Mick Featherstone, ex Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

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15 years as a copper earning better than most was not enough for this snake.

Greedy people cannot help themselves to the big pie it seems. Including coppers who are supposed to fight against this stuff. “Mike Featherstone” might sound like a new Hollywood Cop comedy film that might of been played by the late great Robin Williams…but this ex copper is a crim, a traitor and a grub, a liar, informant and insider.

Have a lot more but needed to see it mainstream first for legal reasons folks…

Michael Featherstone, former senior Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

Tue 2 Sep 2014, 6:46pm

Former senior police detective Michael Featherstone

Photo: Michael Featherstone is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation. (Tony Phillips)

A former senior police detective is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Investigators are probing Michael Featherstone’s links to senior serving and former police officers on the Gold Coast and elsewhere, his possible connections to bikies and his role in cold-calling companies alleged to be involved in fraud.

The companies, which advertise horse-racing betting software and other investments, are alleged to have defrauded hundreds of people across Australia in scams worth millions of dollars.

The ABC can reveal that officers from the Queensland police anti-bikie taskforce Maxima found suspected links to Mr Featherstone, a former fraud squad detective and one-time head of Surfers Paradise CIB, while investigating fraud allegations against members of the Black Uhlans and Bandidos outlaw motorcycle clubs earlier this year.

Do you know more about this story? Email investigations@abc.net.au

Police raided a number of premises including the Southport offices of Mr Featherstone’s private investigations company Phoenix Global, taking away computer equipment.

They referred the matter to the CCC because of the body’s forensic accounting expertise and the possible involvement of police officers in protecting Mr Featherstone, his clients and associates.

One senior police officer told the ABC: “We realised we can’t have police officers investigating his links with other police.”

I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.

UKHBB director Johnny Kane

The CCC has set up an operation called Lima Violin II to investigate fraud allegations involving three companies: UK Home Based Business (UKHBB), Lay Trading Solutions and Pegasus Trader.

However, a parallel investigation by the ABC’s 7.30 program has uncovered evidence of the involvement of Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global, not only with two of these companies but a range of alleged Gold Coast scams dating back almost 10 years.

They are linked to the Gold Coast private investigator in various ways – through his involvement in recruiting and managing patsy directors on behalf of others, by his own direct role as a director or shareholder, or by his providing advice on how to set up, run and protect such operations.

The ABC has identified dozens of customers of UKHBB who between them lost almost $4 million.

Several have told the ABC they received emails earlier this year saying their accounts had been suspended because of a “software problem”.

But the ABC has established that there was no software problem: the order to close UKHBB came late last year from Phoenix Global.

Correspondence obtained by the ABC shows Phoenix Global recruited and gave day-to-day instructions to the directors of UKHBB and Pegasus Trader to carry out banking and other administrative jobs.

Security guard recruited as UKHBB frontman

Johnny Kane, who works as a security guard, was recruited to be the director of UKHBB.

Security guard Johnny Kane

Security guard Johnny Kane

He has described to the ABC how Mr Featherstone convinced him to be the front-man for UKHBB and other companies, though Mr Featherstone had no official links with these companies and was not part of their management.

Mr Kane said his duties had also included picking up large quantities of cash from the bank and delivering it to the offices of UKHBB and Phoenix Global.

“Before Christmas I was asked to do that for about four days,” Mr Kane said.

“We’re talking $40,000 per cheque, three times a day, for about a week.

“I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.”

 

Extract of UKHBB bank statement showing cheque withdrawals Infographic: An extract of a bank statement for UKHBB, showing cheque withdrawals.

In an email from Phoenix Global to Mr Kane dated December 12, Mr Featherstone’s son Zach asked him to “be available to close the UKHB bank accounts on the 24th of December 2013″.

Bank statements show UKHBB collected at least $4 million in fees for trading licences in the second half of last year. More than a quarter of this was received in December.

Almost $500,000 was immediately withdrawn from the account by cheque in round amounts of between $5,000 and $40,000. A few weeks later the account was empty.

Separately, the ABC has established Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global have played a central role in a series of other race-betting syndicates with a network of associates in Australia and overseas, one of whom is a convicted fraudster.

In an email discussing one such venture, Mr Featherstone wrote earlier this year: “This initiative should raise a lot of $$, but it is important that it is coordinated professionally… you will also need to consider timing and the medium of delivery, so that it doesn’t appear to be a scam or cash grab.”

Other documents show Phoenix Global used the name of someone who never worked at the company to create fake payslips that were used this year to obtain $150,000 of car finance as well as credit cards for one of these race-betting syndicates.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Mr Featherstone denied any involvement in the running or management of UKHBB or any other race betting or software operation.

He acknowledged the instruction to close the UKHBB account had come from his office but said it was a “risk management” measure because of a “security breach”, without providing further details.

Asked about the fake payslips, Mr Featherstone’s lawyer said his client had provided a statement to police that “a person or persons had unlawfully used its brand to create a false document and forged our client’s signature to gain an advantage

Featherstone delivered speech for high-ranking officer

Who is Michael Featherstone?

