Paris attacks: Scenes of devastation in the French capital


It is wake up time people. Have the media laws kept you just that little bit away from the slaughter, the suicide bombings and massacre of innocent folks going about their day?
WELL… BE WARNED I AM POSTING AN EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE OF THE CONCERT HALL BECAUSE I CAN! I hope the BEST bands in the WORLD have the guts to play in this hall and not for rich celeb types either. Maybe the orphans and widows etc???
HOW ABOUT A QUICK COFFEE AND CAKE? see that a bit further down…THE AMAZING thing is folks are queuing up to have a coffee there since it happened.
FRANCE ONE DAY YOUR PLACE NEXT. GOING TO LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC AND CHILL OUT FROM THE CRAZY WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS IS HOW THE ENDED UP AFTER GOING TO SEE Eagles of Death Metal  (Who need support from every corner of the world)
Dying to see a band

Dying to see a band

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La Belle Equipe

La Belle Equipe

Related Story: As it happened: At least 120 people killed in multiple Paris attacks

Related Story: Coordinated terror attacks leave France in shock
Related Story: Information for paris bombing map

About 120 people have been killed in multiple terrorist attacks in the French capital, including about 100 who were taken hostage at a rock concert, according to Paris city officials.

Here is a collection of images and footage from Paris as the situation unfolds.

Paris attacks: Weapons seized during pre-dawn raids, French PM warns more attacks being planned

French police seized “an arsenal” of weapons during dozens of pre-dawn raids against Islamist suspects in the early hours of Monday (local time), as prime minister Manuel Valls warned terrorists were planning more attacks in the wake of Friday night’s atrocities in Paris.

The raids focused particularly on the Lyon area, where police made five arrests and seized a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests and handguns.

Mr Valls said authorities have conducted at least 150 house searches in cities around France since the attacks.

Earlier reports had said pre-dawn police operations were carried out in the Paris suburb of Bobigny as well as in Jeumont, close to the French border with Belgium, and in the southern city of Toulouse.

Thirteen raids were carried out around the south-eastern French city of Lyon, a local police source said.

They led to five arrests and the seizure of “an arsenal of weapons”, including a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests, handguns and combat gear, the source said.

French media have reported at least six people were arrested in another raid in the Alpine city of Grenoble.

Mr Valls said terrorism could hit again in “in days or weeks to come” and said the attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people, were “planned in Syria”.

He said French intelligence services had prevented several attacks since the summer and police knew other attacks were being prepared in France as well as in the rest of Europe.

“We are making use of the legal framework of the state of emergency to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement … and all those who advocate hate of the republic,” he said.

“We know that operations were being prepared and are still being prepared, not only against France but other European countries too.”

On Sunday night (local time) French jets launched extensive air strikes on what the government in Paris said were Islamic State targets in the terrorist movement’s stronghold Raqqa.

Prosecutors earlier revealed a growing Belgian connection to the Paris attacks, with officials conceding a poor district in Brussels with past links to international terrorism is a “gigantic problem” and a hotbed for extremism.

A manhunt is also underway for Salah Abdeslam, a Belgium-born man identified as the only surviving terrorist from the attacks.

Seven UK terror attacks ‘stopped’ in last six months: Cameron

British prime minister David Cameron said UK security services had foiled about seven terror attacks since June.

“Our security and intelligence services have stopped something like seven attacks in the last six months, albeit attacks planned on a smaller scale [than Paris attacks],” he told BBC Radio 4.

“We have been aware of these cells operating in Syria that are radicalising people in our own countries, potentially sending people back to carry out attacks.

“It was the sort of thing we were warned about.”

In response to the Paris attacks, Mr Cameron said he wanted Britain to join the fight in Syria to carry out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants.

He will still need to convince more lawmakers to launch any action and will take a proposal to MPs soon.

Mr Cameron said Britain was engaged in a “generational struggle” against extremism and that he has boosted funding for security services in direct response to the threat posed by IS.

He also said there were “hopeful signs” from Saturday’s talks in Vienna on Syria that progress was being made on how to deal with the IS.

“You can’t deal with so-called Islamic State unless you get a political settlement in Syria that enables you then to permanently degrade and destroy that organisation,” he said.

ABC/wires


Paris attacks: What we know so far

A series of coordinated terrorist attacks ripped through Paris shortly after 9pm on Friday November 13. Here is what we know so far.

What we know about the attacks

What we know about the attackers

  • At least eight attackers were involved, operating in three separate groups.
  • Seven of them died, including six who detonated vests laden with explosives.
  • An international manhunt is underway for Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the eighth attacker.
    • Abdeslam, 26, was questioned and released near the Belgian border soon after the attacks.
    • One of his brothers, Ibrahim Abdeslam, was involved in the attacks; he died after detonating his suicide vest on Boulevard Voltaire.
    • Another brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, was arrested in Brussels.
  • Another attacker was named as Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, who was identified from a severed finger at the Bataclan concert hall.
  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in response to insults of Islam’s prophet and air strikes in IS territory.

What we know about the investigation

What we know about France’s response

  • French president Francois Hollande told the French people “we are going to fight and our fight will be merciless”.
  • France launched air strikes against IS militants in Syria.

    bbc.com

    Paris attacks: Bataclan and other assaults leave many dead – BBC News

     People could be seen escaping from the Bataclan concert hall shortly after a series of explosions

    France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 128 people were killed in a night of gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

    Eighty people were reported killed after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall and took hostages before security forces stormed the hall.

    People were shot dead at restaurants and bars at five other sites in Paris. At least 180 people were injured.

    These are the deadliest attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.

    French President Francois Hollande, visibly shaken, called Friday night’s almost simultaneous attacks “a horror” and vowed to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.

    Paris saw three days of attacks in early January, when Islamist gunmen murdered 18 people after attacking satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman on patrol.

    Live: Follow the latest developments here

    In pictures: Paris shootings

    Eyewitness accounts from the scene

    The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was by far the deadliest of Friday night’s attacks. Gunmen opened fire on concert-goers watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The event had been sold out.

    “At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood,” Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told Agence France Presse.

    Speaking outside the Bataclan concert hall President Hollande said the attacks were “an abomination and a barbaric act”

    “They didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”

    He said the gunmen took 20 hostages, and he heard one of them tell their captives: “It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria”.

    Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. Three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.


    Attack sites:

    La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – at least 19 dead in gun attacks

    Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant at rue Alibert, 10th district – at least 12 dead in gun attacks

    La Casa Nostra restaurant, 92 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th district – at least 5 dead in gun attacks

    Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – explosions heard outside venue, three attackers dead

    Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – stormed by several gunmen, at least 80 dead

    map of attack sites

    The attacks took place at six sites across Paris, mainly in the centre of the city

    What we know

    #Paris: Power, horror, and lies


    Meanwhile, not far from the Place de la Republique and the Place de la Bastille, three busy restaurants and a bar were targeted by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.

    Around 40 people were killed as customers were singled out at venues including a pizza restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.

    “We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge said.

    Media captionAmateur footage captured the panic at the Stade de France in Paris, following a reported suicide blast

    The other target was the Stade de France, on the northern fringe of Paris, where President Hollande and 80,000 other spectators were watching a friendly international between France and Germany, with a TV audience of millions more.

    The president was whisked to safety after the first of at least two explosions just outside the venue to convene an emergency cabinet meeting. Three attackers were reportedly killed there.

    As the extent of the bloodshed became clear, Mr Hollande went on national TV to announce a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The decree enables the authorities to close public places and impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of traffic and people.

     Ben Grant: “There were a lot of dead people… it was horrific”

    Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.

    All schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets will be shut on Saturday as well as Disneyland Paris. All sporting fixtures in the affected area of Paris have also been cancelled, AFP reports.

    Police believe all of the gunmen are dead – seven killed themselves with explosives vests and one was shot dead by the security forces – but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run.

    US President Barack Obama spoke of “an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.

    UK PM David Cameron said he was shocked and pledged to do “whatever we can to help”.

    The Vatican called it “an attack on peace for all humanity” and said “a decisive, supportive response” was needed “on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all its forms”.

    Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany  

    Spectators flooded the pitch of the Stade de France after the France v Germany football match as news of the attacks spread
    Rescuers evacuate people following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris  

    Rescuers evacuate people following one of the attacks
    General view of the scene with rescue service personnel  

    Witnesses have been speaking of “carnage”

    Analysis: BBC’s Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas

    It’s just 10 months since Paris was the scene of multiple terrorist attacks, first the massacre of staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket.

    What happened in Paris on Friday night is exactly what Europe’s security services have long feared, and tried to foil. Simultaneous, rolling attacks, with automatic weapons and suicide bombers in the heart of a major European city, targeting multiple, crowded public locations.

    The tactics have been used before, in Mumbai and elsewhere. But how they’ve come to Europe is one of many questions that will have to be answered.

    Were the attackers French citizens? If so, how they were radicalised, armed and organised – was it in France, in Syria, and by whom? Why weren’t they detected? Is France, after two major attacks this year, uniquely vulnerable or does the carnage in Paris mean all of Europe faces new threats to our public places and events? And if a Syrian link is proven, will France recoil from that conflict or will it redouble its commitment to the fight against radical groups there?


