Police catch Masa Vukotic’s alleged killer, SEAN Price

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Sean Price smiled at cameras and stuck up his finger as he was taken from Sunshine police station.

Sean Price smiled at cameras and stuck up his finger as he was taken from Sunshine police station.

Updated 2pm 20/03/15

The father of 17-year-old stabbing victim Masa Vukotic has attended the second court appearance of his daughter’s accused killer Sean Price in Melbourne.

Price was charged with the murder Ms Vukotic as she walked through Koonung Creek Linear Reserve in Stanton Street near her home in Doncaster on Tuesday night.

Neighbours called triple-0 after they heard screaming, but paramedics were unable to revive the girl, who had been stabbed in the upper body.

Price, 31, from Albion, glared wide-eyed at reporters and put his hands to his mouth as he sat in the dock for his brief appearance in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Ms Vukotic’s father stared at Price throughout the hearing.

Price was also charged with rape, robbery and assault relating to an alleged crime spree just before he handed himself into Sunshine police station on Thursday morning.

Prosecutors said they needed to examine extensive amounts of CCTV footage from 12 suburbs taken over a week.

When the magistrate asked the accused to stand, Price said nothing and stared at the ceiling.

Magistrate Charles Rozencwajg remanded Price in custody until June 26.


 

LATEST: SEAN Christian Price of Albion allegedly went on a criminal spree after police claimed he murdered a Doncaster teenager Masa Vukotic on Tuesday night.

In a five minute bail hearing tonight, Price was charged with the murder of the 17-year-old Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College student.

He was also charged with rape, three assaults and two robberies which police say he committed before handing himself in to a Sunshine police station at 11.30am today.

Price was led into the hearing room at the St Kilda Rd police complex bare-footed, handcuffed and wearing a prison issue blue overalls shortly before 9pm.

After the bail justice Ben Czerniewicz incorrectly read his date of birth as 1954 Price yelled “are you a judge?”

“I must look pretty good for my age?”

Mr Czerniewicz said: “I have no choice not to remand you, do you understand that?”

Price replied “yes”.

Price slouched in his chair throughout the proceeding and only became animated when his age was read out incorrectly.

He was remanded in custody and will face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning.

LATEST: SEAN Price of Albion is the man arrested over the murder of Doncaster teenager Masa Vukotic.

He has form guys check this out

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2004-10-12/man-sent-to-psychiatric-hospital-over-sex-crimes/567212


Doncaster teenager Masa Vukotic: suspect Sean Price threatened to kill officers

March 19, 2015 – 6:44PM

The suspect is driven to the St Kilda road police complex to be interviewed.The suspect is driven to the St Kilda road police complex to be interviewed. Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

EXCLUSIVE

The man being interviewed for the murder of Doncaster schoolgirl Masa Vukotic had been charged with threatening to kill two prison officers late last year, and was aggrieved at his treatment on a previous stint in jail.

Sean Price, who presented himself to Sunshine police station on Thursday over the murder in a Doncaster park, served a 10-month stint in Port Phillip prison in 2014 for assault, recklessly causing injury and criminal damage.

On September 18 and 19 of last year, he found himself inside the isolation unit for two days for a prison assault.

While in the isolation block, he threatened, over the prison intercom, to go on a “homicidal rampage” and kill police and children if he was not let out.

“I was saying some pretty vile and disgusting stuff with respect to using knives on people’s orifices, threatening to hurt children,” Mr Price said in a videotaped police interview at Wyndham North police station in October.

“I was buzzing continually every two seconds saying, call the police, telling them I was about to kill children.”

Mr Price said he was acting that way to try to get police attention to his plight: he said he was starved of food and water for the best part of two days, and subjected to a radio played over the intercom day and night.

Mr Price approached The Age  on March 10 to complain about his treatment inside prison, and provided a recording in which a female prison officer is heard saying: “How do you think you’ll go pressing that intercom if we come down and break all your fingers? … If you’ve got a pointy elbow you can use that, but I don’t fancy your chances”.

Mr Price said he was given the recording in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Mr Price is also heard to say: “I would like to speak to the police please. Can you get the police in? … Is this legal?”

The alleged threats to kill, which later resulted in charges, were made against two male prison officers, whom The Age has decided not to name. At this stage there is no suggestion that either is related to Ms Vukotic.

Mr Price told this reporter he made the threats because he hoped the police would come in response and provide him with food and water.

“I also flooded the cell; I pissed in the cell. I was like an animal,” he said.

“I flooded the cell, but it’s their duty of care. They didn’t give me a glass of water … the way they act is illegal.”

In a hand-written letter to The Age, Mr Price also alleged that the treatment of prisoners in Victoria was prompting the popularity of Islam.

In 2004, Mr Price turned himself in to police and then pleaded guilty to 22 charges of raping, indecently assaulting and threatening to kill young women in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

He attacked six women and a 13 year old girl in daylight hours in suburbs incuding Kew, Camberwell and Balwyn between February 2002 and June 2003.

The court heard at the time that he sexually assaulted a mother of two in her home, attacked a 13-year-old schoolgirl and raped a 21-year-old woman on a footpath.

He also confessed that he had committed similar crimes in NSW, but he was not charged with them.

The court was told in 2004 that Price, who was abused as a child, suffered from schizophrenia and psychosis. He was sentenced to a maximum of eight years and two months in hospital detention, with five years and five months to be served, and ordered to be registered as a sexual offender. He served his time at the Thomas Embling Psychiatric Hospital.

In June, 2013, he was charged with multiple counts of assault, criminal damage and intent to damage and destroy property and was sentenced to three years with a non-parole period of two years. He says he was released after 10 months.

In October, 2014, he was charged with threatening to kill two prison officers, related to threats he made while in prison.


Mr Price is also expected to be questioned over a sex attack, two assaults and an attempted carjacking in the western suburbs this morning.

Police said a man approached a 26-year-old man on a foot-bridge near Devonshire Rd, Sunshine, at about 10am.

The offender then assaulted the man and stole his mobile phone.

The victim was taken to hospital.

It is believed the same man then tried to car-jack a car belonging to a 77-year-old Braeside man in McCracken St.

The would-be thief then fled.

At 11.20am, a man walked into a shop on Harvester Rd and physically and sexually assaulted a staff member.

The victim was taken to Sunshine Hospital.

Major Update 19/03/15 12.30pm

 The man smiled at cameras and stuck up his finger as he was taken from Sunshine police station. Source: HeraldSun

SEAN Price of Albion smiled at cameras and stuck up his finger as he was taken from Sunshine police station. Source: HeraldSun

Alleged murderer has been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of 17-year-old Masa Vukotic in a park in Doncaster, Melbourne on Tuesday night.

In his late 20’s and was known to police….Handed himself into Sunshine Police Station detectives after police became aware he was in the area. More to come


Watch this video below of him running away moments after Masa was stabbed to death

New images of suspect in teenager Masa Vukotic’s killing released

Updated 28 minutes ago

A man wanted for questioning over the stabbing death of Masa Vukotic boards a bus in Doncaster. (Victoria Police).jpg

A man wanted for questioning over the stabbing death of Masa Vukotic boards a bus in Doncaster. (Victoria Police).jpg


Close-up photographs of a man boarding a bus just minutes after 17-year-old Masa Vukotic was stabbed to death in a Melbourne park on Tuesday have been released.

The Canterbury Girls Secondary College student’s body was found near a footbridge in Koonung Creek Linear Reserve in Stanton Street in Doncaster after neighbours heard screaming and saw a man fleeing the scene.

Paramedics arrived soon after but were unable to revive the girl, who had been stabbed in the upper body.

The man in the newly released images is wearing a red shirt, black pants and white sneakers and is clutching a white plastic shopping bag, which police believe may contain the weapon.

He boarded the bus on Doncaster Road and got out near the intersection of Hoddle and Johnston Streets in Abbotsford.

Detectives will speak to businesses in Abbotsford today to see if they have any other footage of the man, and see whether there is any Myki data that might identify him.

Detective Inspector Mick Hughes said police were unsure of what led to the attack.

“Five or so people have seen him, it is a very brazen attack, we don’t know just prior to the attack if this is a situation that’s presented to him and he’s seen fit to attack this poor young girl,” he said

“We don’t know what the lead up to this is, but we’re certainly treating this at the high end of homicides and we’re throwing all of the resources into it we can.”

Police have not released details of the assault.

Police say man may be Doncaster local

Police yesterday released CCTV footage of a man running along Heyinton Avenue at the time of the attack.

Detective Inspector Michael Hughes said he expected someone would recognise the man, and urged people to contact Crime Stoppers.

“We believe that footage will identify the offender … the facial [view] is not clear but if someone knows him they’ll know him from that footage,” he said.

“It’s side-on but it gives us a pretty good idea of gait and his general build.

“I think if anyone knows him they’ll know it from the footage.”

Detective Inspector Hughes said he suspected he was a local man.

“I looked at the park and my first thought was that it’s like a little enclave, I thought this smacks of someone who knows the area,” he said.

“You just wouldn’t pick that at random … that’s just my view, we’ll see where that takes us.”

Detective Inspector Hughes described the attack as “chilling” but said it did not appear the man was affected by drugs.

“Ice is definitely a serious contributor to serious crime… this is a bit more chilling than that, if I can use that term,” he said

“It doesn’t appear so, the person who spoke to him in Heyington Avenue, he says he appeared nervous and he got the impression when he asked him for directions to the Doncaster shopping centre, he already knew the answer to the question.

“It was almost like he was trying to lessen his suspicion – that to me doesn’t smack of someone that’s affected by Ice, it’s someone a little bit more cool I think.”


18/03/2015

Updated 21 minutes ago

A manhunt is underway after a teenage girl was stabbed to death in an apparent random attack in a park in Melbourne’s east.

Detectives released CCTV footage in the hope of identifying the man responsible for killing the Canterbury Girls Secondary College student on Tuesday evening.

The 17-year-old’s body was found near a footbridge in Koonung Creek Linear Reserve in Stanton Street in Doncaster at 6:50pm after neighbours heard screaming and saw a man fleeing the scene.

Paramedics arrived soon after but were unable to revive the girl, who had been stabbed in the upper body.

The CCTV footage shows a man running up Heyington Avenue shortly after the attack holding a white plastic shopping bag which police believe may contain the weapon.

Detective Inspector Michael Hughes said he expected someone would recognise the man.

“We believe that footage will identify the offender … the facial [view] is not clear but if someone knows him they’ll know him from that footage,” he said.

“It’s side-on but it gives us a pretty good idea of gait and his general build.

“I think if anyone knows him they’ll know it from the footage.”

The man is described as being of slim build, medium height with short, dark hair and wearing dark clothing.

Detective Inspector Hughes said he suspected he was a local man.

“My experience tells me people tend to congregate in areas they know,” he said.

“So from my aspect, I’d be certainly considering anyone local.”

A man found “loitering suspiciously” nearby the murder scene on Wednesday afternoon was released without charge after being questioned by police and was not being treated as a suspect in the case.


Police believe stabbing was ‘random attack’

Detective Inspector Hughes said the girl was wearing headphones as she went on her daily walk through a park close to her home when she was attacked.

“If you’re listening to music or something it’s very easy to get, I guess, sidetracked and he could have easily come up behind her,” he said.

“The assault has taken place just at the base of the footbridge, and one of our witnesses has seen a male walk out of that location and we believe that’s consistent with the person going up Heyington [Avenue].”

Police have not released details of the assault.

Detective Inspector Hughes said every indication at this stage pointed to it being a random attack.

“Here we have the death of a young woman going about her business,” he said.

“We’ve got to be careful with our safety, particularly females on their own. It’s terrible that we have to be.

“You look at this location so close to the freeway and yet it is quite obstructed.

“Let’s just hope that we can progress this this afternoon and track this fellow down.”

Detective Inspector Hughes said the girl’s family was naturally distressed and had asked for privacy.

They are of Serbian descent having moved to Australia from Montenegro.

A note left at the scene, purportedly from the girl’s “lover”, described her as unique and said she “would always be remembered”.

Police have not located the weapon used in the attack.

The SES and police are continuing to search the area.


Woman’s body found in park in Doncaster

Police Doncaster CCTV

UPDATE: CCTV capturing the moments after a 17-year-old schoolgirl was fatally stabbed in a Doncaster park while on an evening walk could hold the key to catching her killer.

Masa Vukotic, a Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College student, was attacked at the base of the Koonung Creek Linear Park footbridge just before 7pm yesterday.

Victoria Police are treating the daylight slaying as a random attack.

Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Mick Hughes this afternoon said he was confident the footage, showing a man running north along Heyington Ave, would lead them to a person they hope will shed light on the shocking case.

The man is carrying what police believe to be a wrapped-up shopping bag, possibly containing a murder weapon which is yet to be recovered.

The man police want to speak to has short, dark hair, has a slim build, is of medium height and wore dark clothing.

Masa Vukotic.

Masa Vukotic.

Police are also investigating the possibility the girl was followed before she was attacked.

A witness also claimed a man fleeing the scene had a green jacket over his arm.

Police have not declared the man in the footage a suspect.

“We still have an open mind,” Insp Hughes said.

“The CCTV footage could be of someone running after a suspect so we would like whoever is in that footage to come forward.