Mick Featherstone served in the QPS from 1981 until late 1996.

Called as a witness by the 1997 Carter Inquiry into police involvement in the drug trade, he denied wrongdoing over the alleged disappearance of more than $20,000 in seized drug money while it was in his custody at Southport watch house.

He was also investigated over allegations he planted drugs on a suspect with whom he was personally connected, and his connection to a barrister who was under police investigation. No charges were ever brought against him.

Mr Featherstone resigned from the QPS at age 33. According to the QPS he did so under special arrangements following a recommendation from the Commissioner. Media reports at the time said this allowed him to get a significant payout.

Phoenix Global has provided “compliance” services to a range of companies on the Gold Coast, some of which are race-betting operations registered in Vanuatu.

It specialises in finding and removing adverse or defamatory internet posts about its clients, and offers investigative services to people facing criminal charges.

Mr Featherstone’s clients have included convicted child rapist John Chardon, whose wife Novy is missing, presumed dead; convicted fraudster Glenn Connelly; and Mario Girardo, who was jailed in 2010 over kidnap and extortion.

He has also worked for three-time bankrupt property spruiker and so-called “King Con” Dudley Quinlivan, and is a director of several companies connected to Michael King, who is being prosecuted by ASIC for allegedly acting dishonestly over a $150 million loan.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading, which licences private investigators, declined to say whether it had ever received complaints about Mr Featherstone or Phoenix Global.

Mr Featherstone has been photographed socialising with senior serving officers, was endorsed online by a Brisbane inspector and even gave a speech at a recent send-off for a high-ranking Gold Coast officer.

According to his lawyer, Mr Featherstone “was asked to make a short speech” at the event, a “farewell retirement for an officer he had served with in the 1980s”.

The lawyer said Mr Featherstone “has no friendship or association with any serving police officer”.

A former detective has told the ABC that he discovered Mr Featherstone’s social links to this high-ranking officer while investigating fraud allegations on the Gold Coast and raised it with his superiors.

“They told me, ‘don’t go there’,” he said.

Mr Featherstone was the subject of a detailed complaint to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission in 2010 after it emerged he had done the work of Gold Coast police in collecting witness statements in a trespass case where the complainant was one of his clients.

There is no evidence of any action being taken against him.

NSW private investigator Ken Gamble, working on behalf of a group of scam victims, presented a detailed brief of evidence naming Mr Featherstone to the Queensland police fraud squad in 2012, but received no response.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) said in a statement it had requested further information from Mr Gamble and that it had not been provided.

Mr Gamble said police had never made such a request and the QPS statement was “false and misleading”.

Former nightclub owner alleged to be key figure in scams

A key figure in the scams is alleged to be Phil Cropper, who is said to have been the sales manager of UKHBB and to have run other boiler-room operations linked to Mr Featherstone.

Mr Cropper, a former nightclub owner who was acquitted of an extortion attempt on actor Russell Crowe in 2002, is thought to have fled overseas since the raid on Mr Featherstone’s premises and the ABC has been unable to contact him.

Mr Kane said he now faced bankruptcy because of lawsuits filed against him by victims.

Mr Kane said that while UKHBB was operating he had frequently sought and received reassurance from Mr Featherstone that what he was being asked to do was legal.

He said his home had been raided by police in February and he had later been shocked to find how widely known Mr Featherstone’s activities were on the Gold Coast.

“When I went to Legal Aid to tell them about my story, they finished my story for me. They knew exactly what I was talking about,” he said.

“They rattled off a list of names and said ‘did you work for one of these people?’ and I knew all the names.

“One of the names was Featherstone.”

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queensland-police-service-response-to-abc-p1-normal queensland-police-service-response-to-abc-p2-normal queensland-police-service-response-to-abc-p3-normal

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The pay-off is a verdict like today GBC cowardly wife killer.

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GBC Trial Day 19.5 (the weekend)


Something to get the chat going for the weekend

 

Baden-Clay murder trial: Large crowds in court evidence of a healthy legal system, top barrister says

11/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay

The murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has seen a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding

The high level of public interest in the Gerard Baden-Clay trial is nothing out of the ordinary, and in fact makes for a healthy legal system, a top barrister says.

The former real estate agent’s murder trial attracted crowds to the Brisbane Supreme Court, with extra courtrooms opened for people who queued day after day to gain entry, and a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General says these special arrangements for large-scale trials are made to ensure openness and transparency in the justice system.

This transparency is key to keeping Australia’s legal apparatus – everyone from police to barristers and judges – held to account, says Ken Fleming, QC.

Mr Fleming was the defence barrister for former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel and has worked as a United Nations prosecutor on international war crimes trials.

“Everyone should be held accountable for what they’re doing, and the open scrutiny of it is a very important thing,” he said.

“You just can’t have things going on behind closed doors, because that engenders fear of the unknown.”

Mr Fleming says the “whole delivery of justice” depends on high levels of public interest, because people can see and understand the process.

Seeing mystery unravel part of appeal, barrister says

The courts are not, however, in danger of turning into another form of entertainment – rather, they always have been.