    Are you in the area? Have you been affected by what has been happening? Do you have any information you can share? If it is safe to do so, you can get in touch by emailing [email protected].

    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

    • WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
    • Send pictures/video to [email protected]
    • Upload your pictures / video here
    • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
    • Send an SMS or MMS to +44 7624 800 100

      Paris attackers most likely backed and trained by Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, says security expert

      Posted about an hour ago

      A security expert says it is “extremely unlikely” that the eight men who carried out the Paris attacks could have done so without military training in Iraq or Syria.

      The latest reports out of France suggest there were three teams involved in the weekend’s attacks that left 129 people dead.

      Neil Fergus, the chief executive of the security consultancy Intelligent Risk Group, said it appeared the terrorists had a significant support team.

      “There’s no doubt that they… certainly had accomplices that had done reconnoitring of those sites, and that means they had logisticians, transport people, they undoubtedly had a safe house, or indeed, multiple safe houses, people who procured the motor vehicles,” he said.

      “They had to have transported weapons, not just side-arms of course.

      “We know that they had Kalashnikovs, AK-47 long-arms, explosives, TATP explosives themselves have to be transported carefully and of course they were constructed into suicide vests or belts either before being sent to France, or Belgium and then to France, or in France.”

      Mr Fergus is certain the terrorists were trained by Islamic State in the Middle East, either in Iraq or Syria.

      “There have been improvised training camps in France that the French authorities have detected before, but this type of operation, these types of activities in which these eight perpetrators were involved evidence a great deal more sophistication in terms of training and experience,” he said.

      “For example we have eyewitness accounts of the way that they went about their evil business in the theatre, with one person providing very professional cover of the main assailant as he systematically executed people in that theatre.”

      He said the type of operation suggested a great deal of sophistication in terms of training and experience.

      What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way? It has implications for (Australia), and we need to study it carefully.

      Neil Fergus, chief executive of the Intelligent Risk Group

      “It’s not ad hoc training in a forest firing at some targets.

      “That’s people who have gone through proper military training, and indeed, as I said before, almost certainly, to do that sort of callous cold-blooded operation, they have been blooded in the fields of Syria or northern Iraq.”

      Mr Fergus said it was impossible to be certain, but knowing the very hierarchical, compartmentalised structure of IS, the operation was almost certainly authorised by Islamic State’s senior leadership group in the Middle East.

      “It would be almost inconceivable to think that a local cell would be able to gather all of the resources and capabilities, some of which are clearly from offshore, outside of France, to put this together,” he said.

      Security lessons for Australia

      Mr Fergus said the attack’s success pointed to a failure of intelligence in France.

      “What is incredible is that an attack, or a set of attacks of this nature and this complexity, were planned and executed without intelligence services in the region, or indeed in Europe, getting apparently any inkling, any indication that such a scale of operation would be in prospect,” he said.

      “The more people that are involved in an operation, the more likely that intelligence services will detect something is afoot.”

      Mr Fergus said there were security lessons Australia can learn from the attack.

      “I have no doubt that the senior security authorities in Australia, including Duncan Lewis, director-general of ASIO, will be keenly looking to French liaisons to understand their post-event analyses, particularly on whether there had been intelligence that had been missed, or indeed whether the perpetrators have exercised a heightened level of security to such an extent that they did slip under the radar.

      “And that has some implications not just for Australia but for the rest of the civilised world.

      “What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way?

      “It has implications for us, and we need to study it carefully.”

      Topics: terrorism, unrest-conflict-and-war, security-intelligence, defence-and-national-security, france, syrian-arab-republic, iraq

Penny Bailey death: Stephen Bailey charged with murder of his mother


This weavel “Allegedly”killed his mum for reasons unknown to anyone so far…The one and only suspect has been caught,What a little snivelling dog this bloke was…Tragic for the family although I am certain they have found the answers they needed quickly.

Stephen Bailey has been charged with the murder of his mother, Penny Bailey, whose body was found in bushland on Thursday night.

Ms Bailey was last seen at her Mont Albert home on Sunday and reported missing by her family two days later.

Investigators found her body near the Mullum Mullum Creek in Donvale two days later.

Bailey was arrested on Thursday before his mother’s body was located.

Victoria Police said a 34-year-old Mont Albert man had been charged with one count of murder.

He will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later today.

Ms Bailey is the daughter of Laurie Kerr, who played 149 games for Carlton Football Club in the 1950s and was named in the club’s team of the century.

He later founded public relations company International Public Relations.

Her mother Vivienne Kerr is currently the number one female ticket holder at the Blues, while her sister Judy Mullen is the president of the Women of Carlton coterie group.

Stephen Bailey played football for Box Hill in the VFL, and West Adelaide and Norwood in the SANFL.

In a statement, Ms Bailey’s family said she would be remembered for her “warm heart”.

“The Kerr family would like to publicly express its gratitude for the outpouring of support it has received since Penny’s disappearance,” it said.

“Penny was a beautiful woman and mother of three children. She will be remembered for her caring nature, warm heart and love of family.

“The Kerr family is large. Vivienne and Laurie Kerr had nine children – there are 34 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.

“The entire family is focused on providing Penny’s daughters, Belinda and Shannon with comfort at this time.

“We would also like to thank the Victoria Police for their professionalism and the caring and sensitive manner in which they conducted their investigations.”


 

Penny Bailey body found as son Stephen arrested for her suspicious disappearance

Missing mother
 THE son of a woman found dead in Donvale last night has been charged with her murder.

Stephen Bailey, 34, was arrested after his mother Penny Bailey went missing from their Mont Albert home on Wednesday.

He was charged with murder this afternoon.

It comes as Carlton great Stephen Kernahan says the club is in shock over the death of Ms Bailey, who is the daughter of former Blues footballer Laurie Kerr.

Kernahan’s tribute came as it emerged Stephen Bailey was a best-and-fairest winner at VFL club Box Hill Hawks and a prominent player in the SANFL.

A body believed to be that of Ms Bailey was found in bushland near Mullum Mullum Creek in Donvale about 7.10pm yesterday, 24 hours after police investigating the Mont Albert mother’s suspicious disappearance arrested her son.

“The body has not been formally identified but is believed to be that of missing woman Penny Bailey,” Acting Sergeant Julie-Anne Newman said last night.

Ms Bailey was one of nine children born to the renowned footballer and PR guru and his wife, Vivienne.

Laurie Kerr played for Carlton in the 1950s and was named as an emergency in Carlton’s Team of the Century.

Former Carlton player Laurie Kerr.

Laurie and Vivienne Kerr, right, with his family in 1967: Libby, 5, Judy, 6, Penny, 11, Paul, 14, Greg, 3, Louise, 17, Peter, 19, and Mark, 9.

Stephen Bailey was an onballer who played reserve grade football for Carlton in 2002.

He was playing at Donvale when he was called up to play reserve grade football for the Blues.

Bailey then headed back to play with Donvale and two years later played in the VFL with the Box Hill Hawks.

He won Box Hill Hawks’ senior best-and-fairest in 2004 under the coaching of Andy Collins.

He later crossed to the SANFL and became a prominent player for Norwood.

Kernahan said he was shocked and saddened at the news of Ms Bailey’s death.

“Our heart goes out to them,” he said.

Stephen Bailey, left, playing for Norwood in June 2006.

Stephen Bailey for Norwood in April 2006.

Kernahan said he was feeling for the entire Kerr and Bailey families, especially Ms Bailey’s mother.

“Vivienne’s a matriach of the football club, she’s the No.1 ticket holder. We know all the family well,” he said.

Mr Bailey, who was arrested in Smithfield Rd, Flemington, on Wednesday night in relation to his mother’s disappearance, played 54 games with Norwood from 2005 to 2007.

Penny Bailey’s mum, Vivienne, right, with daughter Judy Mullen at a Women of Carlton event.

Norwood Football Club president Paul Di Iulio said he was surprised when he heard the former Redlegs players had been arrested.

“I was shocked, I’m shocked at anything like that,” he said. “It’s not good news to hear.”

When asked if Mr Bailey was quiet, Mr Di Iulio said: “That’s my understanding. People I have spoken to say he kept to himself.”

Mr Di Iulio said Mr Bailey had ben a handy player at Norwood.

“He seemed like a reasonable bloke,” he said. “He played in the midfield and on the half back.”

Mr Di Iulio said Mr Bailey left Norwood to play at West Adelaide Football Club, also in the SANFL.

But he said he had departed on good terms and had left for other “football opportunities”. He said Bailey had not returned to the club since.

Forensic investigators at the scene of the discovery at Mullum Mullum creek in Donvale. Picture Yuri Kouzmin

Stephen Bailey spotted walking through the underpass at Flinders St to Southbank.

Ms Bailey’s body was found in bushland near the bed of the Mullum Mullum creek — just metres from a car park in Reynolds Rd.

A crime scene was established near Reynolds Rd just east of Springvale Rd after forensic specialists from the Crime Scene Unit reached the scene last night.

State Emergency Service crews set up flood lights as forensic crews scoured bushland near the creek.

The dumping ground could be clearly seen from a walking track across the small creek.

A local woman who walked past the crime scene on her way home said she was shocked by the discovery.