Masa Vukotic, 17, was killed at the base of the Koonung Creek Linear Park footbridge.

Masa Vukotic, 17, was killed at the base of the Koonung Creek Linear Park footbridge.

“But certainly he is a person of interest at this stage. We hold a lot of hope in the CCTV.

In other aspects of the investigation, police are developing a FACE image of the man and were still talking to the teen’s associates.

But the focus of inquiries were that the attack appeared random, with a chance the killer could be local.

“We’ve got an open mind as to whether it’s random or not – we are certainly treating it as a random attack,” Insp Hughes said.

“My experience tells me people tend to congregate in the areas that they know. All from my aspect I’d certainly be considering anybody local.

The victim was attacked on the Stanton St entrance to Koonung Creek Linear Park in Doncas

The victim was attacked on the Stanton St entrance to Koonung Creek Linear Park in Doncaster.

“People are creatures of habit.”

Family, friends devastated by random slaying

IT was revealed this afternoon that Ms Vukotic attended Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College where she was studying for her VCE.

Her devastated family, of Serbian background, had moved to Australia from Montenegro.

“Naturally they are extremely distressed,” Insp Hughes said.

A still from of the man police want to speak to.

A still from CCTV of the man police want to speak to.

“This is part of her routine. She has been walking daily. Like a lot of us she’s just out there walking and trying to stay fit. It’s just tragic you can’t do that today.”

Earlier he said Ms Vukotic’s death was an “absolute tragedy”.

“She was very close to home. She had headphones in when attacked,” he said.

“It’s terrible that a 17-year-old-girl can’t go walking in a park.

Just after 6pm more than two dozen of the teen’s schoolfriends, dressed in her favourite color pink laid flowers at the site.

A man at the scene late last night reacts in horror at the discovery.

A man at the scene late last night reacts in horror at the discovery.

Most were pink too, even the wrapping.

The group, several in tears and consoling each other, were too upset to speak.

It followed a procession of mourners who’d come throughout the day – many who didn’t even know the girl.

Some left stuffed toys and cards. One read: “Rest in peace angel”.

One woman, whose daughter was friends with Masa, said she was a beautiful child.

The teen girl was found near this footbridge in Koonung Creek Linear Park.

Police believe the killing was “random attack” by a man aged in his 20s.

“She didn’t deserve this,” the woman said.

“No child does. They should be safe. It’s like a parents worst nightmare.”

Masa was passionate about sci-fi, cheekily dressing up with friends for Comic-Con type events celebrating the genre.

Residents heard screams and noises about 6.50pm on Tuesday and phoned triple zero.

Attending officers first found the teen, before paramedics tried to save her life.

The park is popular with locals. Picture: Nicole Garmston

The park is popular with locals. Picture: Nicole Garmston

The victim’s distraught father and younger sister were at the scene last night.

Insp Hughes said police would be doorknocking the suburb.

“We’ll throw all our resources behind this to ensure the offender is caught,” he said.

Police are urging anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to come forward.

“If anyone was in this area at the time, we would like them to come forward no matter how small their piece of information is — it may be he key piece of information that we need to solve this investigation,” Insp Hughes said.

The woman was fatally attacked in Koonung Creek Linear Park in Doncaster. Picture: Nicole

The girl was fatally attacked in Koonung Creek Linear Park in Doncaster. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Stanton St residents were last night requested to stay in their homes as sniffer dogs and police helicopters searched for clues and officers doorknocked the area.

Locals reel, pay tribute after stabbing horror

THE daylight murder has sent shock waves through the Doncaster community.

Yi Hua Jia, whose 15-year-old daughter walks the path every day, said she and her husband were getting ready for their nightly walk when they heard a scream.

“I just heard screeching,” Mrs Jia said.

Flowers at the scene.

Flowers at the scene.

She said her husband suggested someone may have fainted or fallen, but Mrs Jia said the noise sounded more serious.

The couple went to investigate and saw a black jacket on the road, near the intersection of Stanton and Heyington streets.

Mrs Jia said she saw police cars arriving but she did not know about the tragedy until this morning.

She said her daughter had been frightened by the news.

Young women say they’re now scared to walk alone in what they had considered a safe suburb.

Police at Koonung Creek Linear Park last night. Picture: Channel Seven

Police at Koonung Creek Linear Park last night. Picture: Channel Seven

Young mum Vicky, who lives across the road from where the murder occured, arrived home late yesterday to find the area cordoned off.

“It’s terrible – normally it should be safe in this area,” she said.

“There are so many kids around here because the school is just nearby.

“And there are so many people just exercising and running.

“It’s scary.

“It wasn’t even dark, it was daytime.

“I just want him to be arrested – fast.”

Siblings Chloe Benedetti and Matthew Petrucev said they were “shaken”.

They drove from their home in the next street to Stanton St last night after seeing police sniffer dogs and helicopters.

Mr Petrucev, 20, said they stood beside the police tape and could hear the distress of the people who were at the scene.

“You could hear the screams, it was horrible,” he said.

Ms Benedetti, 21, said she would reconsider walking alone at night.

“I’m more worried for other people…especially (because) the person who’s done this hasn’t been caught, so that’s even a bit more scary,” she said.

Adriana Vlamis, 18, said she runs the Koonung trail every day and if she had not have been late arriving from university she would have been running that night.

“It’s scary to think that something like that has happened so close to home,” Ms Vlamis said.

“I’m pretty scared to be home by myself.

“It could have been me.”

Friends Maree and Rita, who regularly walk the path together, said the incident would change the feel of their “quiet pocket” neighbourhood.

Maree said she had become “shaky” and was “horrified” by the news.

“My children walk around at night, we all walk around at night,” she said.

The track was a popular exercise route and, while some parts were bushy and isolated, the women said the area was considered safe as it was usually only frequented by locals.

“It’s an isolated area of Doncaster, it’s not really a thoroughfare to anywhere,” Maree said.

“It has to be somebody around who knows the spot.”

The friends chose to take a different walking route this morning.

“I don’t even want to walk across that bridge for a little while, I don’t think I can handle it knowing that someone lost their life,” Rita said.

Mourners have begun laying flowers and candles near the bridge.

One local woman, who did not want to be identified, said she chose to lay bright gerberas as a tribute to the young victim.

She said she did not know the family but had been shaken by the news and wanted to show her support.

“I just feel so sorry for the mum and dad,” the woman said.

A card attached to another bunch of pink gerberas, delivered by a mother clutching her young daughter’s hand, read: “May the laws change. Thinking of you and your family. Your (sic) forever in our hearts.”

Barbara and Peter Bell said they were surprised to hear of the killing as they considered the area safe.

“We walk here just about every day and we feel quite safe,” Mrs Bell said.

“We see a lot of women, particularly, walking on their own so we’ve never worried about it at all.”

Greta Engizer, who lives less than one kilometre from the crime scene, said she was “disturbed”.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Four men arrested over shooting attack at Sydney Rebels clubhouse


Tue 25 Nov 2014, 6:45pm

Man arrested at Bringelly

A 39-year-old man was arrested at Bringelly, in Sydney’s west. (Supplied: NSW Police)

 What a fine specimen, but who cares, it is what they get up to that matters. One by one let them be put away!
Related Story: Rebels clubhouse raided over Minchinbury shooting

Four members of the Rebels bikie gang have been arrested over the shooting and assault of a fellow gang member in Sydney earlier this year, police say.

Detectives allege the men were involved in shooting a man three times in the leg outside a Rebels clubhouse in Minchinbury, in Sydney’s west, in July.

The 33-year-old victim was then allegedly attacked after he tried to run away.

This morning, a 39-year-old man was arrested at his Bringelly home and charged with discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and participating in a criminal group.

Police said they also seized Rebels paraphernalia, cash and a vehicle from the man’s home.

Later, two men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested at Silverwater and charged with the same offences.

They were refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court tomorrow.

Another man, 37, was arrested during a car stop at Penrith and taken to Penrith police station, where he remains in custody.

The arrests follow the formation of Strike Force Rooftop within the State Crime Command to investigate the attack.

“All those arrested are members of the Rebels,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“Strike Force Rooftop investigations are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.”


Rebels member charged over shooting of another member – Gangs Squad

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:36:46 PM

Gangs Squad detectives have now charged a member of Rebels with the shooting and assault of another member in Minchinbury earlier this year.

Police will allege that shortly after 8pm on Monday 7 July 2014, a 33-year-old member of the Rebels was shot as he walked into an industrial unit on Grex Avenue, Minchinbury – the clubhouse of the Rebels Mt Druitt chapter.

After being shot three times in the leg, the man attempted to flee the location but was chased down by three men and attacked as he lay on the roadway on Grex Avenue, Minchinbury.

Police and emergency services were called to the location and the 33-year-old was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries. He has since been released.

Detectives from State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad formed Strike Force Rooftop to investigate the incident and this morning (Tuesday 25 November 2014) arrested a 39-year-old man at a home at Bringelly.

During a search warrant, officers seized cash, Rebels paraphernalia and a vehicle for further examination.

The senior member of the Mt Druitt chapter of the Rebels was taken to Green Valley Police Station and charged with discharge firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and participate in a criminal group.

He was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court today.

Strike Force Rooftop investigations are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Rebels clubhouse raided over Minchinbury shooting

9:20amTue 8 Jul 2014, 9:20am

A man with links to the Rebels bikie gang has been shot in an attack at Minchinbury in Sydney’s west.

The 33-year-old was found with several bullet wounds to his thigh, outside the Rebels clubhouse in Grex Avenue about 8:30pm (AEST) on Monday.

Police said he was shot after entering the clubhouse then bashed by a group of men.

He has been taken to Westmead Hospital where he is in a serious condition.

As a result of the shooting, heavily armed police from the Tactical Operations Unit raided the clubhouse just after 11pm but no arrests were made.

Police said anyone with information about the shooting, or anyone who witnessed the attack, should contact them.

This morning, an ABC News crew that turned up to film the crime scene was threatened by gang members.

Police reporter Lucy Carter said they were told to stop filming.

“Several men are guarding the entrance to the Rebels clubhouse, telling me and my ABC camera crew to f*** off and switch off our equipment or else,” she said.

She said two police cars, including the dog squad had now arrived.

Two arrested as robbery strike force inquiries continue – Strike Force Tuft


Two arrested as inquiries continue into spate of armed robberies across Sydney

The Blue Gum Hotel at Waitara was held up on October 20.

The Blue Gum Hotel at Waitara was held up on October 20.

TWO men arrested yesterday are helping police with their inquiries into a spate of armed robberies across Sydney, including one at the Blue Gum Hotel at Waitara.

Detectives from Strike Force Tuft arrested the two men, aged 33 and 30, after a car was stopped at the intersection of Kurrajong Rd and Glossip St at St Marys.

The men are assisting the detectives with inquiries into armed robberies at a hotel in Rooty Hill on Saturday and a licensed premises in St Marys on Sunday.

Inquiries are also continuing into a series of armed robberies at newsagencies, service stations, liquor stores and hotels across Sydney between August 24 and October 21.

During some of the incidents, two men entered the premises armed with a pistol and demanded cash from employees before fleeing the scene.

The Blue Gum Hotel was held up on Monday, October 20 when two men entered the establishment about 3pm and approached a woman in the poker machine room. The men showed her a handgun and demanded cash.

The pair left with a small amount of money and fled via the bottleshop area in Unwin Rd and were last seen turning left into Clarke Rd.

Detectives have renewed their appeals for anyone with information to come forward.

Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/


 

Monday, 24 November 2014 08:41:41 PM

Two men are assisting with inquiries into a number of armed robberies across Sydney.

Between Sunday 24 August and Tuesday 21 October 2014, a series of armed robberies was committed upon newsagents, service stations, liquor stores and hotels across Sydney.

During some of the incidents, two men entered the premises armed with a pistol and demanded cash from employees before fleeing the scene.

Officers attached to the Metropolitan Robbery Unit established Strike Force Tuft to investigate the 15 armed robberies and believe they may be linked.

As a result of inquiries by strike force detectives two men, aged 33 and 30, were arrested after a car was stopped at the intersection of Kurrajong Road and Glossop Street a St Marys today (Monday 24 November 2014).

The pair are currently assisting with strike force detectives with inquiries into armed robberies at a hotel in Rooty Hill on 22 November and a licensed premise in St Marys the next day.

Meanwhile, inquiries by strike force detectives into the robberies are continuing.

Further details of the armed robberies include:

a service station at Bankstown on Sunday 24 August 2014,

• a service station at Kellyville on Sunday 24 August 2014,

• a bottle shop at Padstow on Sunday 24 August 2014,

• a newsagency at Smithfield on Thursday 28 August 2014,

• a hotel at Rosehill on Thursday 28 August 2014,

• a club at Eastwood on Saturday 30 August 2014,

• a hotel at Fairfield on Monday 1 September 2014,

• The attempted robbery of a hotel at Allawah on Sunday 7 September 2014,

• a hotel at Ashfield on Sunday 7 September 2014,

• a hotel at Villawood on Thursday 9 September 2014,

• a hotel at Warwick Farm on Monday 13 October 2014,

• a hotel at Merrylands on Wednesday 15 October 2014,

• a hotel at Summer Hill on Saturday 18 October 2014,

• a hotel at Greenfield Park on Monday 20 October 2014,

• a hotel at Waitara on Monday 20 October 2014, and;

• a hotel at Smithfield on Wednesday 22 October, 2014

Detectives are continuing their inquiries and have renewed their appeals for anyone with further information to come forward.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

AFL player Trent Dumont -North Melbourne Kangaroos footballer allegedly Robs Taxi Driver-Another hero


So the AFL media are protecting another loser! This bloke Trent Dumont… What a tool, a grub, and another loser who had no idea how good he had it! Apparently thumped the driver and robbed him of his cash!