“You only have to think about the French Revolution and the guillotining in the forecourt of the Notre Dame,” Mr Fleming said.

Although some people may attend just to see a mystery unravel, he believes many also have a genuine interest in watching the ins and outs of the legal process.

There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

Ken Fleming, QC

“You only have to look at some of the British television programs to see how we love a good murder mystery,” he said.

“There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

“They just have a genuine interest in what’s going on.”

Glen Cranny, a defence lawyer and partner at Gilshenan and Luton Lawyers, also believes a high level of public interest is healthy for the criminal justice system generally.

“People might come for any number of reasons, and some might come for mawkish reasons,” he said.

“Nevertheless, I think the benefits of having an open and transparent system … far outweigh any perverse interest some people may get out of such proceedings.”

Public pressure witnesses face may discourage some: lawyer

Publicity and public interest in a case can also encourage other complainants or witnesses to come forward and give evidence, where they may have otherwise been unaware or not confident enough.

Rolf Harris‘s case in England, for example, involved people who were coming forward as complainants once they, I think, had the courage that there were protections and systems in place for their story to be told,” Mr Cranny said.

But this benefit has a flip-side: that very publicity could make people apprehensive about revealing their story.

“I think there is a tipping point where some people might think they could do without their face or name being splashed on TV as a witness, or as a complainant,” Mr Cranny said.

“They would be happy to be involved in the process in a low-key way, but don’t want to be engaged … in anything that might in some way feel like a circus to them.”

Reputational issues should also be factored in, especially when a person’s conduct, while lawful, may not hold them in a good light.

“We’ve seen in a recent high-profile case … a lot of focus on extra-marital affairs and so on,” Mr Cranny said.

“There are people who are involved in those relationships, who haven’t broken the law, but have become very prominent just through their personal lives.”

Mr Fleming says that while public interest could make some people “a bit reluctant”, he had not seen any evidence of public attendance impacting on witnesses.

“It is on display and in a sense it’s theatre,” he said.

“But once people are resigned to the fact that they will be giving evidence, I don’t think too much stands in their way.”

Opening additional courtrooms and keeping the public away from “where the action is happening” also means witnesses are only faced with a very small and confined audience in the main court, Mr Fleming said.

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice John Byrne has asked a jury to retire to consider a verdict in the trial of Gerard Baden-Clay.

Carer Kerry Forrest found guilty of murdering Bill Adamson, 84, with huge dose of morphine


Pokies addict Kerry Forrest, 54, was found guilty in the Supreme Court today of giving 84-year-old retired realtor Bill Adamson a huge dose of morphine in a Campbelltown hotel room in April 2010.

“Ms Forrest misappropriated Mr Adamson’s money and killed him to prevent that misappropriation being exposed,” Judge Peter Hidden said.

The court found that Ms Forrest made the 84-year-old ingest a morphine-based pain killer MS-Contin

The court found that Ms Forrest made the 84-year-old ingest a morphine-based pain killer MS-Contin

“She killed him by having him ingest MS-Contin.

“I cannot be certain how she did so, but it is most likely that she crushed tablets and mixed them with his food.”

The court heard that Forrest, who had moved in with Mr Adamson, became increasingly involved in his financial affairs since 2009.

She sold his Kareela house, demanded access to his financial records and set up various accounts with his cash.

“The depletion of these accounts was due in large part to Ms Forrest’s gambling,” Judge Hidden said.

The gambling manager at the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club had described her as a “high roller”.

The gambling manager at the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club had described her as a “high roller”

The gambling manager at the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club had described her as a “high roller”

But Forrest had pleaded not guilty to the murder and maintained her innocence throughout the trial, which lasted several weeks.

Mr Adamson’s son John Adamson shed tears when she was found guilty after the court heard that she had not notified him of his death and told others that she did not like him because he was not his biological son.

Forrest, who has cancer, was slopped over in her wheelchair throughout the two hour variety.

Kara Forrest leaves the Darlinghurst Court after giving evidence in her mother’s murder trial. Kerry Forrest, a 51-year-old carer, is charged with murdering her elderly employer

Kara Forrest leaves the Darlinghurst Court after giving evidence in her mother’s murder trial. Kerry Forrest, a 51-year-old carer, is charged with murdering her elderly employer

She briefly waved to her daughter Kara Forrest and a group of supporters when she was first brought into court.

Mr Adamson’s family did not comment to media outside court but indicated that they were pleased with the verdict.

Forrest will be sentenced at a later date.

Bill Adamson’s son John Adamson leaves the court after the guilty verdict.

Bill Adamson’s son John Adamson leaves the court after the guilty verdict.

New footage of police questioning a Sydney carer who poisoned her elderly patient and left him to die has been released.

Kerry Forrest, 54, was found guilty last month of administering a lethal dose of morphine-based pain killer MS-Contin to Bill Adamson, 84, at a Campbelltown motel in April 2010.

But as video shows, Forrest strongly denied any part in the former realtor and property developer’s death in the hours after calling Triple-0.

“Do you have any knowledge as to how [Bill Adamson] died?” a detectives asks.
“What do you mean?” Forrest replies.