Local Amy Stephens said the discovery was “terrifying”.

“I am so shocked because this is such a good area,” she said.

“It is so close (to home) and such a nice area that you just don’t expect it to happen.”

She said children and families often used the area and nearby a reserve and sporting oval.

“There are often Scouts teams near here and sausage sizzles — it’s very close to everything,” Ms said.

“This is one-in-a-million — nothing like this happens.”

Penny Bailey and her son Stephen.

Mr Bailey remains in hospital.

Mrs Bailey was last seen at the Mont Albert home she shares with her son about 9pm on Sunday.

Detectives seized a black four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Tiguan from the property, which they loaded on to a flat bed trailer and have taken it away for forensic examination.

Police launched an investigation after the woman was reported missing by family on Tuesday night amid a disturbance at her house.

Her son was seen leaving the townhouse on a bicycle about 11.45am on Tuesday.

Stephen Bailey near the intersection of Elizabeth and Bourke streets in the CBD.

Det Insp Mick Hughes said the alarm was raised after a disturbance had been discovered at the Strabane Ave home.

“There is concern from what we witnessed at that scene,” he said.

A crime scene was established at the house.

Police also have seized two wheelie bins from the nature strip, while a mobile phone was taken into evidence.

Detectives inspected clothing and gloves from inside the bin.

Earlier, Ms Bailey’s siblings and children had forced entry into the townhouse after unsuccessful attempts were made to contact her.

Neighbours woke to find their street filled with police.

They said they hadn’t heard any disturbance from the townhouse over the weekend.

After his football career ended, Laurie Kerr pursued a career in journalism and built the public relations empire IPR.

Kerr studied at St Kevin’s College in Toorak, where four generations of his family would later go on to study.

Kerr died on December 28, 2001. He was 72.

Forensic police take the rubbish bins to check for evidence. Pictures: Ian Currie


Andrew Johns is a disgrace and an embarrassment. He has proven so time and time again!


ANDREW Johns ‘passed out’ at Toowoomba airport.

ANDREW Johns ‘passed out’ at Toowoomba airport.

Some things (ungrateful millionaire ex player and media star)  DO NOT CHANGE

How long does the old boys club protect and support tools like him? There are too many better deserving to be in the spotlight than the likes of Andrew Johns.

Channel Nine dumps Andrew Johns from grand final day broadcast following drunken airport incident

Michael Carayannis and Michael Chammas

Channel Nine stands down Andrew Johns from Sunday’s NRL grand final broadcast following an intoxicated incident at Toowoomba airport on Friday night.

Channel Nine has stood down Andrew Johns from Sunday’s grand final broadcast following the intoxicated incident at Toowoomba airport on Friday night.

Johns, a regular member of Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show, wasn’t included on the panel leading into the grand final coverage on Sunday.

Bad form: The Facebook post of Andrew Johns asleep in Toowoomba Airport with a comment by the poster.

Bad form: The Facebook post of Andrew Johns asleep in Toowoomba Airport with a comment by the poster. Photo: Facebook / Helen Wright

He has also been told he will not be part of the broadcast of the all-Queensland grand final between the Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the former Newcastle halfback, who is deep in negotiations with Fox Sports about joining his brother Matthew at the pay TV network.

It also comes a fortnight after fellow Channel Nine rugby league commentator Brett Finch checked himself into rehabilitation following a stint back in April.

It comes after Johns was accused of “disgusting and disgraceful” behaviour, photographed lying on the floor at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp airport on Friday night after allegedly propositioning a married woman, who labelled Johns’ behaviour “a very bad example”.

Helen Wright, who later received an apology from the rugby league immortal, detailed Johns’ behaviour on Facebook, saying: “I wish that football commentators [had] more pride and a much higher standard of behaviour in public”.

“This is not an example that should be presented to children that were present! Many of the children had taken photos of him passed out. My own sons have played football all their lives and we love the game. But not this aspect of the game. Regards Helen Wright.”


Andrew Johns apologises for ‘disgraceful’ behaviour at airport – after getting ‘drunk and making sexually explicit comments to a mum of three before passing out’

  • NRL immortal Andrew Johns has been accused of drunk behaviour
  • The formal NRL player allegedly passed out at Toowoomba airport
  • Helen Wright shared a photo of Johns on the floor on social media 
  • The mother-of-three claims he tried to kiss her and made a lewd comment
  • Ms Wright told Daily Mail Australia he has already called to apologise 

By Lucy Thackray for Daily Mail Australia

22:30 EST, 3 October 2015

A woman has accused former NRL player Andrew Johns of ‘disgusting behaviour’, alleging he was drunk and disorderly at an airport and tried to kiss her before passing out on the floor.

A photo of the NRL immortal allegedly lying ‘passed out’ on the floor of Toowomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport went viral on Saturday morning when Queensland woman Helen Wright posted it on social media.

‘Andrew Johns was absolutely disgusting. He was severely intoxicated,’ wrote Ms Wright, describing the alleged incident, said to have taken place on Queensland’ east coast on Friday night.

The mother-of-three tells Daily Mail Australia Mr Johns made contact with her on Saturday, ringing to apologise if his behaviour had offended her.

The 42-year-old says while waiting for a delayed flight, Johns tried to kiss her and made a lewd comment when she refused.

A photo of the NRL immortal allegedly lying ‘passed out’ on the floor of Toowomba’s Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport went viral on Saturday morning when Queensland woman Helen Wright posted it on social media

‘Andrew Johns was absolutely disgusting. He was severely intoxicated,’ wrote Ms Wright, describing the alleged incident, said to have taken place on Queensland’ east coast on Friday night

‘When I refused to kiss him and replied I was happily married and had three sons his question to me was “did you have a cesarean birth?’

‘Disgusting, disgraceful and a very bad example for all to see.

‘Then he proceeded to pass out on the floor of the airport,’ she alleges.

Ms Wright claims many young children were present and some even took photos of the recently separated commentator while he was ‘passed out’ on the floor.

Ms Wright claims many young children were present and some even took photos of the recently separated commentator while he was ‘passed out’ on the floor

She is calling for NRL identities to be better role models, particularly for the children who look up to them.

‘I wish that football commentators have more pride and a much higher standard of behaviour in public,’ Ms Wright posted.

‘This is not an example that should have been presented to children that were present!’

‘My own sons have played football all their lives and we love the game.

‘But not this aspect of the game.’

Daily Mail Australia made numerous attempts to contact Andrews Johns’ management.

Channel Nine declined to comment.

The all Queensland NRL grand final will be held in Sydney on Sunday night.

She is calling for NRL identities to be better role models, particularly for the children who look up to them


Problem after problem after problem

Ecstasy use controversy

On 26 August 2007 Johns was arrested for fare evasion on the London Underground, and subsequently found to be in possession of one ecstasy tablet. He was cautioned and released with no further charges. Johns initially claimed that an unknown person had pushed the tablet into his pocket which he later forgot to remove before leaving the crowded venue. This initial statement was met with a great deal of cynicism from both the press and the public. On 30 August, Johns revealed, live on the Footy Show, that he had regularly taken ecstasy throughout his playing career, mainly during the off-season. He claimed he had suffered from depression and bipolar disorder and the drugs helped him in dealing with the high level of psychological ‘pressure’ associated with his career as an elite sportsman Not long after the incident he released his ‘tell-all’ autobiography that went into further details regarding his depression and drug use while playing in the NRL.

The ARU released a press statement shortly after the controversy arose, stating that Johns’ drug use was known to the ARU and was a key factor in its decision to not proceed with contractual negotiations in 2004. Brett Robinson, then high-performance unit manager, said that, as well as Johns’ age and injury history, the knowledge of his drug taking had been influential in the ARU making its final decision.

When Johns was named the Best Player of the Last 30 Years in early 2008, the accolade allayed concern that Johns’ shock drug admission the year before had tarnished his remarkable efforts on the field for Newcastle, NSW and Australia. On receiving the award he was quoted as saying his health was now in great shape. “I’m at the best place I have been in a long time,” he said. “It’s not until you step away that I realise all the pressure I was under, I’m not going to miss playing at all.”
Racism controversy

In June 2010 during the lead-up to Origin II, New South Wales centre Timana Tahu withdrew mid-week from the NSW squad following reports Johns referred to Queensland player Greg Inglis as a “black cunt” during a training session.Johns was subsequently fired from his role as NSW assistant coach. Though he apologised for the incident on Tuesday 15 June,it is alleged it was not the first time Johns had used racist language in a football environment. Inglis has since demanded Johns be barred from any involvement in rugby league.

More Joyous Scandal

Johns was the catalyst to the More Joyous Scandal, engulfing leading Sydney horse trainer Gai Waterhouse, larrikin advertising figure John Singleton (racehorse More Joyous’s owner) and bookmaker and son of the horse trainer Tom Waterhouse. Johns passed information from Tom Waterhouse that horse More Joyous was “off” on to brothel owner Eddie Hayson and former jockey Allan Robinson. Singleton received word of this and, while visibly inebriated, verbally attacked Gai Waterhouse on live television. Johns feared his Channel 9 commentating career would be over due to the trouble he caused Tom Waterhouse, a Channel 9 advertiser. Johns’s commentating career survived, although his reputation was further damaged. Both Waterhouses were cleared of any major wrongdoing by a Racing NSW inquiry, however, Singleton and Gai’s longstanding partnership ended.