How did Trent Dumont get himself into this, not a good look

How did Trent Dumont get himself into this, not a good look is it

North Melbourne player under police investigation

October 28, 2014 – 4:02PM

A North Melbourne player is under police investigation for an alleged robbery of a taxi driver in South Australia.

The incident reportedly happened in the early hours of Sunday October 12.

The player was one of two men involved in the incident where the driver was allegedly threatened and money was stolen.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the Kangaroos said: “The North Melbourne Football Club can confirm that a member of its playing list is currently assisting South Australian Police in relation to an incident that is alleged to have occurred in South Australia earlier this month.

“As this is a matter of ongoing police inquiry, no further comment will be made by the club until it is in a position to do so.”


North Melbourne AFL player investigated over taxi incident

Posted about an hour agoTue 28 Oct 2014, 6:07pm

The AFL has confirmed a North Melbourne player is one of two men under police investigation over the alleged robbery of a taxi driver in South Australia.

Police have not yet named the player.

He and another man were alleged to have threatened the driver in the early hours of October 12.

The pair was alleged to have assaulted the driver when he refused their demands, stolen his money and fled the scene.

Police said the taxi driver was not seriously hurt.

The club said the man was a member of the playing list and was “currently assisting South Australian Police” in relation to the incident.

“As this is a matter of ongoing police inquiry, no further comment will be made by the club until it is in a position to do so,” North Melbourne said in a statement.


North Melbourne’s Trent Dumont charged over alleged robbery of taxi driver

October 28, 2014 – 4:02PM

North Melbourne player Trent Dumont has been charged over an alleged robbery of a taxi driver in South Australia earlier this month.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that 19-year-old Dumont, who has yet to play a game for the club, was the player who had been arrested by South Australian police.

Dumont was one of two men involved in an incident that reportedly happened on the morning of October 12 in which a taxi driver was allegedly threatened before money was stolen.

Dumont and a second man, also aged 19, have been bailed and will appear in South Australia’s Holden Hill Magistrates Court late next month.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the Kangaroos said: “As this is a matter of ongoing police enquiry, no further comment will be made by the club until it is in a position to do so.”

Police released CCTV footage on Monday of two men inside the cab and the second man was arrested later that evening after contacting authorities.

Further enquiries on Tuesday led to Dumont’s arrest.

Hailing from South Australia, the 19-year-old was North Melbourne’s second selection in the 2013 national draft and was tipped to make his senior debut next year.

Bye Bye Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse jailed for 18 years


Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse: Man at centre of Melbourne siege jailed for 18 years

CHRISTOPHER Dean Binse, aka Badness

CHRISTOPHER Dean Binse, aka Badness

A man who was at the centre of a two-day siege in Melbourne’s north-west in 2012 has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison.

Christopher Dean Binse, who goes by the nickname “Badness”, shot at police multiple times during the 44-hour siege at his Keilor East home in May 2012.

Police fired tear gas and beanbag bullets at Binse before they arrested him, and charged him with several firearms and robbery offences pertaining to the siege and an armed robbery in March 2012.

The court heard Binse ambushed two Armaguard employees with a shotgun outside a Laverton hotel and stole more than $230,000 in cash and two revolvers.

Binse spent more than 28 years of his life in custody after his father taught him to steal.

He spent much of that time in isolation in the notorious Acacia Unit at Barwon Prison.

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Who is Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse?

  • A 43-year-old serial bank robber and jail escapee who has spent most of his life behind bars.
  • He was sent to Pentridge Prison at the age of 17 and upon his release started to commit more serious offences.
  • Was given the nickname “Badness” by a friend in Pentridge in 1988.
  • He committed a number of armed bank robberies and represented himself at trials, even cross-examining some victims.
  • Binse made a number of attempted escapes from jail, including from Parramatta Prison in 1992. While on the run he taunted police by sending postcards and putting ads in newspapers.
  • He was repeatedly denied parole. The last time parole was denied he stopped cooperating with authorities, demanded solitary confinement and started studying Buddhism.
  • In 2005, he was released from super max after serving his full sentence. Upon release, he called for improved rehabilitation programs in jail.

The video below is the best insight we will find into his mind. He actually took part in a show about prison escapes a few years back, I edited out all the crap

This is an interesting made for TV Interview with Christopher Binse with re-enactments of his escapes from custody as well as interviews with the cops who chased and jailed him over the years. A career criminal to the end. Will he have a crack at escaping again?

In sentencing, Justice Terry Forrest told Binse he was “in many ways the architect of [his] own misfortune”.

“I consider that you are thoroughly institutionalised,” he said.

Justice Forrest told the court he accepted Binse genuinely believed he and his family were in danger from a man who attacked Binse in prison in 2006.

But he said that did not excuse his crimes.

The judge took into account Binse’s pleas of guilty and said it would be “inhumane” not to take into account the impact of prison on Binse’s mental health.

But he said Binse’s prior criminal history and the nature of his crimes meant a lengthy sentence was warranted.

Binse was sentenced to 18 years and two months in prison, with a minimum term of 14 years and two months.

Justice Forrest said Binse would benefit from being released on parole, where he would be subject to supervision.

Christopher Dean Binse aka ‘Badness’ has been jailed at least 14 years for shooting at police during 44-hour siege after Armaguard robbery

A HARDENED criminal nicknamed “Badness” has been imprisoned for at least 14 years for a crime spree that ended in him barricading himself inside his home during a 44-hour siege.

Supreme Court Justice Terry Forrest this morning handed down the lengthy sentence to Christopher Dean Binse.

Binse was sentenced today for robbing $235,000 from an armoured vehicle at gunpoint outside a Laverton hotel in March 2012, and then later holding police at bay — including firing shots at officers.

The jail term, which he will serve out in the Acacia Unit Barwon, includes a non-parole period of 14 years and two months, and a maximum of 18 years and two months.

Justice Forrest said Binse, 45, who has spent most of his life in prison for armed robbery, prison escapes, drug and weapon possession convictions, had a poor prospect of rehabilitation.

“When such crimes are committed they cause terror to those immediately involved and apprehension in the wider community,” Justice Forrest said.

“You fired at or near police officers who were simply doing their job.”

“Your prior record and the gravity of your current offending leads me to conclude the community needs protection from you,” he said.

“There is obviously a powerful need to deter you from re-offending.

“It is my sincere hope that you will rehabilitate yourself and become a functioning member of the wider community.”

VIOLENT CRIMINAL: BADNESS WENT ON FIVE-MONTH CRIME SPREE

KEILOR EAST: MAY 2012 SIEGE SPARKED BY SHOOTING OF BANDIDO BIKIE

ARMS CACHE: BADNESS PLEADS GUILTY TO SIEGE

Binse was arrested by heavily-armed police officers following a stand-off for almost two days at his Keilor East home.

After pulling a revolver on officers pursuing him through an Italian restaurant, Binse holed himself up inside the Stirling Rd house and fired several shots at a police vehicle and a robot deployed to the front of his home.

He also fired towards a busy road at the back of the property.

Binse was arrested after confronting police outside his home wearing an armoured vest and carrying a handgun.

Officers fired tear gas into his house and used beanbag ammunition to bring him down.

Justice Forrest said while Binse pleaded guilty to the March 2012 armed robbery, offences relating to the siege and weapons and drugs charges following a contested committal hearing, he showed little remorse.

IN PICTURES: TIMELINE OF A SUBURBAN SIEGE

MORE PICS: SUBURBAN SIEGE DRAMA

Part of the huge weapons cache police uncovered.

Part of the huge weapons cache police uncovered.

REPRESENTING SELF: BADNESS QUOTES HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER TO JUDGE

He had pleaded guilty to six charges involving possessing weapons, theft and reckless conduct endangering life.

The Supreme Court Judge said the guilty pleas were too late and letters of apology sent to the two armed guards bailed up during the armed robbery as self-serving.

“I am unable to conclude you are genuinely remorseful,” Justice Forrest said.

Binse has served 28 of the past 32 years in some form of detention, and was likely to be held in isolation for much of his sentence.

Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse went on five-month crime spree and stalked man he believed had shot a bikie mate, court told

A VIOLENT criminal dubbed “Badness” went on a five-month crime spree, which began with him stalking an enemy he believed shot his bikie mate and culminated in a two-day siege with police in Melbourne’s north-west, a court has heard.

CCTV footage of the May 2012 siege and an earlier terrifying armed robbery perpetrated by Christopher Binse — during which he stole $235,000 from two Armaguard employees in Laverton — was shown to the Supreme Court.

Prosecutor Peter Chadwick, QC, said the 45-year-old fired at least nine shots during the violent 44-hour stand-off with police, with bullets hitting an armoured police vehicle, a police robot, and one travelling through two fences to a busy suburban street in Keilor East.

The siege that gripped Melbourne ended after police used tear gas to force Binse out, before firing beanbag rounds at him as he tried to pick up his discarded revolver, stolen from a guard during the armed robbery.

Police search for bullets and other evidence in East Keilor.

Police search for bullets and other evidence in East Keilor.

During the siege, police found a cache of weapons — including a fully automatic and semi-automatic machine gun, a rifle with a silencer and modified to fire fully automatic and a sawn-off and loaded shotgun — as well as balaclavas, face masks, ballistic vests and wigs when they searched storage units rented by Binse.

Defence counsel Saul Holt SC said Binse collected the arsenal of weapons because he believed a man, who cannot be named and with whom he shared “bad blood”, shot his mate in an attempted murder and was going to assault him.

Mr Holt said Binse was assaulted “by four bikies” soon after his November 2011 release from prison and spoke about fears to another man, who was later shot dead.

Police at the scene on day 2 of the siege.

Police at the scene on day 2 of the siege.

The man Binse feared would attack him has been charged with that murder.

Mr Holt said Binse obtained a bag full of weapons to protect himself and his daughter and began wearing a ballistic vest in the days before the siege after attending the same boxing match as Comancheros boss Amad “Jah” Malkoun and underworld figure Mick Gatto.

He said Binse, a “difficult” prisoner who spent most of his time in the restrictive management unit, had spent only a few of his adult years out of jail and had told authorities he was not ready to be released into the community.

Forensic police searching the area around the siege.

Forensic police searching the area around the siege.

“The word institutionalised is possibly made for Christopher Binse,” Mr Holt said.

“He didn’t think he could cope on the outside and he was absolutely right.”

The court heard that in January 2012, Binse began stalking the man he feared would attack him, placing a tracking device on his car, searching public records for information about him and hiring a private investigator.

Christopher Dean Binse.

Christopher Dean Binse.

In the same month, police located an automatic handgun with a silencer and laser pointer in Binse’s car.

In March, Binse committed the armed robbery outside the Westside Hotel in Laverton, telling police he was desperate and needed the cash.

Mr Chadwick said the crime was organised, with Binse cutting fences, creating spyholes and taking equipment prior to the offence to ensure a speedy getaway.

An elderly woman is seen on CCTV footage running from the hotel car park when Binse pointed a sawn-off pump action shotgun at the guards from over a nearby fence.

In the days before the siege, Binse noticed police looking at his motorbike as he was leaving Nidrie La Porchetta and fled the restaurant, showing one officer his revolver and stealing a police radio.

In mid-February, a jury found Binse not guilty of threatening to kill three men during the La Porchetta incident.

Binse pleaded guilty to armed robbery, being a prohibited person using a firearm and being in possession of firearms, reckless conduct placing persons in danger of serious injury and theft.

‘Badness’ Binse was ‘vicious, conniving': police

SOMETIMES the most cunning crooks come undone in the stupidest ways.

Legendary career criminal James Edward ”Jockey” Smith had his own lucrative franchise selling cannabis and amphetamines when he was caught shoplifting a steam iron, kitchen knives and a plastic tray from a NSW Grace Brothers shop in 1992.

He would have faced a fine at worst but instead chose to pull a gun on the store detective and then force a terrified couple to drive him from the scene. On the run, he headed to Victoria where he enlisted the help of career armed robber Christopher Dean Binse, who was then hiding near Daylesford, having escaped from a NSW jail.

Binse with Lee Rhiannon
Binse with Lee Rhiannon, then a NSW state MP and now a Greens senator, at the 2005 press conference they called to highlight the conditions at the Goulburn jail

Armed robbery squad bugs caught Binse talking to ”Tom”, which was Smith (who used the alias Tom Cummings). A short time later Smith was pulled over by a policeman who suspected the car he was driving was stolen. In the subsequent shootout Smith was killed. All over an $80 theft.

Smith’s mate Binse didn’t learn from Jockey’s mistake. On Sunday he pulled a gun on three detectives at a La Porchetta restaurant in Niddrie while they were checking the registration of his allegedly stolen motorbike.