“Do you know how he died?” the detective repeats.
To which she replies, “In his sleep…no idea.”

Recorded about 2am the morning after Mr Adamson’s decomposing body was found, a weeping Forrest told detectives she thought he was just sleeping and didn’t think to wake him after two days.

The pair had moved into the motel room that week following the sale of Mr Adamson’s home.

A court heard Forrest had moved the proceeds of the sale to her own bank accounts only days after his death.

Within three months she had gambled it all away
A judge was satisfied she was guilty of his murder, crushing up pills and feeding them to him, possibly in his coffee.
Forrest, who has cancer, awaits sentencing at a later date.
Woman carer is found guilty of murdering patient, 84, by giving him lethal dose of medicine so she could spend money from his house sale on the pokies
• Elderly Sydney man Bill Adamson was killed at Maclin Lodge Motel in Campbelltown in April 2010

• The court found that his carer Kerry Forrest, 54, made him ingest a morphine-based pain killer MS-Contin after selling his $690,000 Kareela home

• While he was alive, Forrest transferred the funds into several of her bank accounts which then helped feed her gambling addiction

A Sydney carer was found guilty of murdering Bill Adamson, 84, after she gave him a lethal dose of pain medication.
Kerry Forrest, 54, had wrested control of the sale of his house and used the funds to feed her gambling addiction.
The elderly man was killed at Maclin Lodge Motel in Campbelltown – Sydney’s southwest – in April 2010.
In handing down his verdict following the judge-alone trial on Tuesday, Justice Peter Hidden said Forrest had killed Mr Adamson by making him ingest a lethal dose of the morphine-based pain killer MS-Contin.
‘It is most likely that she crushed tablets and mixed them with his food,’ he told the Supreme Court.
Forrest, the court heard, had been employed by Mr Adamson as a live-in carer in September 2009 after his wife Beryl died.
From this point, Justice Hidden said, her ‘behaviour points to a calculated course of dishonest conduct’.
Forrest became increasingly involved in his financial affairs and by February 2010 helped him sell his Kareela home in southern Sydney for $690,000.
The plan, the 84-year-old former realtor and property developer thought, was to use the money to build on a plot of land that Forrest owned in Bundanoon, located south of Sydney.
At the exchange of the property, $25,000 was placed into a joint account set up in the names of Forrest and Mr Adamson.
Then on April 12, a cheque from the proceeds of Mr Adamson’s home totalling almost $319,000 was placed into the account.
A day later, Forrest and Mr Adamson moved into the Campbelltown motel on April 13, 2010.
No arrangements for accommodation were made after the motel.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Mr Adamson, the money from the sale of his home was quickly being transferred into several of Forrest’s bank accounts.
It was also disappearing down poker machines across Sydney.
The money from the sale of the elderly man’s Kareela home was transferred into Forrest’s bank accounts then into poker machines
Gaming managers at league clubs in Parramatta and Cronulla regularly watched her play more than one machine at once.
Plainly enough, Justice Hidden said, the primary source of her gambling funds came from the sale of Mr Adamson’s house.
By Friday morning of April 16, 2010, Mr Adamson could have been lying dead for up to 24 hours in the twin motel room that the pair was sharing, Justice Hidden said.
But Ms Forrest didn’t call Triple ‘0’ until just before 11pm that night.
This was after trying to get her own doctor to sign the death certificate, going to see her daughter and going to a storage unit.
Forrest also failed to tell Mr Adamson’s sisters and stepson about his death.
‘Ms Forrest misappropriated Mr Adamson’s money and killed him to prevent that misappropriation being exposed,’ Mr Hidden found.
Forrest, who has cancer, sat slumped forward in her wheelchair as the verdict was handed down.

Carer Kerry Forrest ‘gave 84-year-old morphine overdose so she could use cash to build a house’

  • 54-year-old allegedly gave customer a morphine overdose
  • Appeared in court today in a wheelchair
  • Daughter said her mother had talked about marriage

A CARER with a gambling problem killed an elderly man so she could use his cash to build a house, a court heard today

Kerry Forrest, 54, is on trial at the NSW Supreme Court for allegedly giving 84-year-old Bill Adamson a huge overdose of morphine in April 2010.

She was brought into caught in a wheelchair today and had her head on her lap and was wearing dark sunglasses as the court heard evidence.

Forrest’s daughter Kara told the court that after Mr Adamson had sold his Sutherland house, her mother wanted to use the money to build a house in partnership with the older man.

“We visited some display homes in Kellyville.”

Soon after this, Forrest turned up distressed to her daughter in Camden saying that Mr Adamson had died.

“She said that Bill had passed away and I had asked if she had reported it,” Mr Forrest said.

“She said no she hadn’t.”

She then went to the bathroom and splashed water on her face, the court heard.

Forrest told her daughter that she had been out all day and when she returned to the Campbelltown hotel the pair were staying in, she had found him dead.

She asked Ms Forrest and her boyfriend to then drop her around the corner of the hotel and was told by the pair to call the police and ambulance, the court heard.

