Paul Wilkinson and his lover, Kylie Labouchardiere exchanged more than 23,000 SMS messages, then he killed her


March 11, 2012

Paul Wilkinson and his lover exchanged more than 23,000 SMS messages in the four months of their affair. He used the last ones to lure her to a meeting where he killed her to save his marriage. Michael Duffy explores one of our strangest murderers.

Kylie Labouchardiere.Kylie Labouchardiere.

THE affair between Paul Wilkinson and Kylie Labouchardiere began in late 2003, not long after he was a patient at Sutherland Hospital, where she was a nurse’s aide.

He was 27 years old, four years older than her, and both were cheating on their spouses.

Wilkinson lured Kylie by pretending to be doing important undercover work in the police force – in fact, he was an Aboriginal community liaison officer.

He had a rich fantasy life and often lied to attract people who were gullible, like Kylie. Owing to a troubled childhood, she had grown up to be someone who, in the words of her sister Leanne, ”just couldn’t hear the alarm bells ringing”.

She had failed to become pregnant with her husband of one year, navy sailor Sean Labouchardiere, and was looking for excitement.

Kylie was able to spend time with Wilkinson because her husband was at sea. Wilkinson got away from his wife, Julie Thurecht, by fabricating death threats to his family and insisting Julie and their infant son stay with her parents, for their own safety.

Paul Wilkinson and Julie Thurecht.
Paul Wilkinson and Julie Thurecht.

Before long he and Kylie were exchanging 184 calls and text messages a day and in early 2004 she was head over heels in love and demanding he leave his wife to be with her. He refused on the grounds that he was devoted to his son.

But on April 13 Kylie learnt she was pregnant and she increased the pressure.

Kylie disappeared on April 28, 2004. When police checked her phone records they discovered 28,836 texts and calls between the pair in the previous four months. They also saw – by looking at the locations of the mobile phone towers she had been near when she sent texts – that on the day she disappeared, she had travelled from her home at Erina to Sutherland railway station, near Wilkinson’s home. His phone records showed he had left home not long after 8.15pm and driven to Sutherland, in time to meet her train.

After that, there was no more phone communication between them and Kylie’s phone was not used again.

It was clear from this text pattern that Wilkinson had almost certainly killed Kylie but police had no other evidence. A crime scene and her body have never been found. Police began to tap Wilkinson’s phone and recorded a series of bizarre texts. These increased after he went into the Police Integrity Commission and announced he had been forced to help Geoff Lowe, a police sergeant, kill Kylie in the Royal National Park. Wilkinson hated Lowe, who had nothing to do with Kylie’s death.

In the end, Wilkinson sent police to five different places in search of Kylie’s body, at a cost of more than $200,000. At times he seemed to be aware police would be monitoring his text messages to friends, taunting them with pieces of false information such as: ”The following [grave location] is HALK co-ordinates 2 a location 26E 29N in the event of death & only death a cousin will ring u with the otha half.”

In 2006, police still didn’t have enough to convict Wilkinson, so an undercover officer tried to befriend him by pretending he was making a film about police corruption and offered to pay for information about where, according to Wilkinson, Lowe had buried Kylie. This produced no results, although Wilkinson did text the officer one day: ”If I may ask a favour, may receive $2000 2day 2 escape on my return … Body location and full story u keep the agreed $15,000. Ill expose all … Im desperate chap 2 get away.”

By this time Julie had divorced Wilkinson but still kept in touch. One day she asked why he wouldn’t tell police where Kylie was buried.

He replied with his most notorious text: ”Everybody has reasons 4 hiding a crime. Mine is the family can live not knowing where and why 4 What they hav don. Call me cruel, call me nasty and YES Id agree, howeva my knowledge ISNT goin 2 b theres. … her family can live their lives in misery 4 all I care F— THEM.”

Finally, Glenn Smith and Rebekkah Craig, the detectives chasing Wilkinson, thought they had enough to charge him. They had evidence that Kylie had believed, when she went to meet Wilkinson in 2004, that they were going away to live in Dubbo.