A few months ago he was pulled up in the country by police and behaved as a perfect gentleman. But this time was different. If police found the gun it would be enough to send him back inside.

From the restaurant he drove to his girlfriend’s home in Sterling Drive, East Keilor, where he has fired more than a dozen shots since the siege began. Rather than respond with force, police planned from the beginning to negotiate and wait him out. They said the girlfriend – who left the house late last night – was not considered a hostage.

There has been some dialogue, which gives some hope. Small conversations have been followed by hours of silence, but as long as there is no immediate threat police are in no hurry. Time, they believe, is on their side.

During sieges, police negotiators often have to profile their subjects on the run. They talk to family, friends and doctors to understand the person they are trying to persuade to be reasonable.

In this case they have the advantage of official reports, psychological profiles, intelligence histories and prison records to assist them. In fact, some of the police now involved have dealt with him personally at different times.

The trouble is, all the evidence shows that Binse has spent a lifetime being unreasonable.

The elite special operations group remains at the scene in case the stalemate escalates to flashpoint. They are not strangers – Binse and the SOG have a 20-year love-hate relationship. The SOG loves to raid him and Binse hates to be arrested. The specialist unit has always been called in because Binse is considered one of the most dangerous gunmen in Australia. Binse, 43, can be charismatic, funny and charming. He once wrote a jolly note to this reporter with a message: ”Here is a kindly proverb you may like to absorb. ‘The trouble with many people who stop to count their blessings is their arithmetic is poor.”’

He is also violent, vindictive and institutionalised. In a later note from inside prison he was less subtle: ”You are a gutter, low-life rodent.”

Neither note made the letters page.

At 14 he was declared uncontrollable and put in the Turana boys home. He has rarely been out of custody since, legally at least.

Binse, who goes by the self-imposed nickname Badness, has tried to escape from custody eight times. In September 1992, he escaped from the St Vincent’s Hospital security ward in Melbourne, using a gun smuggled in by a relative. He was arrested in Sydney, then escaped soon after from the Parramatta jail as prison officers fired shots at him.

The then head of the Victorian armed robbery squad, Detective Senior Sergeant Ray Watson, remembers talking to Binse after his 1992 arrest. ”He seemed detached. I believe his mind was elsewhere, trying to work out an escape plan.”

Watson, now retired, said Binse delighted in taunting the detectives investigating his bank robberies. ”He loved to try and mock us when we were looking for him. Actually we found it quite amusing. But the underlying facts are that he was a vicious, spitting cobra who has not changed his ways. We are all better off when he is inside a secure prison.”

After one of his many Melbourne armed robberies, police didn’t need to look far to identify the likely suspect. Binse took out a classified advertisement in the Herald Sun announcing ”Badness is back”.

He bought a Queensland country property with robbery money and named his spread ”Badlands”. He drove a car with the personalised number plates ”Badness”. He sent Melbourne armed robbery squad detectives Christmas cards with messages such as ”wish you were here” and one covered with dollar signs. Police said one of the greetings was signed ”Lord Badness”.

While he would intimidate bank staff and customers (once firing a shot to keep order), he would change when he was handed the money, often saying ”thank you very much” before leaving.

He often flew in from interstate to commit well-planned stick-ups. After one bank job he was nabbed at Melbourne Airport carrying an $89 stand-by ticket.

”I don’t believe in plastic money, I want the real stuff. If you hadn’t caught me at the airport, you would have had nothing. I know that,” he explained to detectives.

Certainly, having seen first-hand the security of banks, he preferred more rustic hiding spots for his armed robbery proceeds.

When his dog (a pit bull, naturally) was treated at a NSW veterinary clinic, a staff member later commented the $312 cash payment smelled ”musty, as if it had been buried”. The nurse later identified the dog’s owner as Binse from a police picture. ”He tried to chat me up,” she said.

He bought luxury cars, motorbikes (breaking his leg when he came off during a police chase) and land. On his birthday he hired a $400 limousine to drive around Melbourne with a couple of mates.

He was generous with his friends but many thought he was always close to snapping, one saying years ago: ”He’s gone right off. He’s crazy and always tooled up and dangerous.”

A prison source said his behaviour had deteriorated alarmingly. ”He used to have a sense of humor but he became a ranter and raver. I would think he is one of the five most dangerous men in Australia. I would be genuinely frightened if I saw him on the street.”

Binse was a proficient armed robber but he knew he was likely to be caught or killed. When police found his ballistic vest, he expected that if he was cornered they would aim at his unprotected skull, taking ”headshots, headshots, don’t aim for the body, aim for the head”.

Police were particularly concerned when they found a tank-piercing rifle in his substantial armoury.

When he was finally arrested, he became quite chatty with detectives, saying: ”Now I’ve got to do it hard. I enjoyed myself. I had a good time. I’ve got some good memories.”

He told them the money was only part of the motivation.

He did the raids, he said, ”for the excitement, the rush. Lifestyle, you’d have to know what it feels like. It’s like you on a raid, you’re in control, your blood starts rushing, you feel grouse, you’re hyped up. F… the money. It’s more than excitement, it’s an addiction. I don’t know what it is.

”Time’s going by, quick, quick, quick, and you’re just thinking, what happens if you see a police car?

”Most of the time, 95 per cent, I saw a Jack [police] car drive past or saw a Jack car within 10 minutes of the job. It was my good-luck sign. It’s already been through, it won’t come back, it’s going in a different direction.”

When police asked if he took drugs or alcohol before a raid, he laughed and said he would have a salad roll or an egg-and-bacon sandwich.

He told detectives he was religious. ”I believe in God, I used to pray every day in Sydney. You’ve got to have some beliefs, mate. If you believe He’s there, He may help you. I can tell you what, there were a few close calls that I had. If it was meant to be, I would have been dead by now.”

When asked by a detective ”what makes Chris Binse tick?” he responded: ”I wouldn’t know myself. You’ll never know and neither will I.”

Now police at East Keilor are trying to answer that same question.

Is Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse, jailed for a wild crime spree, our worst breed of bandit?

HAD modern-day outlaw Christopher Dean Binse been born an American cowboy he might have rivalled the likes of William H. Bonney and Butch Cassidy for the title of “Most Wanted”.

A bandit and a gunman with a joker’s streak, Binse robbed banks and money guards and has fired nearly as many gunshots as he has jibes towards police.

“According to his mum,” a well-versed detective once told the Sunday Herald Sun, “even when he played cops and robbers as a child, he always wanted to be the robber.”

Former hard-boiled armed robbery squad boss Ray Watson likens Binse more to a bushranger than a cowboy, but the imagery is similar in theme.

As knockabout a folklore character Binse liked to play, he is, rightfully, regarded as one of Victoria’s most notorious — and tragically institutionalised — career criminals.

In true wild-west style during the 1990s while at the height of his career, he gave himself a nickname that would resonate in the papers and rabbit-punch his armed robbery squad adversaries whenever he sent them a signed note or Christmas card.

He called himself “Badness”.

Binse back in police custody in 2012.

Binse back in police custody in 2012.

Christopher Binse as he appeared in police dispatches in the early 1990s.

Christopher Binse as he appeared in police dispatches in the early 1990s.

During his lifelong career as a professional criminal, he has been called many other things.

  • A maverick.
  • A lout.
  • A charismatic romantic.
  • A menace to society.
  • A dangerous and devious individual.
  • An urban terrorist.

Truth be known, Chris Binse was an intelligent crook with a penchant for flair; not a typical dull bottom feeder like some of his criminal brethren.

But, as Mr Watson told the Herald Sun this week: “Most offenders brought into the St Kilda Rd offices of the armed robbery squad were criminals who were either aggressively confrontational or slippery individuals wishing to appease detectives and seek any advantage for themselves.

“Christopher Dean Binse was a combination of both types. He was sometimes alarmingly confrontational if he thought he could bully an investigator.

“On other occasions he could display mute arrogance and would just as quickly portray his role in a comedic sort of way. He played the game of a caged tiger all the while planning his escape from custody.”

Former Armed Robbery Squad boss Ray Watson. Picture: Fiona Hamilton

Former armed robbery squad boss Ray Watson.

JUSTICE IS COMING: READ FROM PAUL ANDERSON’S ‘THE ROBBERS’

And Binse was a top escape artist.

To date he has managed to break out of a secure hospital wing and several prisons.

He enjoyed playing what he called “just a big game” with the fearsome armed robbery squad.

An inmate who once “bronzed up” (smeared himself in excrement) in a filthy form of jail protest, Binse is infamous for baiting armed robbery detectives with what he called “cheeky” taunts to keep “one step ahead” of his “opposition”.

One day after committing a holdup, he placed an advertisement in a major newspaper stating “Badness Is Back”.

He sent the squad notes signed with “Badness” and Christmas cards showing Father Christmas carrying bags with dollar signs drawn on them.

Binse put personalised “Badness” number plates on his car, he signed off on letters with “Lord Badness” and called a property of his “Badlands”.

The moniker “Badness”, he said, was just “something I have picked up along the way”.

Binse was a crook who once told a court that while he didn’t consider himself anything like Robin Hood, he did like giving small amounts of stolen money to churches, drunks and homeless people.

He said he once splurged stolen money on a four-hour limousine “mini tour” around the city with mates on his birthday — they all ate fine food and drank beer and champagne.

“He enjoyed his notoriety and media coverage he received,” Ray Watson says.

“He enjoyed taunting detectives … He was a sinister individual; a bullyboy who saw himself as a misunderstood outlaw.

“There was a touch of Ned Kelly about Binse, as he saw it.”

But Binse’s mum, Annette, disagreed.

“He is not a violent person,” she said back in 1995.

“Yes, he has committed a number of armed robberies and, yes, he has attempted to escape on a number of occasions … He is very remorseful for the crimes he has committed and feels deeply for the people he has hurt.”

Last month, Supreme Court judge Justice Terry Forrest threw Binse back in the bin for at least 14 years for armed robbery, reckless conduct and major firearms offences.

Justice Forrest said Binse would most likely serve the majority of that sentence in relative isolation in Barwon Prison’s high-security Acacia Unit, for his own safety and that of other inmates.

Supreme Court judge Justice Terry Forrest

Supreme Court judge Justice Terry Forrest 

Sadly, Binse was probably thankful.

Even back in 1990 his mother had said of him: “It (living the life of a free man) is mentally too overwhelming for him and too confusing. He is used to the routine in Pentridge.”

As Justice Forrest told him: “You have spent 28 of the last 32 years in some form of custody … I consider that you are thoroughly institutionalised and suffering from a range of psychological consequences that impact on your capacity to deal with unrestricted prison life, or for that matter the outside world.”

AS a young teen Binse’s father taught him to steal and by age 18 he was doing time in Pentridge’s notorious H Division as a management unit prisoner.

At age 23, while on remand for armed robbery, Binse was stabbed in jail and taken to the secure wing at St Vincent’s Hospital.

‘Badness’: Downfall of a modern day outlaw

Sydney, February 10, 2005. Christopher Binse in 2005 after his release from maximum security at Goulburn Jail in NSW. He was pushing for better rehabilitation for prisoners at the time.

While recovering after emergency surgery, he got hold of a smuggled handgun and threatened two prison officers.

Wearing a green hospital dressing gown and thongs, he placed the handgun to one of the guard’s heads and said: “I don’t want to be here any more.”

He then stole a car and fled to New South Wales, where he committed two stick-ups.

Within a week NSW major crime squad detectives arrested him and he was remanded in custody at Parramatta Jail.

Surveillance tape shows Binse during the armed hold-up of the Chatswood's Commonwealth Ba

Surveillance tape shows Binse during the armed hold-up of the Chatswood’s Commonwealth Bank in Sydney. 

Just over a month later, he cut through a metal grill in his cell block and, using tied bedsheets, lowered himself to the roof of an adjoining complex.

From there he used a piece of rope to swing over a barbed wire fence and then jumped into the back of an awaiting utility truck, which sped away.

Three months after his escape, Victorian detectives tracked him to a safe house at Glenlyon, near Daylesford, where he was hiding out with a woman and another notorious crime figure — a gunman and robber named Edward “Jockey” Smith.

Binse takes a security guard hostage during in the 1992 holdup of the Warringah Mall's Co

Binse takes a security guard hostage during in the 1992 holdup of the Warringah Mall’s Commonwealth Bank. 

Edward ‘Jockey’ Smith in his earlier days after being arrested for armed robbery.

Edward ‘Jockey’ Smith in his earlier days after being arrested for armed robbery. 

Victorian police were unaware of Smith’s identity, even up until the point when a road patrol officer, Sen-Constable Ian Harris, pulled him over for driving a stolen panel van from the Glenlyon property.

Binse had reportedly given Smith that vehicle.

Smith, who was on the run from NSW police at the time, fired several shots at the officer and was about to execute him when a hero motorist intervened by driving into the fray.

That gave Sen-Constable Harris an opportunity to draw on Smith, 51, and shoot him dead.

Members of the Special Operations Group, meanwhile, moved in and arrested Binse and the woman back at the Glenlyon property.

Binse was injured during that arrest and, after attempting a hunger strike in jail, was sentenced for the armed robberies committed in Victoria before his escape from St Vincent’s.