After his death, Forrest was heard saying that she had moved his money into a joint account so “they could not touch it”.

Ms Forrest also said her mother’s gambling problem was so bad that after Mr Adamson’s death she caught her playing two poker machines at once and she had to confiscate her debit cards.

At another time, Forrest told her daughter that MrAdamson wanted to marry her.

The judge-only trial before Justice Peter Hidden continues.

Police allege carer murdered old man

The 51-year-old woman charged this week with murdering an elderly man had been renting a Moruya property under an assumed name.

The 84-year-old man was found dead in a motel room in Campbelltown in April last year.

A post-mortem examination confirmed he had died from a morphine overdose.

Campbelltown Police have been investigating Kerry Forrest, of Carlingford, since the man’s death.

Detective Inspector Paul Albury said they had been “monitoring her activities for some months as part of the investigations”.

He said, when it was confirmed in October that the man died from a “massive” morphine overdose, they started treating the investigation as a homicide.

Police had been tracking Ms Forrest across the state. Det Albury said she hadn’t been in Moruya for very long.

Ms Forrest was arrested in the main street on Monday night and charged with murder. She appeared before Bega Local Court on Tuesday, where she was refused bail.

Police say investigations are continuing and it is expected further charges will be laid.

Det Albury said Ms Forrest was the elderly man’s carer, but confirmed it wasn’t a euthanasia case.

“It’s the type of case whereby a woman is alleged to have committed fraud offences and, in order to cover up fraud offences, she has (allegedly) committed a murder,” he said.

The man sold his house and it is alleged Ms Forrest siphoned off large amounts of money into her own accounts, under an assumed name, to finance gambling habits.

Police also allege they found some of the man’s possessions when they searched Ms Forrest’s home, including the man’s dead wife’s ashes, photo albums and boxes of water-saving devices the man was selling commercially.

Ms Forrest also faced Moruya Local Court last Friday on four driving charges, including disqualified driving, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, and displaying a misleading registration label at Broulee last December.

These charges were adjourned until March 11 at Moruya Local Court. The murder case has been adjourned to Campbelltown Local Court on April 6.

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Out on Parole-Graeme John Slattery a sadist well before he kept a woman prisoner as his ‘slave’ in garage


Graeme John Slattery was a sadist well before he kept a woman prisoner as his ‘slave’ in the garage of his Warrnambool house

Graeme Slattery has an awful history of violence, manipulation and cruelty.

Graeme Slattery has an awful history of violence, manipulation and cruelty.

GRAEME John Slattery became a sadist before he became a teenager.

By the time he was 11 or 12 his two younger sisters remember childhood bullying turning into something far more sinister.

It was about that time, during beachside family holidays at Balgowan, on the Yorke Peninsula, that his nasty streak began to badly frighten the girls.

They remember him throwing fish guts and blood into the water to try to attract sharks while his nine-year-old sister was learning how to swim near the jetty.

PAROLED: Sadistic puppeteer Graeme Slattery beyond redemption

And the time he pushed her out of a dinghy more than 300m off shore and left her struggling in the water to fend for herself.

And how he used to terrify her by putting her head in an oven at the family’s home in Adelaide and switching the gas on.

The painful recollections of Slattery’s family reveal a history of brutality stretching back 30 years.

 

Graeme John Slattery, in 9172, pictured as a pupil in Grade 6 at Gilles Plains Primary Sc

Graeme John Slattery, in 9172, pictured as a pupil in Grade 6 at Gilles Plains Primary School in Adelaide.

They make it clear that until the day he was sentenced to at least 11 1/2 years in jail — for his disgusting treatment of a woman who lived in the garage of the family’s Warrnambool home for 12 months in 1998 and 1999 — he had never been adequately punished for a lifetime of inflicting pain on others.

The case that finally brought him to court, and made him a source of enormous public fascination and disgust, was the extraordinary tale of the woman he called “Toe Rag’’ and treated as a slave.

 12/11/2002. Graeme Slattery at Warrnambool Magistartes Court. Digital image.

Graeme Slattery pictured outside Warrnambool Magistrates Court. 

Slattery, a 42-year-old boat builder at the time he faced trial, originally faced 69 charges including rape and 34 assaults.

The assaults included allegations she had been forced to eat cow manure and Slattery’s faeces, that she had been made to bang her head against walls, a tree, a cafe window, a lamp post and a concrete block, punch herself in the ears, drink motor oil and eat snails.

The prosecution also alleged the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was forced to stand naked on her head in front of Mr Slattery’s friends, and run naked across roads.

It took four days of deliberations for the jury to convict him of 10 counts of intentionally causing injury, eight indecent assaults, 22 assaults, one count of threatening serious injury and one of blackmail. He was cleared of the others, including the charge of rape.

 

Slattery — pictured as a young man — took pleasure in hurting others, his family say.

Slattery — pictured as a young man — took pleasure in hurting others, his family say. 

A psychologist and a psychiatrist who assessed Slattery for the judge who sentenced him disagreed about whether there was any forensic explanation for his conduct, but his family’s views are uncomplicated.