Andrea Lehane: Mother struck in ‘callous’ mini-motorbike hit-run to have life support switched off


These pathetic weasels need to be  found, dobbed in, whatever…Gutless and those who are protecting them are even weaker. STAND UP

  James Lehane says his wife Andrea will be remembered as an extraordinary person. (Supplied: Andrea Lehane fundraising page)

A mother of two who was critically injured when she was struck by a motorcyclist in a “callous” hit-run will have her life support switched off, her husband has confirmed.

Andrea Lehane, 34, was walking through a pedestrian crossing at a Carrum Downs shopping centre in Melbourne’s south-east when she was bowled over by a mini-motorcycle.

CCTV captured the moment she was struck. It shows a group of motorbike riders speeding off after the collision.

Ms Lehane’s husband James issued a statement to Macquarie Radio saying his wife had suffered “unsurvivable brain damage” in the crash.

“The team at the Alfred [Hospital] have done an extraordinary job but the damage done has been confirmed to be too great,” he said.

Mr Lehane said his wife’s life support would be switched off at some point today or tomorrow.

He said, for his wife’s final act of generosity, the family had consented to organ donation.

“I will be taking her children, her three-year-old son and four-year-old daughter to see their mum for the last time before this occurs.”

Mr Lehane said in the statement that his wife would be remembered as an extraordinary person.

“She was very content in her life and loved and cared for her family and friends. She always put them first,” he said.

“She will always be remembered and missed. Words cannot explain how I feel.”

Yesterday, Victoria Police Inspector Bernie Rankin appealed for the motorcyclists involved to come forward, saying he was certain they knew what had happened.

“It was just callous,” he said.

“Even the motorcycles following the offending one that struck the woman saw what happened, saw the whole thing unfold in front of them.

“They were aware she hit that ground very heavily and of course, they would also be aware the likelihood of her suffering serious injuries was high.”

Mini-bikes ‘a recipe for disaster’

The mini-motorcycle that hit Ms Lehane was most likely an illegal cheap import from China, according to the Victorian Motorcycle Council.

Vice-chairman Peter Baulch said they were slipping through a loophole in legislation and design rules.

“It’s just a recipe for disaster as we’ve seen this week,” he told 774 ABC Melbourne.

“I’m not normally a supporter of regulation for regulation’s sake … but clearly there is a void or a gap in our current regulations that allows these illegal bikes to be imported and sold.

“Unfortunately it puts the burden back on police to enforce the existing regulations in respect of helmets, protective clothing and the like.”

Mr Baulch said history indicated banning the motorbikes would not work.

“Unfortunately experience tells us that when these culprits are apprehended they get a gentle slap on the wrist from authorities — there’s no real deterrent to prevent this recurring,” he said.

Frankston Council ban on mini-motorbikes difficult to enforce

Frankston Council, which takes in Carrum Downs, banned unregistered mini-motorcycles in 2007 under local law after complaints about noise and risk of serious injury.

Mayor Sandra Mayer said police had seized eight motorbikes in the past year in the area while the council had impounded another 10.

But she said it was a difficult problem to tackle.

“We used to have community safety meetings a couple of times a year in the area and the police would always say, ‘Well, we can’t very well chase someone on a bike through a park in a police vehicle’,” she said.

“One thing you can do as a resident, if you know where these people live, if they’re your neighbours, then notify police.”


Bedside vigil kept for Melbourne mother Andrea Lehane after Carrum Downs hit and run

September 25, 2015 – 10:23AM

Chloe Booker, Marissa Calligeros, Rania Spooner

Monkey-bike mows down mum-of-two

Andrea Lehane remains in a critical condition in hospital after one in a group of five youths on motorbikes struck her in a Carrum Downs car park on Wednesday.

A Melbourne mother who was run down and left for dead by a gang of young hoons on mini “monkey” motorbikes has suffered “unsurvivable brain damage”.

The family of Andrea Lehane, who described her as “extraordinary wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunty, niece and friend”, confirmed her condition as they kept a vigil at her bedside, radio station 3AW reported on Friday.

Ms Lehane, 34, was struck walking across a pedestrian crossing in the Carrum Downs Regional Shopping Centre car park about 5.10pm on Wednesday.

Andrea Lehane with husband James Lehane.Andrea Lehane with husband James Lehane. Photo: Facebook

She will leave behind two children aged three and four.

Her distraught husband, James, released a statement on Friday morning, saying his wife would not survive the incident.

“On Wednesday afternoon my family’s lives changed in an instant from a careless and avoidable accident,” he said.

Andrea Lehane is a mother of two.Andrea Lehane is a mother of two. Photo: Facebook

“As a result of the impact, my wife suffered unsurvivable brain damage.

“The team at The Alfred have done an extraordinary job, but the damage has been confirmed to be too great.

“Being a nurse, Andy was always keen on organ donation, so as a family we have consented to her going through a complete organ donation process.

“Some time today or tomorrow she will go into theatre, with her life support machines, for her final act of caring and giving.

“I will be taking her children, her three-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, to see their mum for the last time before this occurs.

“She was an extraordinary wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunty, niece and friend. She was very content in her life and loved and cared for her family and friends – she always put them first. She will always be remembered and missed. Words cannot explain how I feel.”

Mr Lehane has requested privacy for his family, saying they would like time to grieve.

Ms Lehane was flown to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition with severe head and chest injuries on Wednesday.

Police described the behaviour of the five motorcycle riders, believed to be teenage boys, as “callous”.

Confronting CCTV footage shows them roaring through the busy carpark and slamming into Ms Lehane as she nears the end of the pedestrian crossing.

The first rider passed her, then performed a wheelie, while the second bike, carrying two people, struck her.

The two boys fell off the bike, after which the passenger ran off, while the rider jumped back on his bike and sped off.

One woman, who asked not to be named, described the horrific sight of seeing her laying face down on the ground.

“Everyone was just trying to help her out,” she said, still visibly shaken.

“There was just blood everywhere, flowing everywhere.

“They need to do something to make it safer.”

She said one bystander had jumped into a nearby car and chased after the group of hoons fleeing on their bikes.

“My thoughts are for her now,” she said, after laying a card among the flowers.

Meanwhile, local residents have likened the shopping centre car park to a “drag strip”.

“Everyone drives way too fast around it, like a drag strip, and definitely not enough lighting at night. She was hit on the crossing!” one woman said on Facebook.”Too awful for words.”

Residents placed flowers and a teddy bear next to the pedestrian crossing where the woman was struck, along with notes expressing support and sympathy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you, get well soon,” one note reads.

“We weep for all, we pray for humanity,” another states.

Detective Inspector Bernie Rankin, from the Major Collision Investigation Unit, said it was not yet clear whether the youths were riding “monkey” bikes or other motorcycles.

Frankston Council, which takes in Carrum Downs, was the first in Victoria to ban the bikes in 2007.

It is illegal to ride most monkey bikes, also known as pocket bikes, on public roads or footpaths.

But is not illegal to own one for use on a private property, such as a gated farm and the small vehicles can easily be bought online.

In general, the bikes have a top speed of 70km/h.

Most monkey bikes, formally known as miniature motorcycles, do not comply with the Australian Design Rules and cannot be registered as a motorcycle.

“Riding a monkey bike without a valid motorcycle licence means a rider will be committing two offences, including driving an unregistered vehicle and driving without a licence,” said Robyn Seymour, the director of vehicle and road use policy at VicRoads.

However some monkey bikes, including a line manufactured by Honda, do comply with Australian Design Rules and, therefore, can be registered.It is understood those select bikes have the right compliance plates to meet Australian road safety standards.

Frankston Council, which takes in Carrum Downs, was the first in Victoria to ban monkey bikes entirely in 2007.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


 

 

Craig Handasyde: Former DHS disability worker jailed for 12 months over sexual abuse of male clients


 They always have an excuse these snake bellies…12 friggin months for OVER a decade of abusing vulnerable people in his professional care as a Department of Human Services disability support worker.Most of his eight victims, aged in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, were unable to properly communicate and some were deaf, blind and could not talk.

16/09/15

A former Department of Human Services disability support worker who sexually abused a number of disabled male clients has been jailed for 12 months.

Craig Handasyde, from Croydon, abused his victims in a number of residential facilities between 1997 and 2011.

Most of his eight victims, aged in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, were unable to properly communicate and some were deaf, blind and could not talk.

Handasyde abused his victims at the residential units, at swimming pools, in showers and in one case at a motel, during outings or “reward” trips “put in place by the DHS”.

In some instances of abuse, Handasyde would walk around the DHS facilities naked and get into bed with his victims as they lay helpless. On other occasions he masturbated clients, and induced them to masturbate him.

On at least one occasion he ignored attempts by one victim to push him away.

He handed himself into police last year after confessing the abuse to his wife and a pastor at his church.

Handasyde pleaded guilty to 11 counts of committing indecent acts against a person with a cognitive impairment.