Those holdups — committed at banks in Glen Waverley, Noble Park and Doncaster between January and November 1991 — netted him $278,661.

A court was told Binse, armed with a sawn-off shotgun and wearing a Drizabone coat, told staff “thanks very much” and “have a nice day”.

In February 1993, he was sentenced to seven years and six months’ jail with a five-year minimum term.

Justice Forrest again: “The learned sentencing judge noted that by then you had accumulated 96 previous convictions over 27 court appearances. You were then just 24 years old.”

Sam Newman interviews Badness 0:26

Sam Newman interviews Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse, the man at the centre of the Keilor East siege, for the Ch.9 Footy Show

In May 1993 Binse pleaded guilty over the hospital escape and was sentenced to a further eight months’ jail.

In November that year, Pentridge authorities thwarted a bold escape plan involving Binse and many others.

Less than two years later, in June 1995, he and a convicted double murderer managed to cut their way out of their high-security cells at Barwon Prison, only to be found two hours later hiding under building materials within the jail confines.

For that attempt he was forced — between June and September 1995 — to wear leg irons, handcuffs and a body belt while out of his cell.

The following year it was NSW’s turn to deal with him, as he was extradited there to face outstanding armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

He’d terrorised staff and customers and, during one of the hold ups, held a gun to a security guard’s back.

In court, he claimed he was unaware of the personal trauma he’d caused.

“I didn’t think I had put them through that,” he said.

“I have had guns put to my head…it really had no impact on me. These people weren’t as strong as me. I feel sorry for them.”

He said he intended to change his ways after serving his impending sentence.

“I want to do something productive. I have had enough of it, Your Honour. I have tried that lifestyle. It’s no good.

“There’s more to life than jail, Your Honour.”

He was not released until February 2005.

By then he was 37, and had served 13 years straight in various prisons.

Binse became a voice for prison reform – but was quickly sucked back into the game despite promising to holster his guns.

He was arrested in January 2006 after walking into Melbourne’s Spearmint Rhino strip club armed with a .32 handgun.

Searching for a man he believed was connected to the venue, he threatened staff and left a bullet as a message for the man he was looking for.

Binse sits between two Armed Offenders Squad detectives and greets the media after his ar

Binse sits between two armed offenders squad detectives and greets the media after his arrest over the Spearmint Rhino visit. 

After pleading guilty to a raft of offences he was sentenced to four years’ jail with a minimum of two.

While in jail, he was assaulted.

He believed a certain fellow prisoner — a perceived enemy — had ordered the attack.

After being released on parole, the SOG arrested Binse in possession of a loaded pen pistol, a Taser gun and cocaine.

He was sentenced to further time inside, and walked out on September 28, 2011.

Binse was still paranoid about his perceived enemy, who had also been released from prison by that stage.

In October that year a number of men assaulted Binse and he was hospitalised with head injuries.

A month later a friend of his — former Bandidos enforcer Toby Mitchell — was shot and seriously wounded.

Toby Mitchell looking fit and healthy after recovering from the gun attack. Picture: Mark

Toby Mitchell looking fit and healthy after recovering from the gun attack.

That attack on Mitchell forced Binse to go “to ground”, sleeping in his car and “staying on the move” while running surveillance on his perceived enemy — who, he was informed, wanted to kill him.

It was in this context, according to Justice Forrest, that Binse started using the drug ice.

Armed and dangerous he unsuccessfully scouted for his perceived enemy.

In March 2012, Binse went back to old business.

“On March 19, at about 10.15am, you drove to the Laverton Market,” Justice Forrest recounted.

“You entered via a rear gate and prepared to commit an armed robbery at the nearby Westside Hotel.

“You unloaded an off-road motorcycle from your white van and strapped a sawn-off single-barrel pump-action shotgun to the side of that motorcycle.

‘Badness’ Binse’s armed robbery caught on camera 0:49

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Video footage of Christopher ‘Badness’ Binse staging an armed robbery of two Armaguard employees in March 2012.

“You had previously cut a hole in a cyclone wire fence at the western perimeter of the hotel grounds to gain access to a small walkway that runs between the hotel and an adjacent factory.

“You had previously drilled 14 small holes in the high wooden paling fence that separated the factory from the hotel car park. You had already positioned a ladder against the fence and a deck chair nearby.”

Binse arrived at his hiding spot at 10.37am and lay in wait.

An Armaguard van arrived in the hotel carpark not long after.

Two guards collected $235,000 from the hotel and Binse — wearing workers’ gear, a hood, dust mask and sunglasses — popped his head up over the fence, his shotgun raised.

Binse ordered the guards to the ground, ran to them and stole their firearms and the full money bag.

He dumped his motorcycle and shotgun in a nearby dam.

Police quickly nominated Binse as a suspect and ran surveillance on him.

During this time he regularly visited a storage facility in Albion.

On May 20, 2012, four police officers approached Binse at a La Porchetta restaurant.

Binse pulled a revolver he’d taken from one of the Armaguard men.

After stealing a police radio he rode a motorcycle back to his Keilor East home and bunkered down.

Surrounded by a posse of police, including the SOG, Binse began a siege that caused residents to be evacuated.

At different times he fired a number of shots, some hitting a SOG vehicle with members inside and other rounds penetrating fences.

Badness shoots at cops 1:24

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Dramatic footage of ‘Badness’ Christopher Binse firing his revolver out of a window during a two-day siege has been released following a legal challenge

A close friend tried to talk Binse out.

“He’s of the belief that if he comes out it’s going to be all over,” the woman told the Herald Sun.

“I think he’s done his dash now. They’ll shoot him.”

And that’s exactly what police did.

After firing teargas into the house to force Binse outside, they took a bead on him and opened fire — and dropped him with bean bag rounds.

Police from other specialist sections were also on hand.

Police from other specialist sections were also on hand. 

Special Operations Group police were armed and ready during the siege in Sterling Drive,

Special Operations Group police were armed and ready during the siege in Sterling Drive, Keilor East. 

Detectives, too, attended the siege. Picture: Trevor Pinder

Detectives, too, attended the siege.

Police playing the waiting game and using non-lethal force was a new tactic compared with what Binse had been used to in days gone by.

“I consider the SOG members acted with moderation and restraint,” Justice Forrest stated.

After Binse was taken into custody, Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana conceded police had experienced “a lot of anxious moments” during the 44-hour siege.

“Some of the discussion was whether he’d kill himself, blow the place up or come out and try and kill us in the process of trying to escape,” he said.

A tired-looking Binse in police custody after the marathon siege.

A tired-looking Binse in police custody after the marathon siege.

Police checked the Albion storage facility Binse was using and found an arsenal — a .357 calibre revolver, a loaded cut-down .22 calibre rifle with a silencer attached and modified to fire in full automatic mode, a loaded and cut-down 12-gauge bolt-action shotgun and a .45 calibre sub-machinegun.

There was a stockpile of ammunition.

The revolver police recovered.

The revolver police recovered.

 

The Thompson sub-machinegun police recovered.

The Thompson sub-machine gun police recovered.

 

Some of the recovered ammunition.

Some of the recovered ammunition.

 

A recovered hand grenade.

A recovered hand grenade.

 

More recovered ammunition found at Binse’s hidden arsenal.

More recovered ammunition found at Binse’s hidden arsenal.

More recovered ammunition found at Binse’s hidden arsenal.

In sentencing 45-year-old Binse to a whopping 18 years’ jail with the 14-year minimum for the Laverton armed robbery and Keilor East siege, Justice Forrest said Binse’s fears for his safety did not excuse his “anti-social conduct”.

“You accumulated an arsenal at the storage facility,” the judge said.

“For a prohibited person to possess one firearm is serious enough. For a prohibited person to possess a loaded pistol, a loaded cut-down rifle, a loaded cut-down pump-action shotgun and a Thompson sub-machinegun makes this rolled-up charge a grave example of its kind.”

 

The recovered cut-down .22 rifle.

The recovered cut-down .22 rifle.

 

The recovered cut-down bolt-action shotgun.

The recovered cut-down bolt-action shotgun.

The recovered cut-down bolt-action shotgun. 

The armed robbery was said to have been “planned and executed with precision”.

Justice Forrest said it was his duty to jail Binse for a long time.

“I consider that a purpose of this sentencing exercise is to protect the wider community from you Mr Binse.”

Former Binse adversary Ray Watson backed the lengthy sentence.

“Binse is an evil recidivist criminal who would stop at nothing to commit his crimes,” Mr Watson told the Herald Sun.

“His current period of incarceration is about right — and you can bet your last dollar he will be back at it again on the day he is released.”

The jury is still out on that one — for at least the next 14 years.

[email protected]

 

A more animated Binse in police custody.

Binse in custody. Source: Supplied

 

JAILED: ‘BADNESS’ SENTENCED | HIS WILD CRIME SPREE

IN PICTURES: A SUBURBAN SIEGE | MORE PICS

GANGLAND WAR: THE NIGHT I TACKLED A KILLER

ICE CREAM SLAYING: KILLER STRUCK OVER TERRITORY

COP KILLER: HOW A STRANGE, CRUEL LIFE LED TO JAIL

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Mark Brandon Chopper Read-UPDATE


UPDATE 26/04/12

I have cancer: Mark ‘Chopper’ Read reveals

UPDATE: INFAMOUS underworld legend Mark Chopper Read has terminal cancer.

Read said he has been given a worst-case diagnosis of just weeks to live.

Another doctor said he could last  up to six years, but all agree he is at the end of the line.

Read has been in and out of hospital after haemorrhaging litres of blood.

The ex-crim turned author and artist has four cancerous tumours on his liver, which has to be drained to stop the toxins from reaching his brain and causing chemical delirium.

The one-time standover man, 58, has lost a lot of weight.

Read said he wasn’t afraid to die, but did not want to die in a pool of his own blood.

He also blamed Jimmy Loughnan – a now dead criminal associate – for ruining any chance he had of a liver transplant.

Read said Loughnan stabbed him nine times in a prison fight, which was depicted in the Chopper film.

He has too much scar tissue around his liver to enable the operation.

Read said the toxins in his body could not be processed by his liver.

“Looks like the big C has finally bitten. Let’s see how we go,” Read tweeted this afternoon.

“I actually feel OK. Some more surgery in a couple of weeks and hopefully I’ll be ready to rock’ n roll after that.”

He earlier tweeted: “Sorry I haven’t been tweeting of late. Have been spending a bit of time in hospital for my liver.”

Read worked as a standover man and was convicted of armed robbery, assault, kidnapping, arson, impersonating a police officer and attempted murder.

Read was sentenced to 13 years’ jail for attempting to kidnap a County Court judge at gunpoint and spent only 13 months out of jail between the ages of 20 and 38.

In the past, he has claimed to have killed 19 people.

Read has been stabbed more than a handful of times, shot once, run over by a car, had a claw hammer embedded in his head, and was made to dig his own grave, and cut off his ears in prison.

Mark Brandon Chopper Read

A.K.A.: “Chopper”

Classification: Murderer?

Characteristics: Member of “The Overcoat Gang” – Self-described vigilante slayer of criminals

Number of victims: 0 – 19

Date of murders: 1979 – 1991

Date of birth: November 17, 1954

Victims profile: Men

Method of murder: Several

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Status: Served 20+ years for assault and other felony counts. Released from prison in July 1997

Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read (born 17 November 1954), is an Australian ex-convict, author, and celebrity.

Early life

Read was born to an ex-army father and a mother who was a devout Seventh-day Adventist. He was placed in a children’s home for the first five years of his life. Read grew up in the Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood, Thomastown, Fitzroy and Preston.

He was bullied at school, claiming that by the age of 15, he had been on the “losing end of several hundred fights”, and his father, usually on his mother’s recommendation, beat him often as a child. Read was made a Ward of the State by the age of 14 and was placed in several mental institutions as a teenager, where, he later claimed, he was subjected to electroshock therapy.

By his mid-teens, Read was already an accomplished street fighter and the leader of the Surrey Road gang. He began his criminal career by robbing drug dealers, based in massage parlours in the Prahran area. He later graduated to kidnapping and torturing members of the criminal underworld, often using a blowtorch or bolt cutters to remove the toes of his victims before killing them (hence the slang term Toe cutter, used for Head hunters).

While in Pentridge prison‘s H division in the late 1970s, Read launched a prison war. His gang, dubbed “The Overcoat Gang” because they wore long coats all year round to conceal their weapons, were involved in several hundred acts of violence against a larger opposing gang during this period.

Around this time, Read had a fellow inmate cut both of his ears off in order to be able to leave H division temporarily. While in his early biographies Read claimed this was to avoid an ambush by other inmates, by being transferred to the mental health wing, his later works state that he did so to “win a bet”. However the nickname “Chopper” was given to him long before this, from a childhood cartoon character. Several other members of Read’s gang also cut off their own ears in a similar fashion after this incident.

Read was ambushed and stabbed by members of his own gang in a sneak attack, when they felt his plan to cripple every other inmate in the entire division and win the gang war in one fell swoop was going too far. Another theory is that James “Jimmy” Loughlan and “Blue” wished to benefit from a contract put on Chopper’s head by the Dockers. Read lost several feet of bowel and intestine in the attack. Ironically, Jimmy Loughnan was a longtime friend of Read’s. Read was, at the time, serving a 17-year sentence after attacking a judge in an effort to get Loughnan released from prison.