“I think he gets a thrill out of hurting people,’’ said one of Slattery’s sisters

“But it’s always women or children, or people weaker than he is — people he can have authority over. He never takes on anyone bigger or stronger than him.’’

She recalled the time her 17-year-old brother held his teenage girlfriend upside down in a swimming pool at their home and nearly drowned her.

Later, when he was an adult, she saw him punish his eldest daughter in the same way by submerging her head in a fish pond in the garden.

The little girl was three, and had been taken back to Adelaide by Slattery and his wife, Julie, to see his terminally ill mother.

Graeme Slattery as a teenager third from the left in a striped jumper, at the family's sh

Graeme Slattery as a teenager second from the left in a striped jumper, at the family’s shack.

“He started an argument by saying that he wanted many of mum’s valuables when she died,’’ his sister said recently in a statement to police.

“He was yelling at us. This caused his three-year-old daughter to start screaming and he said to Julie, `Shut that f…… kid up’.

“She didn’t stop. Graeme grabbed her and ran outside to the fish pond. He then held her by the ankles, head first in the fish pond.

“Dad and the rest of us went outside. We told him to stop. He wouldn’t, and there was nothing we could do.

“He eventually let her head out of the water. She was choking on the water.’’

She said that around the same time her brother grabbed a sharp kitchen knife, held it against his other sister’s stomach and threatened to cut out her unborn child.

 

John Slattery accepts his son was nasty to others from the very beginning.

John Slattery accepts his son was nasty to others from the very beginning. 

Only a few years after he started walking, Graeme Slattery’s parents sought professional

Only a few years after he started walking, Graeme Slattery’s parents sought professional help over his behaviour. 

Slattery’s father, John, said his son was often bad tempered and nasty to other people as a child, and was taken to a doctor at the age of six or seven because of his behavioural problems.

He was prescribed medication which improved his behaviour, but he stopped taking it when he was 16 after a nurse told him it was for people with mental problems and epilepsy.

“Within a few months he became very nasty towards his sister,’’ Mr Slattery said in a statement to police. “He was argumentative and impossible to talk to because he was always right.’’

HE said that about that time his son started learning karate, and would practise for hours every day.

“He was fanatical about it. He was practising with his friends and would put protective jackets on them, but he would still hurt them and they stopped visiting him.

“By the time he was 18 he was big and strong and I was very wary of him physically. For him to say he was frightened of me is ridiculous.’’

That claim by Graeme Slattery — that a violent upbringing explained his subsequent depraved behaviour — was made in a psychologist’s report tendered to the County Court during his pre-sentence plea hearing.

It has been dismissed as fanciful nonsense by all other members of his family.

The psychologist’s diagnosis of an anti-social borderline personality disorder was also dismissed by the psychiatrist.

After leaving school Slattery got a job as a delivery driver for the Adelaide Ball Bearing Company.

 

Slattery treated his cars better than his friends, family and girlfriends.

Slattery treated his cars better than his friends, family and girlfriends.

He didn’t last long, but by the time he was 18 the strapping teenager with a love of cars asked his parents to guarantee a loan and help him set up a car detailing business.

He was soon in trouble with the law over forged cheques he used to buy paint for the business — and a karate trophy he pretended to have won in competition.

The cheques were stolen by a man wearing a balaclava who knocked a woman down and stole her purse, but Slattery insisted he had found them in the street.

He was given a suspended sentence by the Adelaide Supreme Court. Just before his 21st birthday he was back in trouble and in jail facing a charge of car theft.

His parents bailed him, but he failed to appear in court.

A warrant for his arrest was issued, but — with his parents’ help — he fled to Brisbane, Perth then Sydney, where he met his future wife, Julie.

 

Slattery marries Julie.

Slattery marries Julie.

By the late 1980s he had settled in Melbourne, where he took up abalone poaching and philandering — both on a large scale.

John Slattery told police his son brought three women to Adelaide and introduced them to the family.

All had been told Julie was Slattery’s sister, and at least two of them thought they were going to marry him.

Mr Slattery also received a call from a woman in Sydney who had been told the same story.

The woman also told him that while skin diving with his son he had cut her air hose and held her underwater until she blacked out.

Warrnambool detective Fred Hughson began tracing Slattery’s movements after his arrest in 2001 for assaulting two employees.

As Det Hughson started joining the dots to establish the extent of Slattery’s criminal behaviour, a frightening pattern emerged.

Holding women and children’s heads under water, whether it was in a swimming pool, a pond, a bucket or the open sea, was not the only common denominator.

For more than 10 years he had preyed on vulnerable single women.

Det-Sgt Fred Hughson put together Slattery’s a disturbing pattern of behaviour. Digital i

Det-Sgt Fred Hughson put together Slattery’s a disturbing pattern of behaviour.

HE convinced them he would help get their lives back in order, borrowed or stole money from them, bullied and beat them, mistreated and humiliated their children and threatened to harm their families if they left him or did not help in his sign-writing and poaching businesses.

The level of overt support Slattery received from his wife and six children during his three-week trial in Ballarat’s County Court was one of many things that amazed people about the man who became known as the slave master.