In sentencing Handasyde, Judge Gavan Meredith said the families of his victims felt a “sense of loss and betrayal” at the “gross and egregious breach of the trust that was placed in [him]”.

Your formative years were marked by your bullying and a sense of isolation, you were described as passive and unable to assert yourself.

However, the judge said the offending was not likely to have ever come to light if Handasyde had not confessed.

He also said Handasyde was genuinely remorseful, had pleaded guilty early and was at low risk of re-offending.

The court heard Handasyde, 48, was also responding well to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which stemmed from physical abuse by his father as a child, and from witnessing the physical and sexual abuse of his mother by his father.

Family members of a number of Handasyde’s victims were in court to hear the verdict, as was Handasyde’s wife.

Perpetrator’s sexuality was ‘repressed’ by religious upbringing

Judge Meredith said Handasyde’s mother confided in him during his early adolescence that his father was sexually and physically abusing her, which left him feeling helpless.

Handasyde realised he was gay when he was young, but felt unable to express this due to his religious upbringing, and was bullied at school.

“Your formative years were marked by your bullying and a sense of isolation,” Judge Meredith said.

“You were described as passive and unable to assert yourself.”

Handasyde trained as an orchardist, but eventually gained qualifications to work in the disability sector.

He confided in his wife before their marriage that he was sexually attracted to other men, but promised not to act on his feelings.

The couple had eight children, but an earlier hearing was told Handasyde’s wife believed sex should only be for procreation.

Handasyde began watching gay pornography while working in the residential units, and the offending often took place after this.

He confessed to his wife in 2013 that he was watching gay pornography, and later confessed to abusing the men.

He then resigned from the DHS.

Long history of mental health issues, now being addressed

Judge Meredith said Handasyde was suffering from “chronic” post-traumatic stress disorder, which had only come to light since his offending was revealed, but that expert evidence suggested he had “significantly improved” with treatment.

The judge said Handasyde has also been assessed by experts as being at low risk of offending, and that “a constant theme was [his] sincere remorse and desire to make amends for [his] offending”.

Handasyde’s prospects of rehabilitation are good, the judge said, but it was necessary that he serve a term of imprisonment, despite the defence arguing that a community corrections order was appropriate.

Handasyde will be subject to an order for two years after his release.

Judge Meredith said that if Handasyde had not confessed and pleaded guilty, he would have imposed a sentence of two-and-a-half years.

Victim’s family trusted Handasyde, feel let down by department

Outside court after the hearing, the mother of one of Handasyde’s victims said her son had been scarred by the abuse, and was now on medication to deal with the trauma.

“Because he was there such a long time, you think you can trust them,” she said.

“[My son] went to Melbourne when he was three years old, they told me it was the right thing to do because there was no education for him in Geelong.

“So that’s what happened and I trusted the people, I trusted the department and obviously that’s not happened. They haven’t looked after him.”

From other news sites:

  • The Age: Ex-DHS carer Craig Handasyde jailed for one year for abusing disabled men
  • Geelong Advertiser: DHS carer jailed for string of sexual abuse crimes against people with a disability
  • The Australian: Ex-Vic carer jailed for sexual abuse
  • 3AW Radio: Craig Handasyde, 48, sentenced to 12 months jail over sexual abuse of eight disabled men in care

    abc.net.au

    DHS disability worker admits abusing deaf, blind patients

    By court reporter Peta Carlyon

    Updated 31 Aug 2015, 5:49pmMon 31 Aug 2015, 5:49pm

    A former Department of Human Services disability support worker whose lawyer said he was deeply religious and in denial about this sexuality has admitted abusing a series of male patients over 13 years across Melbourne’s east.

    Craig Handasyde, 47, of Croydon, pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to 11 charges of committing an indecent act with a cognitively impaired person by a worker.

    Key points

    • Craig Handasyde pleaded guilty to 11 charges
    • Victims were blind, deaf and unable to communicate
    • Handasyde wanted to appear to be a happily married heterosexual man, court heard
    • Victim became “very disturbed” after abuse

    The abuse occurred across residential facilities in a number of suburbs, and in some cases involved long-term clients between 1998 and 2011.

    Most of his victims, aged in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, were unable to properly communicate and some were deaf, blind and could not talk.

    Handasyde also abused his victims at swimming pools, in showers and in one case a motel, during outings or “reward” trips “put in place by the DHS”.

    In some instances of abuse, Handasyde would walk around the DHS facilities naked and get into bed with his victims as they lay helpless.

    On at least one occasion he ignored repeated attempts by one victim to push him away.

    The court heard Handasyde was a highly qualified disability development services officer with an advanced diploma in disability work.

    He had also undertaken a range of extra courses over the years, including “dual disability” and “communications about behaviour for better outcomes”.

    Handasyde resigned from the DHS in 2013.

    He handed himself in to the sex crimes unit at the Knox police station last year because he “wanted to make admissions about sexually abusing DHS clients over 13 years”.

    The court heard Handasyde was a religious man who wanted to clear his conscience in the eyes of God.

    Two pastors were among 13 people to provide references for him.

    ‘A happily married heterosexual man’

    Handasyde’s lawyer Paul Higham told the court his client was deeply religious.

    He was also homosexual, Mr Higham said, but was intent on presenting himself publicly as “a happily married, heterosexual Christian father,” leading to a secret life.

    Craig, you were meant to look after him, not cause him distress. You were meant to care for him, not abuse him.

    Victim’s mother

    The court heard Handasyde met his wife within the church and wrote her a letter before they got married, telling her he was “same-sex attracted”.

    “She struggled to accept it, but accept it she did,” said Mr Higham.

    The couple had eight children who were home-schooled and the court heard Handasyde’s wife believed sex was for procreation only.

    “What emerges is a picture of a man who is extremely passive and lacks the ability to assert himself,” Mr Higham told the court.

    Mr Higham said Handasyde “prefers harmony over conflict”, and described his client’s denial of a large part of his identity as “a tragedy”.

    Handasyde’s wife was in court and wept as their home life was detailed to the families of her husband’s victims.

    ‘I trusted you with my son’: Mother of victim

    The courtroom was packed with the parents and relatives of the men Handasyde’s had abused.

    The mother of one victim told the court Handasyde’s offending had turned her son into a “very disturbed young man”.

    “Craig Handasyde ruined his happy nature,” she said.

    “Craig, you were meant to look after him, not cause him distress.

    “You were meant to care for him, not abuse him.”

    The woman told Handasyde she had welcomed him into her family’s home on many occasions and felt betrayed.

    “You enjoyed our food and hospitality as a thank you for bringing him home,” she said.

    “I always worried whether I’d done the right thing, sending him to Melbourne.

    “You’ve proved me right. I trusted you with my son who I love so much.”

    The father of another victim told the court his son “could not even understand simple verbal statements” and would “never be able to care for himself”.

    The man said he and his wife entrusted their son to a trusted care provider in the DHS and “for many years we thought he was safe”.

    “We are very disturbed,” the victim’s father said.

    “We can’t ask him about how he felt … the thought of what he [Handasyde] might have been doing … the real torture is not knowing.”

    The victim’s father told the court, he and his wife had noticed a marked change in their son’s mental state 15 years ago, when he became more aggressive.

    “At the time, there was no reason for his behaviour change,” he said.

    “In hindsight, we now wonder if he could have been affected by sexual abuse.”

    He told the court, his son would not have been able to tell anyone about the abuse or warn others who were vulnerable and exposed.

    Handasyde is expected to be sentenced at a later date.

    First posted 31 Aug 2015, 3:09pmMon 31 Aug 2015, 3:09pm


    DHS carer jailed for string of sexual abuse crimes against people with a disability

  • DHS carer jailed for sex abuse

    Craig Handasyde.

    A GEELONG mother has vowed to continue to fight for her disabled son’s safety after his carer of 15 years was today jailed for sexually abusing him.

    The mother, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said she didn’t think the one-year jail term former Department of Human Services disability worker Craig Gilbert Handasyde, 48, received was adequate but she was relieved to see him behind bars.

    Handasyde pleaded guilty to 11 counts of indecent act with a person with a cognitive disability by a care worker — including three which covered multiple offences — over a 13-year period of offending against eight victims.

    The mother told Geelong Advertiser all the victims’ families were hurting and now didn’t know who they could trust.

    She said her once-happy son was on more anxiety medication and was deeply traumatised.

    The court heard he had repeatedly tried to fend off Handasyde, who had cuddled, masturbated and exposed himself to his victims.

    ACCUSED BROKE MUM OF THREE’S JAW

    “The only way to stop it happening again is to speak out,” she said.

    “All through (my son’s) life I’ve had to fight.”

    The mother hopes to see changes made at DHS facilities including CCTV in common areas and a minimum of two staff on at all times.

    In sentencing Handasyde to jail and a two-year Community Corrections Order, Judge Gavan Meredith said the victims were defenceless and dependent on Handasyde and their difficulty communicating ensured they couldn’t raise the alarm.

    Judge Meredith said the families’ Victim Impact Statements spoke of how the offending had caused them to doubt their decision to place their loved one in care.

    He accepted the crimes could only be prosecuted due to Handasyde’s confession and that he would find prison difficult due to his depression and post-traumatic stress, but said his “gross and egregious breach of trust” required it.