Read once claimed to have served two years for GBH starting in 1978 after attacking a local pimp and drug pusher who was attempting to force a 13-year-old schoolgirl into prostitution, claiming “It was worth it.”

Described variously as witty, charismatic, sadistic, and frightening, Read admits to being involved in the killing of 19 people and a further 11 attempts. Many of his associates in the underworld claim that Read is prone to making up numbers to increase his own notoriety and the sales of his books. Read himself has stated on numerous occasions that he would “never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn.”

Career

Convicted of crimes including armed robbery, firearm offenses, assault and kidnapping, Read spent 13 months outside prison between the ages of 20 and 38, then went on to become a successful author of crime novels, selling in excess of 500,000 copies of his works. More recently, he has also found success as a recording artist.

In 2005, Read embarked on a tour of Australia performing a series of shows titled I’m Innocent with Mark “Jacko” Jackson and later toured Sydney in a stage show with a new co-star, former Detective Roger “The Dodger” Rogerson.

In 2001, Read was featured in an advertisement on behalf of the Pedestrian Council of Australia warning of the dangers of drunk driving. Read is seated at a kitchen table undoing his shirt and, while pointing to the numerous scars and injuries on his body, says:

“When I was in prison… I got slashed in the face… my ears cut off…..my eyebrows trimmed and a butcher’s knife here, an icepick here – NOT FUN AT ALL, etc… If you drink and drive and you’re unfortunate enough to hit somebody, you ought to pray to God that you don’t go to prison.”

In 2006, Read appeared in another commercial speaking out against domestic violence. On 13 March 2006, he released a rap album titled Interview with a Madman. He also appeared in the 2002 Australian comedy Trojan Warrior.

Read allowed use of his name to Australia’s heaviest alcoholic lager called “Chopper Heavy”. The beer is produced in Rutherglen, Victoria, a town associated with Australia’s most notorious outlaw, Ned Kelly.

Mark made the headlines again, on December 15, 2008, after being questioned by police about an alleged incident in Johnson St Collingwood. Read was attacked by a tomahawk-wielding man he claimed he had never met before. Read said, “I ran to the panel beaters and grabbed a steel pipe and he jumped into a car and nicked off.” Read suffered a minor injury to his arm after being hit with the blunt end of the tomahawk. Read was questioned by detectives at Richmond CIU before being released without charge. His alleged attacker has not been found.

Personal life

Read married Australian Taxation Office employee Mary-Ann Hodge in 1995 while imprisoned in Risdon Prison in Tasmania for the shooting of his friend Sidney Collins. The marriage produced one child, Charlie. They later divorced in 2001. On 19 January 2003, he married long-time friend Margaret Cassar. They have one son, Roy Brandon.

He contracted Hepatitis C during his time in prison through using a blood-stained shaver. Read revealed in March 2008 that he only has two to five years to live and requires a liver transplant, which he has refused, saying he does not want to take away a liver from a more deserving recipient.

Bestselling author

Read’s first book, Chopper: From the Inside, was collected from letters he sent while incarcerated in Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison and published in 1991. It contains tales and anecdotes of his criminal and prison exploits. Further biographical releases followed in a similar vein. However, with the advent of Chopper 5: Pulp Faction, Read began writing fictional tales based on his experiences of criminal life. Attempts were made to ban a children’s book written by Read titled Hooky the Cripple.

The 2000 film Chopper, starring Eric Bana as Read, was based on stories from Read’s books and independent research, leading to events portrayed on screen which somewhat contradicted Read’s version of events. For instance, Read claimed in early books to be vehemently against drugs, but the film portrays him as a casual drug user. In response, Read stated, “You have to have tried something to be able to say you hate it.”

Bana has agreed to play Read again in the sequel to Chopper. Read has refused to deny reports that he will have a cameo in the film.

Bibliography

Chopper: From the Inside (1991), ISBN 0-646-06543-2
Chopper 2: Hits and Memories (1992), ISBN 0-646-10987-1
Chopper 3: How to Shoot Friends & Influence People (1993), ISBN 0-646-15444-3
Chopper 4: For the Term of His Unnatural Life (1994), ISBN 0646210149
Chopper 5: Pulp Faction: Revenge of the Rabbit Kisser and Other Jailhouse Stories (1995), ISBN 0-646-25065-5
Chopper 6: No Tears for a Tough Guy (1996), ISBN 0-646-29637-X
Chopper 7: The Singing Defective (1997), ISBN 0-646-33923-0
Chopper 8: The Sicilian Defense (1998), ISBN 0-9586071-0-9
Chopper 9: The Final Cut (1999), ISBN 0-9586071-4-1
Chopper 101⁄2: The Popcorn Gangster (2001), ISBN 0-9579121-0-2
Hooky the Cripple: The Grim Tale of a Hunchback Who Triumphs (2002), ISBN 1-86403-165-4
The Adventures of Rumsley Rumsfelt (2003), ISBN 0-9579121-7-X
Chopper 11: Last Man Standing: From Ex-Con to Icon (2007)

Discography

Interview with a Madman (2006)

Public commentary and political views

Read has made public comment about a number of criminal cases, including the Ivan Milat backpacker murder and the Port Arthur massacre. He has frequently appeared on radio and television talk shows to promote his books and discuss his views on many issues. For a short period of time, he also had a column in Ralph magazine. He also was a regular columnist for the British magazine FHM. He currently has a column in Zoo Weekly.

His success in selling tales of his criminal past, and a number of recent attempts by other criminals to do likewise, has prompted widespread calls to amend the Federal Proceeds of Crime Bill (2001)—which confiscates the proceeds of drug deals and robberies—to also apply to indirect proceeds of crime, including book sales, TV appearances, and the like. Read has described his political beliefs as “to the right of Genghis Khan”. In his book Chopper 2, he lists American conservative G. Gordon Liddy and Bruce Ruxton, a critic of Australia’s immigration policies and leader of the Victorian RSL, as his political heroes.

Cultural references

A fictionalized version of Read was recently featured in several sketches on The Ronnie Johns Half Hour. Some of these sketches, such as “Harden The F*ck Up!”, have gained a kind of cult following among Read’s fans in Australia and across the world. Chopper was portrayed by Heath Franklin. Read has praised Franklin’s exaggerated impression, although he believes that Franklin is actually impersonating Eric Bana’s film portrayal of Chopper, rather than Read himself.

Acclaimed science fiction author William Gibson based a character (Keith Blackwell) in the final two books of his Bridge trilogy on Read. In the second book of the trilogy, Idoru, Gibson wrote in his acknowledgments:

“Anything I know about the toecutting business, I owe to the criminal memoirs of Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read (Chopper from the inside, Sly Ink, Australia, 1991). Mr. Read is a great deal scarier than Blackwell, and has even fewer ears.”

Film

The 2000 film Chopper, starring Eric Bana as Read, was based on stories from Read’s books and independent research, leading to events portrayed on screen that somewhat contradicted Read’s version. For instance, Read claimed in early books to be vehemently against drugs, but the film portrays him as a casual drug user. In response, Read stated, “You have to have tried something to be able to say you hate it.”

Personal life

Read married Australian Taxation Office employee Mary-Ann Hodge in 1995 while imprisoned in Risdon Prison in Tasmania for the shooting of Sidney Collins. The couple had one child, Charlie, and divorced in 2001. On 19 January 2003, he married long-time friend Margaret Cassar. They have one son, Roy Brandon.

Read contracted Hepatitis C during his time in prison through allegedly using a blood-stained shaver.In March 2008 he revealed he only has two to five years to live and requires a liver transplant. However, he has refused to countenance this, stating, “A transplant would save me, but why would anybody give 53-year-old Chopper Read a liver over and above an 11-year-old girl with liver cancer? They wouldn’t – and I wouldn’t ask. I need a transplant, but I don’t want a transplant.”[7] He discussed this again in August 2009, when he was interviewed on ABC Local Radio and was quoted as saying “I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for 18 months, I have cirrhosis of the liver… there’s no cure for that”

Personal bodyguard

In 1998, Read met his bodyguard, Mark “Hammer” Dixon, after Read’s release from Risdon prison in Tasmania. Working as a driver and body guard for Read’s friend and colleague in crime, Charles “Mad Charlie” Hegyalji, Dixon eventually become Read’s most trusted ally. In the March 2003, Read was travelling the country doing paid appearances and ended up in a venue where security was run by Dixon. After finishing a show and exiting to the car park with his entourage, a disgruntled patron ran at Read brandishing a claw hammer. Dixon threw himself in the line of the hammers blow and then neutralized the attacker. As a result, Dixon became Read’s full-time bodyguard. http://www.markhammerdixon.com/


“Never Plead Guilty”

I am Mark Brandon Read, but most characters like to call me “Chopper.” There are a few obscure theories as to how I got my nickname, some reckon it is from an old cartoon, some say it is because I use to cut off the toes of others, while there are those that say it is because I had someone cut my ears off in jail. Maybe they are all right! Maybe they are all wrong! Who really cares.

For the record, it is because someone cut my ears off when I was in Melbourne’s elite bluestone college – more commonly known as Pentridge. For some insane reason, some upstanding members of that institution were out to hurt me. I summoned all my manners to politely suggest to the screws that I be transfered from H division. They declined and said there was no way I would be getting a transfer, so I made the simple decision that ears off = transfer. Believe me, it works.

Note – For those that think this webpage is going to cover all the little intricate details and stories of my love, that I have told in my book…keep dreaming. If you want to know details about my life and why I am what I am, I suggest that you buy my books. I haven’t busted my hump for hour upon hour just to shoot myself in the foot now and give it all to you for free. No, no, no, that would be quite ridiculous. Instead, this site will be my initial foray into the cyber world. Here I can sell products and provide you with details of what is happening in my immediate life. It is my international address, my very own “Chopper command centre” if you will.

Now the Chopper movie is another little fable which in principle resembles my life. It is a mixture of fact and fiction and at times a bit of friction, but one character from that movie does exist. His name is Nevile Bartos. Now I have known Neville for 25 years. Neville has saved my hide numerous times and without doubt if he hadn’t been around, I wouldn’t either. I know that Melbourne has its hard and tough men, as does every other place in the world, but this man is the “THE KING”. Now Neville is an Albanian and for those of you with a little knowledge about war, you would know that the Russians for many years, used Albanians as their assassins. These people are totally loyal and totally dangerous. Let’s just say Neville is no exception.

Neville “gold shoes” Bartos, what an old chestnut. I don’t want to step on any toes, but as the name suggests this man has done to attire, what Jack the Ripper did to late night shopping. I mean, any more gold on this man’s shoes, and it would be Australia’s second gold rush. I don’t know to whom he poses the greatest threat, to certain individuals or to the fashion industry. His fashion sense, shoes particularly, are…well…..interesting to say the least!

Below is a little photo of my home for many years. Coburg’s very own Bluestone College. Now this was a true institution, bigger than Eton, Oxford or Harvard. This was excruciatingly hard work.

I have lived a different life of sorts. I am 48 years old and have spent 23 years in jail. A movie based on my life, funnily enough called Chopper, was made in 2000. Since my last visit as a guest of her Royal Majesty in Tasmania’s “Big House” Risdon Prison, I have entered my “second life.” This has seen me unload my guns (including pistol, shotgun and a few childish goodies such as gellagnite and grenades), empty my holsters and make the obvious and common step of turning from Australia’s most notorious underworld hitman (….alleged…..) to an international media mogul of sorts.

As Australia’s most credentialed crime novelist I have released 10 best-selling crime books, 1 children’s book, made a television commercial for the Pedestrian Council of Australia which won a Gold Lion at the Cannes International Festival, have done numerous television and radio interviews and I have released my own music CD’s – including the latest rap extravaganza – Machete. Please allow me to add – I have also had my portrait entered into the Archibald Prize 4 years running – Who said crime doesn’t pay. I now have two things in common with Van Gogh. My books are also the most shoplifted in Australia – quite a unique little honour. Before I move on, I should not forget, I am just like most of you – I am also a devout beer connoisseur

Yes I am Mark Brandon Chopper Read – “Star of the Underworld,”- and after 23 years in jail and having been Australia’s most notorious underworld hitman, I am finally starting to get recognition. Do not get me wrong, I am just a regular bloke who, through his own means, has tried to do his bit for society.

All this. It’s a bit of a joke isn’t it? I’d be quite silly to take all this seriously wouldn’t I? I’d get quite carried away with myself. I often sit back and just have a little giggle at the whole thing, because someone like me just isn’t meant to make it like this. Society has a little hierarchical structure where only people from affluent backgrounds, or learnid individuals, succeed. I just thought to hell with all of this, I’m doing it my way.

All of this, and I have never worked an honest day’s labour in my life. Aaaahhh, the Great Australian Dream, who said it is hard to achieve.

But don’t get me wrong, for a one time toe-cutter, knee-capper and killer of 19 men (in my lighter moments), swapping my four ten for a HB2.0 is not without its price. It could happen someday, that someone asks me for my autograph and while I’m busying myself with the pen, they put a bullet in my head. Not really a desirable outcome for me is it!