But the first lawyer who looked at the case at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said the police case was too weak. One problem was that there was no evidence Wilkinson had really planned to go away with Kylie.

The police were shattered. The decision was due to be reviewed by a more senior lawyer and, on the Sunday before that meeting, Smith went into his office in one last desperate search for evidence. To his surprise, in the evidence locker he found a second mobile phone that had once belonged to Kylie. It had been discovered before he joined the investigation and he had never heard of it. Once he gained access to the phone, he discovered some texts she had received from Wilkinson. A week after Kylie had told him she was pregnant, he had sent her this message: ”2day and Wednesday then it’s DB [Dubbo] u and I are 2getha 4eva.”

It was the text equivalent of a smoking gun. At the meeting, the senior lawyer said to Smith, ”So why haven’t you charged him yet?”

In 2009, Paul Wilkinson was sentenced to a minimum of 24 years in jail for the murder of Kylie Labouchardiere, the sentence longer than it would have been otherwise because he had not said where she was buried.

Those familiar with the case suggest three possible reasons for the silence. One is that Wilkinson wants to feel important; another is that her body would reveal such a terrible death that his sentence would have been even longer. The third theory is that he had an accomplice and the grave might in some way identify that person – or that the accomplice moved the body after Wilkinson was arrested, so now he really doesn’t know where Kylie is. Whatever the reason, Kylie’s family continues to suffer terribly from not knowing.

Call Me Cruel, by Michael Duffy, is published by Allen & Unwin, $29.99.

Court Judgements here

R v Wilkinson (No. 5) [2009] NSWSC 432 (22 May 2009)

R v Wilkinson (No. 4) [2009] NSWSC 323 (21 April 2009)

R v Wilkinson (No. 3) [2009] NSWSC 293 (1 April 2009)

R v Wilkinson (No. 2) [2008] NSWSC 1432 (19 December 2008)

v Wilkinson [2008] NSWSC 1237 (13 October 2008)

 

Criminals including Tony Mokbel consider appealing convictions after IBAC mauls police over informer scandal


Here we go again , let the crooks ride the system for all it is worth, mostly on legal aid (taxpayers money). Drug dealers and murderers seem to be the only folks who can get access the bottomless resources of legal aid these days .Day to day folks have no chance because they are not facing jail time, does that make their legal woes any less important while scum like Mokbel milk the system dry? These crims see going to court appeal after appeal as a social outing, a time to see family and friends most of the time. They laugh at the system.

Vic police negligent in managing informers

Vic police negligent in managing informers

GANGLAND figures including Tony Mokbel are considering legal bids for freedom after the corruption watchdog found “negligence of a high order’’ in Victoria Police’s handling of informers.

The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission’s damning report was prompted by a Herald Sun investigation of the force’s controversial use of informers to get information on gangland crimes, drug lords and corrupt police.

IBAC’s inquiry, led by former Supreme Court judge Murray Kellam, found the force failed in its handling of endangered informers and may have subverted Victoria’s justice system.

WITNESS: ‘POLICE THREATENED TO TAKE MY CHILD’

EDITORIAL: WE’VE BEEN KEPT IN DARK ON DIRTY SKELETON

The Herald Sun can today reveal one witness central to the IBAC inquiry has said senior police once threatened to take away a child unless the child’s parent joined the secretive witness protection program.

Tony Mokbel.

Tony Mokbel.

IBAC found police had failed to follow their own guidelines and policies and made 16 secret recommendations for how to handle “human sources’’.

Police passed the report to prosecutors, as Premier Daniel Andrews vowed to oversee reforms “to learn where things have gone wrong”.

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said he would take responsibility, despite not being in command at the time of the controversial decisions.

The report is secret, but there were calls for it to be made public as IBAC revealed the force’s handling of cases may have adversely affected the administration of justice.

The ramifications of the informer scandal could intensify the demand for a judicial inquiry into the police handling of a series of notorious cases.