    Judge Meredith said the community must expect significant punishment for abusing a position of trust. He ordered Handasyde be under supervision and receive psychological treatment for the duration of the CCO.

    “Every attendance will serve as a reminder of the inappropriateness of your behaviour,” he said.


     

Former state director of the Victorian Liberal Party, Damien Mantach, busted embezzling $1.5 million in the election campaign funds.



money hungry 2

abc.net.au

Embezzlement allegation: The Liberal Party will have to rebuild trust

The Drum

Opinion

Fri 21 Aug 2015, 9:58am

It’s the thousands of ordinary Liberal Party members who should feel most outraged at the alleged embezzlement of $1.5 million of campaign funds. And the party hierarchy will have to work hard to earn their trust back, writes Terry Barnes.

The Victorian Liberal Party is in a state of deep shock after revelations its former state director, Damien Mantach, is accused of embezzling $1.5 million of party funds over a number of years.

While investigations are continuing, Victorian Liberal president, Michael Kroger, has emailed party members saying that Mantach is the only person in the frame, and all will be done to recover as much of the missing funds as possible.

It appears a breathtaking $1.5 million of party funds was diverted for personal benefit. Victorian Liberal parliamentary leader, Matthew Guy, said that what was taken was “a very significant portion of the money raised by the party in fundraising … People did a lot of work to get that. We all feel completely gutted and furious”.

There certainly will be former Victorian Liberal MPs closely defeated in last November’s state election whose anger will be, like Guy’s, white-hot, sharing his view that the missing funds could have saved their campaigns. Current marginal seat federal MPs will feel likewise. But having escaped with their parliamentary pensions or severance packages, they personally got off lightly.

What really angers and disappoints about Mantach’s alleged actions is that they were not really stealing from a mere corporate entity, the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia. Nor did they ruin the large corporate donors and high net worth individuals who donate to political parties, because that is part of what they do to build political networks, relationships and influence.

No, the grand embezzlement and the governance failures that allowed it to happen are above all an utter betrayal of, and insult to, thousands of ordinary Liberal Party members and supporters across Victoria who are not wealthy or personally powerful but are the soul of the party.

They’re the ones who turn out in all weather at election times to support MPs and candidates, door-knock, stuff letterboxes and talk up the Liberal cause to anyone who will listen.

They’re the ones who greet you at the polling booth on election days with a smile and a how-to-vote card, and look forward to bantering with voters and their counterparts from other parties.

They’re the ones who faithfully attend branch meetings, local party events, run the trivia and soup nights, and buy the tickets in the raffle that inevitably is a part of any political gathering – and donate back the prizes.

They’re the ones who drive up to hundreds of kilometres to attend party councils and pre-selection conventions.

They’re the ones who organise local electorate fundraising functions, work tirelessly to make them well-attended and successful, and cheerfully endure the proverbial rubber chicken and drinks at bar prices, because they buy their own tickets as well as sell them.

They’re the ones who pay membership subscriptions or respond to bigwigs’ circular appeals for donations. Many may not be able to afford to give much, but their trickles join to become a funding river for the party: a river, it seems, that can easily be dipped into by the unscrupulous.

And they’re the ones who are most entitled to feel gutted and angry at what has happened.

As a group, most ordinary members of the Liberal Party are older and more conservative than their MPs. They are often retired, and volunteer for party work because it gives them the satisfaction of furthering a cause, or an MP or candidate, they believe in passionately.

Others are young activists with stars in their eyes and idealism in their hearts.

Unlike the likes of Malcolm Turnbull, most Liberal rank-and-file members don’t have palatial mansions to go home to, nor much spare cash. Contrary to the Liberal silvertail image, many members and local Liberal supporters are students, pensioners or self-funded retirees on very modest incomes, and donate what they often can ill afford.

Yet they do so willingly and turn out for the party because they believe, as the Victorian Division’s website is bannered, that “The Liberal Party exists to provide high quality governments that empower people to solve the major challenges they face in their lives”.

This grassroots faith is what’s been shaken to its core by what has happened.

The Liberal organisation will recover and be reformed. As incoming Victorian president earlier this year, taking office just as Mantach left, Kroger was refreshingly open and honest with his members and the public as soon as the appalling situation was confirmed. That welcome candour is a good start to rebuilding trust in a crisis.

But just as with former Health Services Union leaders Craig Thomson, Michael Williamson and Kathy Jackson, this is yet another case of an elected or appointed official feeling somehow entitled to take advantage of the so-called “little people” who are their rank-and-file members, even though ultimately they owed everything to those they betrayed.

This week’s revelations, be they Mantach’s alleged activities or Jackson’s humiliation in court, should remind elected and appointed office holders in political parties and politically-active organisations alike that respecting the trust of their members and the public is fundamental to public life and a healthy democracy. Their position and status is a conferred privilege, not a personal fiefdom.

Fortunately, most of these office holders, across the political spectrum, work very hard to earn and retain that trust.

The Victorian Liberal Party will likely find, as the HSU has found, and indeed as federal MPs are finding with ongoing public anger over abused parliamentary “entitlements”, when the bond of trust with their ordinary members and supporters is broken, it is very, very hard to restore. But if it looks to its grass roots members, and respects and honours their values, aspirations and commitment in reforming its governance and accountability, the party will recover better and stronger for this scarifying experience.

Terry Barnes is a policy consultant, former senior Howard government adviser and member of the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party. Twitter: @TerryBarnes5.


abc.net.au

Tasmanian Liberals assure members former state director repaid all money

Thu 20 Aug 2015, 7:23pm

The Tasmanian Liberals have assured members the party is not affected by allegations former state director Damien Mantach stole $1.5 million from the election fund of the Victorian Liberal Party.

The police fraud squad is investigating the allegations against Mr Mantach, who served as state director in both Tasmania and Victoria.

The money is alleged to have vanished over four years to fund Mr Mantach’s lifestyle in Victoria.

Tasmanian Liberal Party president Geoff Page used Facebook to confirmed that Mr Mantach did owe the Tasmanian branch money in 2008.

“I have today been advised that Mr Mantach had in 2008 a liability for personal expenses to the Tasmanian division totalling $47,981.78, which was fully repaid by Mr Mantach to the division upon his departure in March of that year,” he said.

Mr Page went on to assure members he was confident no other funds had gone missing.

“As the debt was settled in full the Division considered the matter closed,” he said.

“The Tasmanian division has robust internal financial processes which, in keeping with our obligations to our membership have been periodically reviewed and continually improved since 2008 and are annually audited.”


abc.net.au

Police to investigate Liberal Party $1.5m embezzlement claims

By Jean Edwards

Thu 20 Aug 2015, 7:27pm

The police fraud squad is investigating allegations former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach embezzled around $1.5 million of election campaign funds.

The money is alleged to have vanished over four years to fund Mr Mantach’s lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions linked to Mr Mantach, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

The Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad has been called in to investigate.

Liberal Party president Michael Kroger said Mr Mantach had admitted to wrongdoing.

“We feel profoundly betrayed and terribly disappointed with what’s happened,” Mr Kroger said.

Key points:

  • Liberal Party accuses former state director of embezzling $1.5m
  • Alleged theft happened over four years
  • Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad called in to investigate
  • Party believes Mantach took the money to fund his lifestyle

He said the party believed Mr Mantach had acted alone.

“We’re not aware that anyone at the party head office or any officials had any involvement at all,” he said.

It also emerged that Mr Mantach repaid tens of thousands of dollars during his time as state director of the Tasmanian branch.

In a letter to members posted on Facebook, Tasmanian Liberal president Geoff Page said in March 2008 that when he left the role, Mr Mantach fully repaid a liability of nearly $48,000 for personal expenses.

Mr Page said the division considered the matter closed and had robust internal financial processes.

Mr Kroger said he did not believe the missing money influenced the 2014 election result, or that it would affect the next federal election.

Liberal leader Matthew Guy said the party was furious at what he called a “pretty basic effort at embezzlement”.

“We want our money back,” he said.

“We want this matter sent to the police and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that justice is done.

“I saw someone making a comment that we’re white hot with anger, that’s just the start of it.”

Mr Kroger said the missing money was confined to the party’s Victorian division and he was confident some of it could be recovered through assets bought with the funds.

Mr Kroger conceded the Liberal Party had failed to properly monitor spending.

“Obviously it should have been picked up years ago — it wasn’t,” he said.

Former premier Denis Napthine, who led the party during last year’s campaign, said he was surprised and bitterly disappointed by the allegations.

The party’s administrative committee met this morning to discuss how to deal with the missing money.

Mr Mantach has been contacted for comment.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 20/08/2015

Reporter: Madeleine Morris

Victoria’s Liberal Party has been blind-sided by claims a former Director stole $1.5 million of funds with the fraud squad investigating allegations and branch members asking if other financial dealings are suspect.

Transcript

SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Victoria’s Liberal Party has been blindsided by allegations its former director stole $1.5 million of party funds.

The party believes Damian Mantach siphoned off the money using fake invoices and Victoria police is now investigating.

Liberal politicians are furious and say the loss is a slap in the face to party members.

Late today, the Tasmanian Liberal Party confirmed Mr Mantach had to repay tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses he racked up while director of that state’s party.