Even though history has been quoted as saying “the pen is mightier than the sword,” I would still prefer the sword, plus a pistol, shotty and dynamite. I have often been heard likening myself to a leopard. They never changes their spots, they just get older. My spots haven’t changed, I have just gotten older and the spots have slightly faded. I’ll never change. I’ll always be the same person I always was. It’s just that I don’t do the things I used to do. After all, even you must admit, they are a little naughty.

Now the movie has me saying “…who said crime doesn’t pay….” I must take this opportunity to ask you fine citizens, you little students of life, if you have heard of the “Chopper Read amendments” to both the New South Wales and Victorian laws. These “do-as-we-like” governments have approved new legislation to stop criminals from earning royalties from books and movies about their offences. If you don’t mind officer, passing new laws at will, purely to stop profiteering from crime. What a truly dastardly deed. Is this aimed purely at me?……every criminal?…………who? I think to ensure thoroughness, this law should be made retrospective. Then all Henry Lawson’s (Australia’s great poet) books can be removed from every library and burned, because after all, he did a hell of a lot of his writing while he was in Darlinghurst Prison. I mean the philosophy behind some of these decisions is ridiculous and quite small minded.

This new legislation allows Crown prosecutor’s to take legal action to seize all profits from such a venture. It would then go into a fund for victims of crime. Victims of crime? Victims of “bloody” crime, bye gosh, what they don’t stop to realise is that I’ve only maimed and injured those that deserve it – hardened criminals. I’ve made half of these bloody crims rich, as they have successfully applied for moneys as a victim of crime. Now they intend to make the coffers even bigger. Another of life’s little irony’s. Bizarre in every sense. I guess that is what makes this country so great. Victims of crime?…Unreal. Why don’t they introduce something like the victims of fame. I would find this to be quite fantastic!

You may agree that my life has been quite extraordinary. I don’t condone what I have done, but it is in the past and I can’t do anything to change it now. However, I can use my experience to inform every single person who views this site, whether they are holier than thou or have done some pretty nasty things in their life, you have the opportunity to change direction. This doesn’t mean you change who you are, but you can redirect your life and make something of it. I am speaking from experience. It takes a big man to stand up for himself in any circumstance, but it takes even a bigger man to look at himself in the mirror and say I don’t like what I am doing with my life and I’m gonna change it, then follow it through.

Please enjoy my site and provide some feedback on what you would like to see. There is also a products page where you can get some gear you won’t find anywhere else in the world. So surf away and cough up some cold hard Stan Cash. For now…….Via Con Dios, Amigos.


“My History”

ChopperRead.com

My early days were spent in the northern Melbourne suburbs of Thomastown, Preston and Collingwood. I was never the toughest kid at school, often being bullied and bashed, but this only strengthened my resolve. From being stood over, to becoming the standover man, my my, what a change. Evolution I suppose.

As a little tacker I was given repeated shock and drug therapies to correct a learning difficulty. Did this tame a monster or create a monster? Neither because I am not a monster. Killed 19, hurt many, caused much property damage – I have never hurt any innocent characters. This should be remembered.

My apprenticeship in crime began in the 1970s. This had me robbing massage parlours and taking on contracts to maim and kill rivals. Once I had obtained a doctorate as a “standover man”, robbing drug dealers and other criminals, who funnily enough couldn’t report me to the police, became childs play. I once told a friend “why rob a straight guy of $20 when you can rob a drug dealer of $10,000 and he can’t go running to the police?” After all both involved some work on my behalf, but the man in the street was less likely to give up his $20 as he had to work hard for it. For the drug-dealers it came easy, so why would they put up a fight. Although some of my victims chose to chew razor blades (at their own request of course), before they would hand over cash? And I am the psychopath!

I’ve had my fair share of incidents and on several occassions I have nearly met our maker. I’ve been stabbed, shot, run over, and was once digging my own grave before I used the shovel as a meat cleaver. Let’s just say that somone is in that grave and their skeleton is rotting under many autumns of falling leaves somewhere on a Victorian mountain – it ain’t me.

People often ask me is the scene from the Chopper movie, where I get stabbed 7 times, true. Of course it is, anybody knows that, or is that anybody that has been stabbed 7 times, Ha Ha. Yes, I did get stabbed seven times and that stabbing scene was very true because you don’t feel the wound right away. You could probably liken it to winning Tattslotto – you’ve got the winning ticket right there in front of you, but although it has happened you wouldn’t believe it. Meanwhile, someone like me might come in and steal the ticket. This is not true, I would not condone such a hainus crime. Anyway, in relation to my stabbing, I tried my utmost to be polite and complimented the offender for his sneaky approach.

Chopper, the movie, is 100% lies and 100% truth rolled together to make 100% of nothing. Despite the movie apparently portraying my life and being a box office hit – the first ever adults only movie to go number 1 at the box office – I didn’t get anything out of the movie, not even a ticket to its premiere or a ticket to the AFI (Australian Film Industry) awards. I signed all my money from the movie, over to the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne – instead of taking lives I am now saving them, yet even it has not formally acknowledged my donation. Also it greatly annoyed me that I was portrayed as a woman basher and that my new wife, Margaret, did not even rate a mention in the movie. However, the movie has resulted in two of my books being published in Britain and I have been gratiously informed that U2’s Bono played the film to bring on his wife’s labour – just fantastic isn’t it. But…..does this make me a co-parent?

As I said, the movie turned me into a world wide figure, as confirmed by an article written by Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times in July 2001:

Is everyone in Australia a few degrees off from true north? You can search in vain through the national cinema for characters who are ordinary or even boring; everyone is more colorful than life. If England is a nation of eccentrics, Australia leaves it at the starting line. Chopper Read is the latest in a distinguished line that includes Ned Kelly, Mad Max, and Russell Crowe’s Hando in “Romper Stomper.” The fact that Chopper is real only underlines the point.

A few degrees off north, well Australia is bloody miles of north actually, if truth be quoted. I think he is simply upset about Australia II’s victory in the 1983 America’s Cup. America’s Cup, America’s Cup, the Australians said excuse us for just a minute, that would look very nice on our trophy cabinet…Yes, yes it would, that you very much…..we think we will take that.

I have been convicted of armed robberies, a shooting, assault and kidnapping a judge. Between the ages of 20 and 38, I had a measily 13 months on the outside. This was my equivalent to the annual leave that most people get through work.

As reported, I do have a phenomenal ability to withstand pain, often to my detriment. This ability, combined with my desire to get a transfer from Pentridge, convinced me to get a fellow inmate to slice off my ears with a razorblade – just insane stuff really. Little did I know that this would later result in another of life’s little ironies. A few years ago I was recruited by some character from Black Flys sunglasses to help promote their products here in Australia. Great, how was I meant to keep the bloody things on?

Pentridge always had its lighter moments and there are numerous stories. In prison I made others chew razor blades while I ate their food and it has been alleged that I use to blowtorch feet so that they smelled like a cross between burnt hair and roast pork. What a fancyful story, by the way have you seen the cover of my book Chopper 10 1/2, The Popcorn Gangster.

In five years at Pentridge, I was alleged , to have attacked 63 men and tried to kill 11. Who invents these numbers, 6311 is my ATM P.I.N number. Their is another story that I would like to set straight. When I had my stomach slit by convicted murderer, Greg “Bluey” Brazel during a prison brawl in 1979. The next day I burst my stiches doing push ups to get fit enough for a revenge attack on Brazel. To this day I cannot believe that I did all those push-ups, the stomach didn’t hurt, but the arms ached like hell.

With nothing much to do in Pentridge, aside from hurt someone here or there, it was the place where I learned to read and write. Little did I know, that spending some times learning these artful crafts, would inevitably keep me alive in the long run.

Tip – A little trick I have learned and am willing to pass on to you, comes from when I was freed from jail in 1986. Being a bit short of cash and with jobs hard to come by, I began demanding money from fellow criminals. And the unusual part is I here you asking? ….I use to strap a stick of gelignite to my chest and threaten to blow us both up if they didn’t pay up. I can’t believe I ever had the audicity. I also can’t believe that it always worked.

In terms of a crime that brought me to the public attention, the 1987 shooting of the drug dealer, Siam “Sammy the Turk” Ozerkam, outside Bojangles Nightclub in St Kilda, Melbourne, is an out and out winner. It was as big a hit as the movie about me, which would come out 13 years later. As I’ve said in my books, it was quite a simple series of events “….I’ve pulled the shotty out and gone bang and it’s bye, bye Turk.” It was far from a case of cold-blooded murder, instead it was an act of instinctive self-defence.

It was when I was in jail in 1990, that I made my first steps towards being an author. It all began when I wrote a note to journalist Mr John Silvester after he wrote a derogatory article about me in Melbourne’s “The Age” newspaper. In short my note wished him a merry Christmas and it expressed my hope that his house would burn down. That reminds me of a little story about Nick “The Greek” Apostolidis, but you’ll have to read my books for that one – but I digress. I wrote around 300 letters in eight months to Mr Silvester, then he and his colleague Andrew Rule edited these letters to create my first book. They hoped it would sell 5000 copies, possible 10,000 and they told me that if things went well, I might end up with a used car. A used car…I’m sure I could park that in the cell with me. Regardless of their “big” plans, my first book has run to more than 120,000 copies, but these cheeky scallywags have yet to give me that used car. Maybe its time to come good on my promise to Mr Silvester…John, your thoughts?

In 1992, the former president of the Victorian Outlaws Sid Collins, was shot in the stomach with a 9mm bullet at point-blank range. To my shock he had the audacity to claim that I had pulled the trigger. Please why would I do such a thing, an unspeakable act. As my lawyer so vehmently claimed, Sid obviously framed me because the real gunman was a fellow motorcycle gang member. Anyway as a result I was sent to jail again. The story of my life. Why is it that for someone with such a reputation both in and out of the underworld, I was so unsuccessful at staying out of jail. Unfortunately, Sid has now been murdered. Of course I was questioned by some big time New South Wales policeman. This is quite bizarre, as I clearly was not in the area at the time of the alleged crime, but these policeman came down at the same time as Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival. Their questions where quite basic, elementary really….so why question me? Anyway I wonder if they know who won Race 5 on Cup Day. A quite opportune time for them, possibly?

In 1995 after a year-long engagement, I married Mary-Ann Hodge whilst in Risdon. Mary-Ann is an attractive and educated woman employed with the Australian Taxation Office. She read one of my books and shortly after came to visit me in Risdon. At that stage I was being held in maximum security indefinitely after I was deemed to be a dangerous criminal. In 1998 my dangerous criminal tag was overturned and Mary-Anne and I moved to a farmhouse at Richmond, Tasmania.

We have a child together, a boy, who we called Charlie, named after my long time and now deceased mate ‘Mad’ Charlie Hegyalji. Our marriage (Mary-Ann and I) went great guns for a while, but it broke up in 2001. Life in Tasmania was just too slow. I couldn’t handle watching chickens and sheep running around day after day. Farming life wasn’t for me, so I left with just the clothes on my back and enough money to get out of Tasmania. I returned to Melbourne and have since married Margaret Casser on 19 January 2003. I have known Margaret for 30 years. As we are still on talking terms, I feel that 30 years should be enough to guarantee a happy future. Anybody else out there that has married someone after they have known them for 30 odd years, please don’t tell me now that it doesn’t work.

As noted on my homepage, this site is far from an exhaustive fable of my life, instead you’ll have to read the books for this. This site is instead a more interactive environment where I can provide you real time information, including interviews, photos and products. If you think that something should be added, or that I should link to your site drop me a line and I may consider it. For now……….Via Con Dios, Amigos.

Chopper – Who Loves Ya, Baby?

The Age August 13, 2007

Cinema has long conditioned us to have a soft spot for criminals.

From The Defiant Ones to The Godfather to Dog Day Afternoon to Scarface to GoodFellas to the numerous film versions of Ned Kelly, the common theme running through them all is that crime breeds charisma. Yes, these uneducated thugs may be impulsive and violent and happy to shoot somebody over a misheard drink order, but they also have an undeniable charm.

Such is the case with Mark Brandon Read – aka Chopper – the famous ex-crim who has become a folkloric figure both in the Underworld and in that other world where the rest of us reside.

The Fine Art of Self-Promotion

Read has long known the appeal flamboyant crims can have for straight-living citizens – and he has proved himself a master at cultivating it.

He has produced a series of best-selling, well-written crime books, Read is an artist of considerable repute and he has delighted in spicing up TV news features about Melbourne’s crime scene with witty observations that often highlight how movie gangsters provide the template for today’s modern criminal. Read laughs at how foolish they are for thinking they are in a movie. We agree, and laugh with him. His appeal doubles.

And Read, of course, is one-up on most Australian gangsters by having had a major film made about him. Chopper, starring actor Eric Bana as Read, came out in 2000 and has enjoyed great success, both here and overseas.

Although Read was not allowed to make any money from the film, he was certainly happy to help out. He gave Bana extensive notes and pointers about what his life was like in and out of prison. Also, Read provided a compelling audio commentary for the DVD release of the film. There might not have been a cent in it for him, but Read seemed happy to participate in a film that would enhance, if not glorify, his legend.

