old struggling queer publication.
The editor and journalist seemingly took umbrage at the way he was depicted by True Crime News Weekly in a minor part of an 11,000 word feature which took a detailed look at widespread corruption and alleged crimes occurring all across Australia’s major LGBTQI media outlets and community organisations; including the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) and the Star Observer’s fallen rivals, Evo Media.
Largely thanks to his groundless threats, True Crime News Weekly has this week elected to elevate Mr Sinclair from a lousy bit-part role in a wider scandal to the star billing he so yearns for.
Through his highly-priced lawyers at News Corp, Mr Sinclair attempted to bully True Crime News Weekly into removing the allegations about him from our investigative story published in August. He also wanted this publication to get Google to re-scrape the webpage so listings would not show up on the popular search engine. Mr Sinclair sternly demanded too that True Crime News Weekly provide him with a personal apology within 28 days. We have simply ignored all of the demands and will continue to do so.Among the claims from News Corp, Ms McWilliams wrote that Mr Sinclair “absolutely denies that he has ever been a methamphetamine addict” and that he “absolutely denies bullying staff at the Star Observer”. Ms McWilliams also stated that “Mr Sinclair was never – at any time – violent towards any staff member of the Star Observer”.
Ms McWilliams then claimed that True Crime News Weekly never gave Mr Sinclair a chance to respond to the allegations, although evidence provided by News Corp’s own lawyers suggest Mr Sinclair did see our request for comment which was made by direct message over Twitter.
True Crime News Weekly was alerted at 4.33pm on August 17 that Mr Sinclair saw and accepted our message; only a matter of minutes after we sent him the request. According to Twitter’s own terms of services, the tick notification to signify that Mr Sinclair did view our message would only come about if he did indeed “accept it”.
What made Mr Sinclair’s claims even more far-fetched however was the fact that he had actually responded to our story in late August with a peculiar Twitter outburst only a mere few hours after it was published. Rather than arguing that the story was factually incorrect or that True Crime News Weekly had got it all wrong, Mr Sinclair instead chose to berate this publication for not using a flattering enough photograph of him.
“At least use my newer, prettier headshot,” Mr Sinclair demanded on the afternoon of Friday, August 18.
“You were the bully.”
Mr Sinclair wasn’t quite finished there though.
After his Friday afternoon social media histrionics, Mr Sinclair came back early the next morning for one more swipe towards True Crime News Weekly.
“The world has a way of revealing what horrible creatures people are,” Mr Sinclair wrote over Twitter on August 19.
“And when you’re right, you don’t even need to get mates as anon [anonymous] sources.”Thanks to official sources, True Crime News Weekly can now reveal more details about Mr Sinclair’s activities while in Sydney as the editor of the Star Observer. In spite of his protestations that he is not an “ice junkie”, True Crime News Weekly can confidently state that Mr Sinclair was in fact arrested last year in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Surry Hills for the possession of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, as well as gamma hydroxybutyrate, which is better known by its street names of GHB and liquid fantasy. The combined use of the drugs is popular with some people who attend group sex parties and sex-on-premises venues.
Surry Hills is, of course, the suburb that is home to the Australian headquarters of News Corp which is situated at 2 Holt Street. While the Star Observer’s main offices are also based in the same lusted-after, inner-city locality.
A spokesperson for NSW Justice has confirmed with True Crime News Weekly the particulars of Mr Sinclair’s arrest and subsequent guilty pleas on two counts of drug possession.
“The offender, COREY SINCLAIR is found guilty but without proceeding to conviction is directed to enter into a good behaviour bond for 6 months pursuant to Section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 to commence on 29 September 2016 and accept the following conditions,” the conviction for Mr Sinclair reads.
“The offender must be of good behaviour and appear before the court during the bond term if required.”
Mr Sinclair had only been in his role as editor of the Star Observer for a few months at the time of his arrest. He had moved to Sydney from the Northern Territory where he was a senior employee with the News Corp shock tabloid, NT News.
Mr Sinclair was subsequently found guilty of the drugs offences on September 29, 2016 at the Downing Centre Local Court. He plead guilty to all charges. The wayward journalist perhaps could have counted himself lucky to be only given a slap on the wrist by the courts, with the judge in the trial agreeing to grant Mr Sinclair a six-month Section 10 good behaviour bond. The Section 10 order meant that no conviction would be recorded against Mr Sinclair.When confronted by the facts of Mr Sinclair’s drugs arrest and guilty finding, and in stark comparison to how they report on other people in similar situations, News Corp for some curious reason attempted to downplay and minimise the crimes committed by their longtime senior employee.
“The information provided indicates Mr Sinclair has only ever been found guilty of one offence and that offence was so minor that he did not incur a conviction,” Ms McWilliams wrote in an email to True Crime News Weekly.
“The allegation made in your article was that Mr Sinclair was a methamphetamine addict, namely a habitual user of the substance. As stated throughout the Concerns Notice that is, and remains, an allegation he denies.”
For his part, when made aware by True Crime News Weekly that rather than succumbing to his threats of defamation that this publication would instead reveal the details of his drugs disgrace, Mr Sinclair begged this publication for an “off the record discussion” by mobile phone. We rejected that request which then resulted in Mr Sinclair blocking True Crime News Weekly over the social media platform Twitter (Mr Sinclair has since locked his Twitter account down after going AWOL from News Corp in early October).