Graeme and Julie Slattery in 1980.

Graeme and Julie Slattery in 1980. 

Julie Slattery, was a constants support to Graeme during his trial

Julie Slattery, was a constant support to Graeme during his trial 

Julie Slattery was in court almost every day.

The day the jury retired to consider their verdict she blew him a kiss and said, “Bye spunk’’ as he left the dock.

Several of his children, including the daughter dunked in the fish pond, also took their turn in court to lend support.

They heard shocking evidence about their father’s treatment of the ‘slave’ woman who lived at their property.

At one point in the trial prosecutor Peter Faris, QC, suggested to the jury that the woman was almost treated as “the family slave’’.

Julie Slattery certainly saw much of what happened in her own back yard, where the woman was hosed down every few days with cold water, forced to perform degrading chores and regularly beaten.

The court was told Mrs Slattery watched, but said nothing as her husband shaved the woman’s head and forced her to pierce her nipple with a needle, and regularly saw her abused and humiliated.

 

Julie Slattery at her husband’s trial.

Julie Slattery at her husband’s trial. 

Slattery pictured in court in 2004.

Slattery pictured in court in 2004. 

Judge Graeme Crossley observed after the trial that Mrs Slattery had done well to face only one charge herself.

She received a suspended sentence in 2002 after pleading guilty to making threats to cause serious injury by conspiring with her husband to arrange for a stand-over man to threaten a key witness in a series of fraud charges against Slattery.

Before Slattery’s trial police and prosecutors took the view that his wife had probably been beaten into submission years earlier and, like so many others, became a slave to him.

 

Slattery told his female victim that Julie was really his sister.

Slattery told his female victim that Julie was really his sister. 

SLATTERY’S father told police he once saw his son punch his wife in the face and knock her to the ground because she had ironed a crease into his jeans.

But the slave master’s female victims are not inclined to give Julie Slattery the sympathy vote.

Three Melbourne women beaten and brutalised by Slattery between 1989 and 1999 told the Herald Sun they believed she shared culpability for their suffering at her husband’s hands.

All three were first introduced to her as Slattery’s sister, not his wife, and all said she knew he was having relationships with them.

One of Slattery’s real sisters said he had turned his wife into a zombie who was too frightened to do or say anything about his behaviour.

“But there’s help out there,’’ the sister said. “She watched that poor woman humiliated and she did nothing. She should have done something to help.’’

The sister, who did not want to be named, said she felt great sympathy for the couple’s six children.

“They do not deserve children. Those kids probably think this is how life is,’’ she said.

“They used to have brand new bikes in the shed, but they weren’t allowed to ride them because Graeme didn’t want them talking to other people.

“It sounds like a cult, something you’d see in a movie … but unfortunately it’s our family.’’

John Slattery says Graeme’s children were also kept under his strict control.

John Slattery says Graeme’s children were also kept under his strict control.

John Slattery said his son had forced the children to lead a strictly regimented life.

“When they came home from school they had to immediately get into their pyjamas and remain in the house until they went to bed,’’ Mr Slattery said in his statement.

“They weren’t allowed outside to play at all. They were not allowed to go to other children’s parties, and no one was allowed to eat until he came home, and this could be any time.

“Julie and the children had to immediately obey any of his requests, often running to do so.’’

Slattery told psychologist Wendy Northey his life in the ‘90s was “a cross between a James Bond movie and a Jackass movie’’.

He blamed everything from a difficult birth and an abusive father to Asian kingpins in the illegal abalone industry for his grotesque behaviour during the decade of depravity covered by the charges against him.

Graeme Slattery (in red) pictured in 1994 during the rescue of an abalone diver. Picture:

Graeme Slattery (in red) pictured in 1994 during the rescue of an abalone diver.

Slattery told Ms Northey he was making thousands of dollars a week from abalone poaching, and spending thousands a month on amphetamines.

“He was desperately attempting to maintain control at a time when his world was falling apart,’’ Ms Northey wrote in her report to the County Court.

“His life had been threatened and he felt trapped by the heavies of the abalone poaching industry,’’ she said in her assessment of Slattery. “He states: `I was f….., I was their boy’.’’

But, like most of the information in the psychologist’s report, it was based entirely on Slattery’s version of events.

Slattery with his mother Marlene.

Slattery with his mother Marlene.

And, like most of the assertions he made, it didn’t stand up to scrutiny.

As Judge Graeme Crossley observed, the bulk of the report was “absolutely unsupported by a tittle of evidence’’.

The one part of Slattery’s statement to the psychologist that was based on fact rather than fiction was his claim that he was a talented soap box racer.

But his father dismissed the psychologist’s assertion in her report to the court that his son “travelled overseas and won a world championship’’.

Family photographs provided by Slattery and included as an attachment to the report included pictures which suggested he had competed in the 39th All-American Soap Box Derby in 1978 in Akron, Ohio.

But Mr Slattery said his son never got to the US to race.

“We couldn’t afford to go. We tried to raise some money, but couldn’t,’’ he said.