How the scandal unfolded.

How the scandal unfolded.

The Herald Sun understands several major criminals, including jailed kingpin Tony Mokbel, convicted killer Faruk Orman and a jailed drug figure, are considering their legal options because of the possible contamination of their cases.

Mokbel, who is serving at least 22 years for drug trafficking, has legal advice that the informer crisis could found a successful appeal against his conviction and sentence.

A Mokbel friend said: “We’ve been approached by some lawyers who say … he might knock off a few years, because they have conspired against him.”

Police had previously told the Office of Public Prosecutions more than a dozen cases may have been tainted by their handling of informers.

Mr Cartwright said: “Victoria Police acknowledges there were shortfalls in our management of human sources during that time (2005-09). We didn’t follow best practice and it’s important that lessons were learnt and they have been.”

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright. Picture: MIKE KEATING

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright. Picture: MIKE KEATING

But he said that the force and prosecutors had found no evidence of a contaminated trial at state level.

“In terms of the state in the last couple of years, there is no evidence at this stage of any threat to any conviction or any evidence of mistrial,” he said.

Any miscarriage of justice would be acted upon, he said.

Opposition police spokesman Ed O’Donohue said: “Daniel Andrews should urgently release a safe, redacted version of this report otherwise his lack of transparency could unfairly erode public confidence in our police force.”

Mr Andrews would not rule out releasing a redacted report.

“It’s my expectation that Victoria Police get on and implement each and every one of the recommendations that IBAC have made … given the history of this matter, I do hope to have more to say soon.

“But at the same time we do need to be very careful.”

He would not be drawn on why a key source was not interviewed by IBAC.


 

Toni McHugh-Who are You? Go away now


Courtesy of Australian Women’s Weekly…

Toni McHugh: ‘My future with Gerard included his children’

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The mistress of convicted wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay believed she would eventually build a life with him and his three young daughters.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Toni McHugh has opened up about how she and the now convicted murderer had high hopes of setting up house together and getting shared custody of his children.

McHugh, who was engaged in a four year affair with Baden-Clay when he violently killed his wife of 14 years,  Allison Baden-Clay, says she always considered the couple’s children when they discussed a life together.

“The future I was planning with Gerard, it actually included them. It included Allison! I thought we would all get to the point where we all, you know, shared custody, like adults and got on,” she told The Weekly.

Related: Gerard Baden-Clay’s secret life of betrayal revealed

The former real estate salesperson also shared unsettling details about the moment she came close to Allison’s body.

“We drove over that bridge, and she was under there, and later that day, maybe around noon, we heard a woman’s body has been found, and I knew straight away – instantly – that it was Allison,” Ms McHugh said.

When asked whether or not she felt responsible for Allison’s untimely death, McHugh, who describes herself as ‘Australia’s Monica Lewinsky’ – the most famous White House intern in history, said ‘No’.

Related: Gerard Baden-Clay’s colleague tells: ‘I was working with a murderer’

“It is horrible to have it said that you are the motive (for murder),” she said.

“But no, I’m sorry, he wasn’t thinking about me. He was thinking about himself.”

While McHugh admits she’s still trying to come to terms with what’s happened, she is now planning to write a book about the case.

“I’m the only one who can tell this story,” she said.

Gerard Baden-Clay was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years behind bars for killing Allison and dumping her body in Brisbane’s Kholo Creek.

Read more of this story in the August issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly. 

Who wants to be a unpaid crime blog reporter/contributer?


Not real journo’s who still have a job, maybe cadets (but not good for resume…mmm)

Maybe old school scribes who wish they could stay in the game!

How about folks like me with no relevant qualifications but gives a toss about the crimes in their communities?

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

People like me? You relate to how I write?

Hey cant spell well, 2 finger typer…So am I YES…Our stuff gets checked before we post.

Sounds like you?

GOOD keep reading

This site has had massive coverage lately (I cover non famous crimes too)

I’m thinking along the lines of a Co-ordinator in each state

That co-ordinator runs that states crimes and has authors who get the stories up.