Madeleine Morris reports.

LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER: We’re white hot with anger. That’s just the start of it.

DENIS NAPTHINE, FORMER VICTORIAN PREMIER: I’m surprised, I’m shocked, I’m bitterly disappointed.

MADELEINE MORRIS, REPORTER: Sombre-faced and genuinely shocked, Victorian Liberal MPs arrived this morning to be briefed on the alleged theft of $1.5 million by one of their own.

LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER II: We just want to get to the truth and the bottom of the matter.

MICHAEL KROGER, LIBERAL PARTY VIC. BRANCH: Good morning, everybody. Well as you know, the Liberal Party is today referring some matters to the Victoria Police relating to the unauthorised removal of some party funds from the party head office, solely the work of one person. It should’ve been detected a long time ago. It wasn’t, which is regrettable. And the party’s obviously gonna make sure that this never happens again.

MADELEINE MORRIS: That person is Damien Mantach, the Victorian Liberal Party’s state director until March this year. The party believes that over a period of four years, Damien Mantach siphoned off money from Victorian Liberal headquarters via fake invoices for fake work.

The irregularities were uncovered when new state Liberal president Michael Kroger ordered a forensic audit of the accounts when he took over after last year’s disastrous state election.

NICK ECONOMOU, POLITICAL ANALYST: The state Liberal Party is in a bit of trouble and it’s been subject to a great deal of internal tension. There’d been problems within the parliamentary wing of the party. That contributed of course to the Liberals’ defeat at the last state election. And we also know that there were all sorts of tensions in the party organisation, the party membership.

DENIS NAPTHINE: I’m absolutely devastated, but particularly for the candidates across the state of Victoria who worked extremely hard, for the Liberal Party members and volunteers who worked extremely hard. This is a real shock to all of us.

MADELEINE MORRIS: That includes Angelo Kakouros, chair of the party’s South Barwon branch. He’s been fielding calls from party members all day.

ANGELO KAKOUROS, CHAIR, LIBERAL PARTY SOUTH BARWON BRANCH: It is a lack of trust and great, great disappointment.

MADELEINE MORRIS: But Mr Kakouros says his branch has been worried about the former state director for some time.

ANGELO KAKOUROS: I’ve had concerns with Damien Mantach for the last three to four years as a state director and personal experience and just the way things have operated and the communication between Damien, the administrative committee and some of the people within the organisation with their communication here locally in our area.

NICK ECONOMOU: It’s a very, very big task to try and keep track of what’s going on and to keep paid full-time officials answerable and accountable in what is essentially a voluntary organisation. The state treasurer of the Liberal Party would be a volunteer after all. Now, on top of this we’re getting increasing regulation to try and regulate the flow of donations. … But I suspect that that may be encouraging clever people to be a bit tricky here and try and find ways to squirrel resources away.

MADELEINE MORRIS: Today, Michael Kroger admitted there was a systemic problem with the Liberal Party accounting and changes were being made.

MICHAEL KROGER: More people in the accounting section and different oversights in relation to levels of authorised expenditure and a greater role for the party finance committee and more attention on these matters by the party executive.

MADELEINE MORRIS: It’s not the first time Damien Mantach has been in the headlines. Two years ago, he was investigated and ultimately cleared over payments he authorised to a former Liberal staffer who quit after being implicated in a scandal that snared the Police Minister.

And late today, the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party confirmed Mr Mantach had to repay nearly $48,000 in personal expenses when he was Tasmanian branch state director.

The fallout today extended all the way from Spring Street to Canberra.

BRENDAN O’CONNOR, FEDERAL LABOR MP: In 2013 the Prime Minister said, and I quote, “I know Damien Mantach well. He’s a person of integrity. So let’s see where this investigation goes. He has my confidence.” Does the Prime Minister agree that this ringing endorsement is yet another failure of judgment on his part?

TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER: But I can inform the House that matters concerning the individual in question have this morning been referred to the Victorian Police.

MADELEINE MORRIS: Today, no answer at the Mantach family home and Damien Mantach couldn’t be reached on the phone.

There is palpable shock here in Victoria that this could’ve happened to the party which prides itself on good financial management, particularly amongst Liberal rank and file. One branch chair told me it was like finding out the priest had been stealing from the collection plate. But there’s also relief it’s been uncovered by the party’s new state leadership.

ANGELO KAKOUROS: Michael Kroger, the state president, he’s doing a fantastic job in order to bring honesty and transparency back into the party.

MADELEINE MORRIS: The impact for the party may yet be felt in the place it will hurt most: the coffers.

NICK ECONOMOU: The Liberal Party really does rely heavily on membership fees and donations, so I think something that might damage the reputation of the party’s fundraising ability could be really seriously damaging to the Liberal Party.

LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER III: I think this is simply a matter of we’ve been robbed. We want our money back and we want justice done. Police will investigate and i think that’s all I should say at this point in time.

SABRA LANE: Madeleine Morris reporting.


Rachael Brown reported this story on Thursday, August 20, 2015 12:20:47

 abc.net.au

 Fmr Vic Liberal state director accused of stealing $1.5m from party over four years
 TRANSCIPT

ELEANOR HALL: Let’s go now to Victoria where that state’s branch of the Liberal Party is having some trouble of its own.

The Liberal leader Matthew Guy has accused the former state director of the Victorian Liberal Party, Damien Mantach, of embezzling $1.5 million in the election campaign funds.

Mr Guy says his party is “white hot” with anger, and that the funds could’ve made a difference in last year’s election.

In Melbourne, Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: The Liberal Party says discrepancies were uncovered during a forensic audit of the party’s funds after last year’s state election loss.

The party’s former state director Damien Mantach is being accused of stealing $1.5 million over four years, but the audit continues.

Mr Mantach has not responded to the ABC’s calls.

Liberal party members were called into a crisis meeting this morning, and heading in, the party leader Matthew Guy made no attempt to mask his feelings.

MATTHEW GUY: We are furious; we want our money back.

RACHAEL BROWN: The matter has been referred to the Victoria Police Fraud and Extortion Squad, which says it’s investigating the disappearance of funds, but can’t comment further.

Mr Guy says, if the allegations prove true, it’s a massive betrayal of trust.

MATTHEW GUY: An enormous part of our election war chest, enormous. People did a lot of work to get that. I mean, we have a fundraising team who’ve done a huge amount of work; they’re always under a lot of scrutiny as you can imagine, and a lot of pressure.

But they’ve done a huge amount of work. We’ve got a lot of supporters, a lot of branch people who have worked their guts out for this party. And for what it appears to be one individual to do this to us leaves us bitterly cold.

RACHAEL BROWN: The Liberal party leader says the funds could’ve changed last year’s election result, which saw Labor’s Daniel Andrews dismissing the Napthine Coalition government.

Denis Napthine, who led the Victoria’s first one-term government in 60 years, says the fraud allegation is shocking and bitterly disappointing.

The party’s new president, Michael Kroger, has released a statement saying, when the audit turned up suspicious transactions amounting to $1.5 million between 2010 and 2014, Damien Mantach was asked to explain himself.

It was after this discussion that the party’s administrative committee voted to refer the matter to police.

Mr Kroger admits there’s a weakness with the Liberal Party’s checks and balances.

MICHAEL KROGER: Yeah, well on this occasion they clearly failed. So yep, quite up front about that. I’ve only been in the job four months, as you know. This has been going on for four years, so you know, it should have been picked up before and wasn’t, unfortunately.

RACHAEL BROWN: But he says there won’t be a clean out of branch holders, that the alleged fraud didn’t extend to other employees, officials or office bearers, and was limited to the party’s Melbourne headquarters.

He says civil action hasn’t been decided on.

MICHAEL KROGER: We’re sensitive to a number of issues, including the fact the person involved has a wife and family, and there are other matters which we want to take into account. But yes, we’ll be recovering a good deal of the funds in a cooperative relationship with the person involved.

RACHAEL BROWN: Mr Kroger says he doesn’t know where the money’s gone.

And he’s hit back at a suggestion that this is in a similar vein to the trade union boss Kathy Jackson being forced to repay $1.4 million of misappropriated members’ funds.

MICHAEL KROGER: When the Liberal party becomes aware of a serious matter like this, what do we do?

We investigate it quickly, we report it to the appropriate authorities, who in this case will be the Victoria Police. We don’t hide it; we don’t ignore it; we deal with it.

On the other hand, it’s taken a royal commission at massive public expense bringing these union and Labor leaders kicking and screaming before the public to get any type of information from them at all, at massive public expense. And even now they want to sack the umpire.

RACHAEL BROWN: One commentator has told The World Today that there might be more to this than meets the eye.

Damian Mantach stepped down from the director’s job in March. A couple of years ago he was one of the senior Liberals secretly recorded during the police command crisis that led to Ted Baillieu resigning as premier.

The commentator says this audit and slur on a former power player in the executive committee might have more to do with the ongoing power struggle and factional rifts at the upper levels of the Victorian Liberal party.

ELEANOR HALL: Rachael Brown with that report.