He said certificates from Akron and the event organisers, provided to the psychologist by Slattery, had been sent to him as a memento despite his inability to compete.

Graeme Slattery — like his father before him — did win the South Australian billy cart championship, and once recorded a speed of 85km/h in a cart built by his father.

He also raced interstate, but his father said his claim to have beaten visiting Japanese, German and US racers to claim the world title was way off track.

 

Graeme Slattery following his release on parole from Margoneet Prison. Picture: Mike Keat

Graeme Slattery following his release on parole from Margoneet Prison.

THE great white shark expedition could have been a metaphor for Graeme Slattery’s approach to life.His grand plan to bring overseas divers to Australia to swim with man-eaters certainly sounded impressive.

Like so many of his schemes and lies and fantasies, it was more Jackass than James Bond.

Advance bookings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were sold at a diving industry trade show in New Orleans.

But when the first group of American adventurers arrived in Australia, the biggest shark they encountered proved to be Slattery.

 

Sandra, was another of Slattery’s victims.

Sandra, was another of Slattery’s victims. 

Another victim was “Sandra’’, who accompanied him to the United States dive show and later found she had unwittingly paid for the trip and all the marketing material promoting the venture.

She later told police she had given Slattery more than $35,000 in the belief she was investing in the business and the money would be used to buy boats and equipment.

The money was all in cash, withdrawn from a bank account in her younger son’s name, and was the balance of a court settlement related to the sale of a house after her divorce.

“I thought I was paying for a 28ft (8.5m) Bertram boat in Adelaide that he showed me pictures of and said it was going to be used for the shark diving expeditions,’’

“I never saw the boat, a receipt or anything — but now I know how the trip to America got paid for.’’

Sandra said Slattery took her passport and hid it when they arrived in the US, then left her to sell diving trips while he chatted up women working at the show.

She told police she had no idea how much Slattery was paid or what happened to the money.

Slattery’s lies appeared to know no bounds. Pictured in 1994 by Channel 9.

Slattery’s lies appeared to know no bounds. Pictured in 1994

But when the first group of American divers arrived in Australia the expedition quickly proved to be “an absolute fiasco’’.

“I was sent to Adelaide, where the trips were to start from,’’ Sandra said.

“Slattery was to supply suitable accommodation and a properly equipped diving boat, a diving cage and staff. If I started to question him about details he told me to shut up.’’

Sandra said Slattery forced her to leave her two sons without warning and drive with him to Adelaide the next day.

“I didn’t want to go, but I had no choice,’’ she said. “In Adelaide there was no boat, a crappy motel and the Americans were getting very angry.’’

After making excuses for several days that the weather was too rough to go diving, Slattery sent Sandra before dawn to tell a charter boat skipper from Kangaroo Island that the trip was off.

When she arrived back at the motel the great white shark hunter had climbed out through a bathroom window and headed home to Melbourne, leaving her to face the music.

“I was wrecked emotionally and physically,’’ she said.

“Eventually the Americans made me come to one of the rooms and sat in a circle around me and asked me what was going on.’’

The disgruntled tourists left the next day talking court cases, while Sandra was left to pay a $1200 bill for the motel and the wages for two girls who had been hired as cooks.

“I knew Graeme was full of lies, but I was in too deep and was too terrified to go against him for fear of his threats,’’ Sandra told police.

 

Slattery's former house at where he kept a woman trapped as a slave.

Slattery’s former house at where he kept a woman trapped as a slave. 

THE woman whose ordeal at the hands of slave master Graeme Slattery almost defies belief says

at last she has started to regain control.

She has a job she enjoys, has renewed her relationship with the children she gave up to protect them from Slattery and has a new man in her life.

This time though, it’s a man who loves and respects her, treats her well and makes her happy.

And, importantly, a man her son and daughter regard as “cool’’ after spending three weeks with their mother and her new fiance during the last school holidays.

The woman’s decision to speak is a measure of her new determination and independence.

“Why should I hide any more?’’ she asked.

“I’ve been through so much, and there’s been so many times I just wanted to end it.

“But the support of my family and friends has been great. They all know what happened now, so I don’t see why I should hide my face.

“After what I’ve been through, I’m not going to put up with any crap any more.’’

Her journey back from the depths of despair and humiliation has been long and traumatic.

 

Even Slattery’s choice of tie appeared to mock his situation.

Even Slattery’s choice of tie appeared to mock his situation.

She has survived two suicide attempts, a major operation, a nervous breakdown and extensive therapy during a long spell in hospital.

But now she feels that at last she has reason to feel more positive and cautiously optimistic about the future.

She also feels anger towards the man who sent her to the dark side.

“I hate his guts,’’ she says.

“I call him `The Plank’, because he’s like a piece of wood with no feelings or emotion.

“I hate him because he put me in this situation. It’s been really hard and I didn’t think I would ever get back to this stage.”

The woman shares the belief of other victims and police who investigated Slattery that he is capable of killing.

“I felt like if I stayed any longer he would kill me,’’ she said.

“It was getting to the stage I was so sick of being belted for no reason at all, I thought if I didn’t get out then I’d probably be dead.’’