What do you think?

Sound good, bad, troublesome, confusing?

All I want is to give the best coverage of what is going on in our communities.

The community expectations has/have?  outgrown my skills honestly…

Each state, minimum deserves better coverage. The good people email me why haven’t you covered this rape, or that kidnapping, or the death of a cousin in my indigenous community.

You could help us!

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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Single mum on benefits accused of conning lovelorn men in their 60s and 70s out of $2m


A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims’ money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.

Her name is kept from us, but she is a disgrace, robbing lonely old men out of all their money, mind you she is on the pension collecting over $1500 a fortnight already. Three thousand dollars a month, but she wanted more for herself, over 2 million dollars she extracted from these old blokes with all sorts of bullshit lies. A real pro, 5 bank accounts, money laundering, online ads, newspapers, the sexy photos…Greedy disgusting person

Don’t think for a minute she was doing this for her kids. No the money spent on outrageously expensive hand bags, sports cars and plastic surgery and the like. Not things useful to her four children aged 2 to 16

Single mum on benefits accused of conning lovelorn men in their 60s and 70s out of $2m

The suspect is led away by police / Picture: Matt Jewell

The suspect, a mother of four, is led away by police in Miller in Sydney’s west.

  • Mother of four, 39, was arrested yesterday in Miller
  • Received $1500 a fortnight through social security
  • Conned money from three men without meeting them
  • Had a sexual relationship with another
  • Two victims were in their 60s, two in their 70s

A SINGLE mother on benefits prowled lonely hearts messages online and in ­newspapers to “romance scam” more than $2 million from lovelorn men.

The 39-year-old woman was arrested yesterday at her Miller home in Sydney’s West and is understood to be the first person in Australia to be charged with the crime more commonly associated with Nigerian fraudsters.

The woman allegedly scammed four men using a variety of convincing stories.

The woman allegedly scammed four men using a variety of convincing stories.

The mother of four children, aged two to 16, received $1500 a fortnight in social ­security benefits. But she ­allegedly spent the proceeds from her romance fraud on sports cars, exotic holidays, Louis Vuitton handbags and plastic surgery.

She also allegedly bought a house in Miller, tore it down and built a new one.

Three of the men handed over money to the woman without even meeting her while one, an interstate ­businessman, had a sexual ­relationship with her at a north shore apartment that he owned.

The profile photo the woman used online to lure men / Picture: Supplied

The profile photo the woman used online to lure men

“This woman was very good at convincing men that she was in love with them and that they were in a relationship,’’ said Detective Superintendent ­Arthur Katsogiannis, the head of the NSW Fraud and ­Cybercrime Squad.

Police will allege the woman had five bank ­accounts and spun a number of sob stories to the victims, which all ended in her needing them to put money in her bank accounts.

“She would tell the men that a relative in Egypt had died and she needed money to get the funds released from the state or her child needed an operation in Melbourne,’’ Detective Katsogiannis said.

“We will allege she used a number of these stories to play on the men’s good nature and emotions.’’

Police seize cars from the woman’s Western Sydney home as she is led away by police / Pic

Police seize cars from the woman’s Western Sydney home as she is led away by police

Police will also claim she laundered the money by buying expensive cars and then selling them at a loss.

One victim was allegedly duped of $1.9 million and the other three gave over $190,000, $58,000 and $12,000. Two of the men were aged in their 60s and another two were in their 70s. Police believe the woman could have many more victims.

“This sort of scam is often operated from overseas and we believe this is the first time anyone has been charged with doing it in Australia,” Detective Katsogiannis said.

“The men who have come forward are to be commended. It takes a lot of courage to report something potentially very embarrassing.’’

Police froze more than a $1 million in cash and assets and yesterday seized cars from the woman’s home.

The woman targeted older men who placed ads on singles message boards Lavalife and Meeting Point.

“We live in a world where love has grown cold, loneliness is increasing,” Detective Katsogiannis said.

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