True Crime News Weekly did as well make a number of attempts to hold honest discussions with News Corp and set matters straight but we were rebuffed.
“It is quite plain from your repeated references to Mr Sinclair being a ‘liar’ that you have already formed a view about his character,” Ms McWilliams wrote.
“That being the case, calling you to discuss the matter further would achieve nothing.”Ironically, only a month before Ms McWilliams’s strange defence of guilty drugs offenders on behalf of her employer, News Corp’s main conservative tabloid, the Daily Telegraph, was railing against the propensity of Section 10 ‘no conviction’ orders being granted by judges in Sydney, many relating to drugs charges.
In its edition of July 8, 2017, the Daily Telegraph suggested that wealthy, connected individuals residing in the city’s eastern and inner suburbs were more likely to be granted such leeway, with the newspaper saying it was “one law for the rich and another for the poor across Sydney’s busy local courts”.The same article also quoted Scott Weber, the president of the NSW Police Association, saying that “there were far too many Section 10s used” which he claimed “results in sentencing outcomes that concern police officers and does not protect the community”.
News Corp and its publications have also been big cheerleaders for moves by the Federal Government to introduce counter-productive and stupidly draconian drug tests for struggling welfare recipients, with the always-charming Daily Telegraph journalist, Sharri Markson, in July referring to unemployed people as “welfare bludgers”.But before there was Ms Markson, there was Mr Sinclair. It was just back in 2015 while employed with the NT News, where Mr Sinclair showed that he too could mix it with the best of them in News Corp. And as luck would have it, Mr Sinclair’s words of wisdom came in an article where he chided meth addicts.
“Like most people, I’m sick to death of aggressive addicts,” the disgraced journalist wrote in an article for the NT News on May 3, 2015.
“That look in their glassy eyes and that all too familiar stagger as they try to keep balance while threatening the nearest person.”
Mr Sinclair ended the article with the line: “Instead of cleaning up after alcoholics and iceheads, we should just nip it all in the bud”.
Curiously enough, a month after his own guilty finding for multiple drugs offences, Mr Sinclair was coincidentally singing a completely different tune to what he once did.
Just four weeks after his court appearance, there he was writing an ACON-sponsored puff piece for the Star Observer about the “stigma” surrounding methamphetamine use.
“The stigma around crystal meth use makes it much harder for people to come forward and seek help,” Mr Sinclair wrote in the “sponsored content” article published on October 24, 2016.
And, in another shocking revelation, True Crime News Weekly can this week reveal that Mr Sinclair’s troubles in Sydney weren’t just relegated to being arrested over drugs in Surry Hills.
It has now come to light that the former Star Observer editor was allegedly involved in a troubling and sick incident at the headquarters of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis & Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) earlier this year, just before his eventual departure from the newspaper in March.
ASHM happens to share its offices on the same floor of the building the Star Observer has its premises on Kippax Street, Surry Hills.
In no uncertain terms, it has been alleged to True Crime News Weekly that Mr Sinclair while in the grip of some unexplained behaviour “took a shit on someone’s desk at ASHM”.
According to sources, Mr Sinclair reportedly blamed the shocking incident as a result of being under the “influence of prescription medication” and “tired from working late nights”.
True Crime News Weekly contacted ASHM for a comment about the alleged incident. Staff at ASHM did not deny the incident took place but they refused to explain any further details.
Although Mr Sinclair left the Star Observer in March soon after the ‘shit on desk’ incident and about the time his good behaviour bond for drugs offences came to an end, his one-time employers continue to play dumb. That’s despite former senior colleagues of Mr Sinclair’s at the Star Observer admitting they were aware of his drugs arrest which they say was allegedly “covered up” by the publication’s management. But it’s all news to the under-fire board apparently, who claim to be still in the dark when it comes to Mr Sinclair’s criminal and other activities despite the incidents occurring right under their noses in Surry Hills.
“I am not aware of the arrest that you are alleging has occurred,” Star Observer chairman, Sebastian Rice, claimed in an email response to True Crime News Weekly.
“If this alleged arrest did occur, I can find no record of it ever being communicated to me. The alleged arrest was certainly never discussed with me, or discussed at a board meeting, or mentioned in any Star Observer board reports.”
Mr Rice also claimed that other employees were never bullied by Mr Sinclair but didn’t want to be drawn into the reason for Mr Sinclair’s departure either.
“Corey Sinclair resigned from the Star Observer in March 2017 with little notice,” Mr Rice said.
“On the topic of alleged threatening behaviour towards Star Observer employees by Corey Sinclair, I have not seen any behaviour or evidence that gives any credibility to the allegation.
“The Star Observer honours our agreements with employees, contractors, and volunteers. We treat our team members with respect. If there are disagreements between people, as sometimes occurs in any workplace, we work through them in an appropriate manner.”
Before Mr Sinclair’s latest strange escape from the Centralian Advocate earlier this month, True Crimes News Weekly had learned that some community members in Alice Springs were not happy that he had returned to be at the helm of a vitally important local publication. The journalist had only taken over its running in May, a couple of months after leaving the Star Observer under a cloud. Mr Sinclair had started his career in journalism as a 23-year-old cadet at the Centralian. What his future holds now, is up to him.