He also performs live shows with other figures of note, such as football great Mark “Jacko” Jackson and notorious NSW cop Roger Rogerson. In these shows Read relates tales from his life for the amusement of a paying audience.

Crime Pays – Or Does It?

But Read has fallen on hard times. A recent report on Channel Nine’s Sunday program (airdate 15 July) detailed his financial woes, his uncharacteristically dour mindset and his brooding resentment for those who have made a dollar from his name.

Much of this ire is directed at comedian Heath Franklin, whose over-the-top Chopper impersonation has become the highlight of the popular skit comedy show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour. If somebody is getting big laughs from spoofing Chopper, Read contends, he deserves royalties.

In fairness to Franklin – and to be completely accurate – his is not an impersonation of Chopper Read as much as it is an impersonation of Eric Bana as Chopper Read. The bulk of the gags, mannerisms and references in Franklin’s act are clearly derived from the heightened, dramatised film version of Read.

Indeed, the film has become such a pop-cultural reference point it was adapted into a hilarious animated short film by Bernard Derriman, which featured at the short film festival Tropfest in 2001, where it won first prize in the comedy category. Read has yet to register his opinion of it.

The Real Read

Beneath his self-sculpted celebrity and media-friendly persona Read, of course, has a history of violence. He has killed many times and has often bragged about his deeds, most infamously on TV in 1998 when he appeared on the McFeast Live program. (During his lengthy interview with host Libbi Gorr, it became clear that Read was completely intoxicated. The show never recovered from the controversy that followed.)

Key to Read’s appeal, though, is his contention that he has never inflicted violence on anybody who didn’t deserve it. The innocent have never been in his sights. This is a point stressed both in the film and by Read himself on the DVD commentary track.

He describes one incident where he was about to shoot somebody, but saw there was a child sleeping in the same room. Concerned about the deafening effects the blast from the gun could have on the child’s hearing, Read promptly escorted his victim into another room and shot him there.

Chopper versus Mark Brandon Read

Read’s appearance on the Sunday report presents a poser. While he seems genuinely down on his luck, Read’s media savvy suggests that his hapless aura is a performance designed to elicit public sympathy. For why else would he make his private financial woes public?

The report certainly points out the difference in Read’s demeanour – from the cocksure charismatic joker to the hard-done-by family man – and the reporter challenges him over his confessed inability to manage money. “I should not have been allowed anywhere near a credit card,” Read says.

Later, while bemoaning the discrepancy between the media image of “Chopper” and the more down-to-Earth “Mark Brandon Read” – as he now prefers to be called – he says: “Why people have this image in their minds is beyond me.” A most curious statement, given his authorship of that image.

To watch the 22-minute Sunday report on Read go here. For a series of Chopper skits from The Ronnie Johns Half Hour go here. (Note: These items contain very coarse language.) For a review of the Chopper DVD go here. For a directory of stories about Read’s art works, go here. To see a promo for the Chopper animated short go here.

Does Mark Brandon Read have a case for sympathy? Is he being exploited, as he claims? Does he deserve royalties, or should he have thought of trade-marking his name a long time ago? Did the film glorify him? What do you think about Read and the “Chopper industry”?

 

Police officer Damian Leeding’s life support to be switched off


Senior Constable Damian Leeding was responding to a triple-0 call at the Pacific Pines Tavern when he was shot.

Senior Constable Damian Leeding was shot in the face at the Pacific Pines Tavern on Sunday night.

A police statement tonight said: “The Queensland Police Service understands that the family of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding have made the heartbreaking decision to turn off life support in the next 24 hours on medical advice concerning his condition.

“The Queensland Police Service is – and will continue – to provide every possible support to the family of DSC Leeding during this incredibly sad time, and our thoughts are very much with his family, friends and Damian’s Coomera CIB colleagues this evening.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the care of DSC Leeding, including the QAS officers, nursing and medical staff at the Gold Coast Hospital.”

Sen-Const Leeding’s family were awaiting the arrival of his father and sister who were making a dash from the UK, but they are now not expected to arrive until possibly Thursday.

Speaking outside Gold Coast Hospital earlier today, Sen. Const Leeding’s father-in-law, Gary O’Brien, said decisions on the officer’s fate  “could possibly be made today”.

Mr O’Brien, the father of Sen. Const Leeding’s police officer wife Sonya, said the family was trying to stay strong.

“At the moment, we’re all travelling a bit of a bumpy road but we’re all doing okay,” he said.

“We just want to thank everybody on the Gold Coast – the support has been absolutely amazing.”

Mr O’Brien, a paramedic, said he had been dealing with tragedy for 30 years “but when the boot’s on the other foot, it’s pretty tough going”.

“We’d just like people to respect our privacy both here (at the hospital) and at home,” he said.

“There will possibly be decisions made today and I’m sure you guys (the media) will hear about it after today.”

Mr O’Brien described his son-in-law as “absolutely the most amazing guy”.

“As well as a son-in-law, he’s a good mate,” he said.

“(He’s the) father of two of my grandkids and a guy who just lives for each day, his family and his kids. He’s just the best guy you could meet.”

Mr O’Brien said the welfare of Sen-Const Leeding’s two children, baby Grace and two-year-old Hudson, was now the priority for the family.

“Everybody’s doing their hardest to make sure that side of the family’s kept intact and we’re moving forward with that,” he said.

Three people have been remanded in custody over the shooting.

THREE people charged over the attempted shooting murder of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding

THREE people will face court tomorrow morning charged over the attempted shooting murder of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding

A 37-year-old man, a 38-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, all from Nerang, have been charged with the attempted murder of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding.

They are also charged with armed robbery and seven counts of deprivation of liberty of four tavern patrons, two staff members and security guard.

Police will allege that shortly before 11pm last night, officers were called to an armed robbery in progress at the Pacific Pines Tavern.

Plain Clothes Senior Constable Damian Leeding was in the first responding vehicle from the Coomera CIB and was allegedly shot in the head by a shotgun.

Police will allege the violent attack was captured on CCTV footage.

They are expected to appear in Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Sen Const Leeding is married to a police officer, Sonya, and is the father of two young children.

He is in a critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital.

It follows last night’s robbery where gunmen stormed the Pacific Pines Tavern just on closing time and took staff and patrons hostage as they demanded money.

Senior Constable Damian Leeding, one of the first two officers on the scene, was shot in the head.

The incident occurred just before 11pm last night as police responded to an armed robbery call-out.

The 35-year-old officer is in a critical condition at Gold Coast Hospital at Southport.

Sen Const Leeding, who is based at Coomera, is married to a police officer, Sonya, and is the father of two young children.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said the thoughts of all were with Damian as he fights for life.

”We hope and pray that he recovers from these awful injuries,” he said.

Police commissioner Bob Atkinson said the first response unit contained two detectives, Damian Leeding and his female partner.

”They arrived at the tavern at approximately quarter to 11 last night. The armed robbery was still in progress at that time.

”We will be alleging this offence was around closing time, we will be alleging that hostages were involved and we will be alleging that the hostages involved were both staff and patrons.

”Soon after, Senior Constable Damian Leeding was shot in the head with a shot gun.

”He is in a critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital. His family are with him — his wife is by his side.

”We hold grave concerns for his overall condition.”

The commissioner said the dog quad officers tracked two offenders and the scene and a third person was located later.

He said there may still be other offenders with a long way to go in the investigation.

Assistant commissioner Paul Wilson praised the first aid efforts of Sen Const Leeding’s female partner on the job who kept him alive.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said Sen Const Leeding may have only been an officer for eight years but he has quickly risen through the ranks to work in the plain clothes division.

”The family is at the hospital now and conducting a vigil,” Mr Atkinson said.

”He’s put his safety at risk to protect the public.

”We pray he is OK, but he is in a critical condition.”

The shooting comes after a call for a specialist armed robbery squad on the Gold Coast following a spate of hold-ups this year.

Mr Atkinson said this incident would raise further questions about the need for a specific armed robbery squad on the Gold Coast.

”Nothing’s off the table,” Mr Atkinson told reporters.

”We review the staffing needs of this area constantly and particularly each year.

”This was a higher end type armed robbery.

”It occurred around closing time and people were taken effectively hostage.”

Police officer Damian Leeding's life support to be switched off


Senior Constable Damian Leeding was responding to a triple-0 call at the Pacific Pines Tavern when he was shot.

Senior Constable Damian Leeding was shot in the face at the Pacific Pines Tavern on Sunday night.

A police statement tonight said: “The Queensland Police Service understands that the family of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding have made the heartbreaking decision to turn off life support in the next 24 hours on medical advice concerning his condition.

“The Queensland Police Service is – and will continue – to provide every possible support to the family of DSC Leeding during this incredibly sad time, and our thoughts are very much with his family, friends and Damian’s Coomera CIB colleagues this evening.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the care of DSC Leeding, including the QAS officers, nursing and medical staff at the Gold Coast Hospital.”

Sen-Const Leeding’s family were awaiting the arrival of his father and sister who were making a dash from the UK, but they are now not expected to arrive until possibly Thursday.

Speaking outside Gold Coast Hospital earlier today, Sen. Const Leeding’s father-in-law, Gary O’Brien, said decisions on the officer’s fate  “could possibly be made today”.

Mr O’Brien, the father of Sen. Const Leeding’s police officer wife Sonya, said the family was trying to stay strong.

“At the moment, we’re all travelling a bit of a bumpy road but we’re all doing okay,” he said.

“We just want to thank everybody on the Gold Coast – the support has been absolutely amazing.”

Mr O’Brien, a paramedic, said he had been dealing with tragedy for 30 years “but when the boot’s on the other foot, it’s pretty tough going”.

“We’d just like people to respect our privacy both here (at the hospital) and at home,” he said.

“There will possibly be decisions made today and I’m sure you guys (the media) will hear about it after today.”

Mr O’Brien described his son-in-law as “absolutely the most amazing guy”.

“As well as a son-in-law, he’s a good mate,” he said.

“(He’s the) father of two of my grandkids and a guy who just lives for each day, his family and his kids. He’s just the best guy you could meet.”

Mr O’Brien said the welfare of Sen-Const Leeding’s two children, baby Grace and two-year-old Hudson, was now the priority for the family.

“Everybody’s doing their hardest to make sure that side of the family’s kept intact and we’re moving forward with that,” he said.

Three people have been remanded in custody over the shooting.

THREE people charged over the attempted shooting murder of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding

THREE people will face court tomorrow morning charged over the attempted shooting murder of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding

A 37-year-old man, a 38-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, all from Nerang, have been charged with the attempted murder of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding.

They are also charged with armed robbery and seven counts of deprivation of liberty of four tavern patrons, two staff members and security guard.

Police will allege that shortly before 11pm last night, officers were called to an armed robbery in progress at the Pacific Pines Tavern.

Plain Clothes Senior Constable Damian Leeding was in the first responding vehicle from the Coomera CIB and was allegedly shot in the head by a shotgun.

Police will allege the violent attack was captured on CCTV footage.

They are expected to appear in Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Sen Const Leeding is married to a police officer, Sonya, and is the father of two young children.

He is in a critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital.

It follows last night’s robbery where gunmen stormed the Pacific Pines Tavern just on closing time and took staff and patrons hostage as they demanded money.

Senior Constable Damian Leeding, one of the first two officers on the scene, was shot in the head.

The incident occurred just before 11pm last night as police responded to an armed robbery call-out.

The 35-year-old officer is in a critical condition at Gold Coast Hospital at Southport.

Sen Const Leeding, who is based at Coomera, is married to a police officer, Sonya, and is the father of two young children.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said the thoughts of all were with Damian as he fights for life.

”We hope and pray that he recovers from these awful injuries,” he said.

Police commissioner Bob Atkinson said the first response unit contained two detectives, Damian Leeding and his female partner.

”They arrived at the tavern at approximately quarter to 11 last night. The armed robbery was still in progress at that time.

”We will be alleging this offence was around closing time, we will be alleging that hostages were involved and we will be alleging that the hostages involved were both staff and patrons.

”Soon after, Senior Constable Damian Leeding was shot in the head with a shot gun.

”He is in a critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital. His family are with him — his wife is by his side.

”We hold grave concerns for his overall condition.”

The commissioner said the dog quad officers tracked two offenders and the scene and a third person was located later.

He said there may still be other offenders with a long way to go in the investigation.

Assistant commissioner Paul Wilson praised the first aid efforts of Sen Const Leeding’s female partner on the job who kept him alive.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said Sen Const Leeding may have only been an officer for eight years but he has quickly risen through the ranks to work in the plain clothes division.

”The family is at the hospital now and conducting a vigil,” Mr Atkinson said.

”He’s put his safety at risk to protect the public.

”We pray he is OK, but he is in a critical condition.”

The shooting comes after a call for a specialist armed robbery squad on the Gold Coast following a spate of hold-ups this year.

Mr Atkinson said this incident would raise further questions about the need for a specific armed robbery squad on the Gold Coast.

”Nothing’s off the table,” Mr Atkinson told reporters.

”We review the staffing needs of this area constantly and particularly each year.

”This was a higher end type armed robbery.

”It occurred around closing time and people were taken effectively hostage.”

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