Maggie Kirkpatrick, The FREAK from Prisoner, appeals against conviction on child sex offences


A joke of a sentence for the freak, with all respect, had been married but known to be gay. Seeking to feed inner fantasy’s back in the day maybe? Either way took advantage of a young vulnerable girl

Maggie Kirkpatrick, Prisoner star, appeals against conviction on child sex offences

update 07/12/15

abc.net.au

Actor Maggie Kirkpatrick appeals against child sexual abuse conviction

By Jessica Longbottom

Updated about 4 hours agoMon 7 Dec 2015, 4:13pm

Australian actor Maggie Kirkpatrick has emphatically denied sexually assaulting a teenage girl 31 years ago, as she fights to have a conviction against her overturned.

Kirkpatrick starred in the hit TV show Prisoner, playing “The Freak” in the 1980s.

She was found guilty in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court in August of two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency against the girl.

The magistrate found the 14-year-old fan was abused by Kirkpatrick in the bedroom of her Prahran home in 1984.

She was given an 18-month community corrections order, required to complete 100 hours of community service and placed on the sex offender register for eight years.

The 74-year-old did not give evidence in that trial, but today took the stand in Melbourne’s County Court to staunchly deny the allegations against her.

When asked numerous times whether she assaulted the victim, Kirkpatrick repeatedly answered: “I did not”.

Kirkpatrick agreed she picked the victim up from a Melbourne psychiatric facility and took her to her Prahran home to cook her dinner.

She had been put in touch with her through a contact in the film industry, who was also staying in the psychiatric facility at the time.

Kirkpatrick told the court she thought it was an opportunity to give someone who was disturbed a bit of “home life” for the day.

“I saw it as an act of kindness,” Kirkpatrick said.

She said she did not know how old the girl was, but sent her back to the hospital in a taxi after she caught her sneaking alcohol without her permission.

“It made me feel quite uncomfortable [because of the] seeming reliance she may have been forming towards me,” she said.

Kirkpatrick said she probably would have shown the girl around her home, as well as shown her her bedroom.

Earlier the victim again gave evidence, while the court was closed to the general public and the media.

The court also heard accounts from a childhood friend of the victim and her then psychiatrist, who both said she had a troubled home life as well as drug problems.

The court also heard the victim self harmed and was suicidal around the time Kirkpatrick abused her.

County Court Judge Geoffrey Chettle will deliver his judgement on Tuesday morning.

21/08/15

Australian actor Maggie Kirkpatrick, who starred as “The Freak” in the hit television show Prisoner, has filed an appeal over her conviction on child sex offences committed 31 years ago.

Maggie Kirkpatrick, Prisoner star, found guilty of child sex offences

Maggie Kirkpatrick, Prisoner star, found guilty of child sex offences

Kirkpatrick, 74, was found guilty of two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a 14-year-old girl at Kirkpatrick’s Prahran home in 1984, after picking up the teenager from a psychiatric hospital.

Her lawyer said Kirkpatrick maintains her innocence.

The case is set to return to court on September 11.

Kirkpatrick was earlier given an 18-month community corrections order, meaning she would serve her sentence in the community, not prison.

The actor would also be required to complete 100 hours of community service and would be placed on the sex offenders’ register for eight years.

In sentencing, magistrate Peter Mealy said Kirkpatrick had shown no remorse for her actions.

“The victim here was a vulnerable 14-year-old child. The defendant would have known her to be especially vulnerable in view of her being an inpatient at a psychiatric [hospital],” he said.

“The defendant has had the opportunity of watching the unedifying spectacle of the [victim] recounting the offending and being subjected to extensive and vigorous cross examination.

“All along to this point the defendant showed no remorse instead simply protesting at a distance to, in her terms, the untrue and malicious allegations.”

The court was earlier told the victim had not reported the abuse until 2013 because she thought everyone would think she was crazy.

The court heard the teenager had organised a meeting with the actor through a person she met while admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Kew, in Melbourne’s inner east.

Kirkpatrick collected the girl from the hospital and then the pair went back to the actor’s home and shared a meal.

The court heard the pair then ended up in Kirkpatrick’s bedroom, where the abuse took place, before the girl was taken back to the hospital.

In a recorded police interview shown in court, Kirkpatrick maintained she had taken the girl home for dinner but did not abuse her.

She said she was giving the teenager “a day out” in an act of “kindness”.


Maggie Kirkpatrick, Prisoner star, found guilty of child sex offences

Updated yesterday at 8:06pm

Australian actor Maggie Kirkpatrick, who starred as “The Freak” in the hit television show Prisoner, has been found guilty of child sex offences committed 31 years ago.

Kirkpatrick, 74, had denied the two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under 16.

The court was told on Wednesday that the victim, who cannot be named, was abused at Kirkpatrick’s Prahran home in 1984.

Kirkpatrick was well known for her role as a prison warden in the popular 1980s television series Prisoner.

Today, Magistrate Peter Mealy found her accuser was “a witness of truth”.

Kirkpatrick’s bail was extended and will now be assessed for a Community Corrections Order, meaning she is unlikely to be given a prison term.

She will be sentenced on Friday.

The court had earlier been told the victim had not reported the abuse until 2013 because she thought everyone would think she was crazy.

It was told the teenager had organised a meeting with the actor in 1984 through a person she met while admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Kew, in Melbourne’s inner east.

Kirkpatrick collected the girl from the hospital and then the pair went back to the actor’s home and shared a meal.

The pair then ended up in Kirkpatrick’s bedroom, where the alleged abuse took place, before the girl was taken back to the hospital.

Kirkpatrick told police charges were ‘false and malicious’

In a recorded police interview shown in court, Kirkpatrick said she had taken the girl home for dinner but did not abuse her.

She said she was giving the teenager “a day out” in an act of “kindness”.

She told police she had sent the girl away in a taxi after she caught her raiding her alcohol cabinet and “felt I should put a stop to it”.

Later in the interview said she “did not have anything to say other than they’re false and malicious in my mind”.

“These [accusations] are making me feel quite ill,” she told police.

A high school friend of the victim told the hearing that the girl was a “big fan” of the TV show at the time.

The husband of the victim said his wife had raised the abuse after she became uncomfortable during an “intimate” conversation.

“She told me that she’d been invited to a person’s place or a lady’s place and that person was the nasty one on Prisoner … she just said that … some sexual things happened but she didn’t elaborate,” he said.


Maggie Kirkpatrick: Alleged child sexual abuse victim of TV star had ‘Prisoner obsession’

Updated Wed at 5:20pm

The woman who has accused a star of the hit Australian television drama Prisoner of abusing her as a child was a “big fan” of the show, a Melbourne court has heard.

Maggie Kirkpatrick, 74, has denied two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under 16.

She was well-known for her role as a prison warden nicknamed “The Freak” in the popular 1980s television series.

Detective Senior Constable Katherine Mitchell told the court the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police she had been abused by Kirkpatrick at the actor’s Prahran home when she was 14.

It allegedly took place in 1984.

In a statement read to the court, the alleged victim said she had not reported the abuse until two years ago because everyone would think she was crazy.

It said the victim had organised meeting the actor through a person she met while she had been admitted to the Newhaven psychiatric hospital in Kew.

It was alleged that Kirkpatrick collected the victim from the hospital and took her back to Kirkpatrick’s home, where they shared a meal.

She said the pair then ended up in Kirkpatrick’s bedroom, where the alleged abuse took place.

The victim said she was then given a yellow coloured jumper and a signed photograph and driven back to the hospital.

You have astonished me with those allegations… it’s beyond comprehension.

She also told police she recalled Kirkpatrick being most disappointed as she was not sexually experienced.

The court was shown Kirkpatrick’s videotaped police interview, in which she admitted taking the teenager back to her home for dinner but denied abusing her.

The actor said she sent the girl away in a taxi after she caught her raiding her alcohol cabinet.

“It was a kindness to give her a day out,” Kirkpatrick said during the interview.

“I then became a tad uncomfortable as while I was cooking and having a glass of wine, she decided to get into the alcohol in the dining room… I felt I should put a stop to it.”

Kirkpatrick initially waived her right not to answer any questions but later said she “did not have anything to say other than they’re false and malicious in my mind”.

“These [accusations] are making me feel quite ill,” she said.

“You have astonished me with those allegations… it’s beyond comprehension.”

Victim told husband of alleged abuse years later

A witness told the hearing that the alleged victim was a “big fan” of the TV show when she was a teenager.

The witness said she became high school friends with the alleged victim and remembered visiting her when she was in hospital.

She recalled the alleged victim telling her she had met Kirkpatrick.

“By my memory it was when she was at Newhaven and I don’t recall any of the particulars, just her making reference to it and her being very excited,” the witness said.

“The only thing I recall was an invitation [for her] to go somewhere … with Maggie.

“I remember that she was a big fan of the show and watched it religiously and would often refer to what she’d seen in the show, different episodes.”

The witness agreed with defence suggestions describing the alleged victim as having a “Prisoner obsession” and being a “Prisoner freak”.

The husband of the alleged victim told the court that his wife became uncomfortable during an “intimate” conversation they had in the mid 2000s.

“She told me that she’d been invited to a person’s place or a lady’s place and that person was the nasty one on Prisoner … she just said that … some sexual things happened but she didn’t elaborate,” he said.

Kirkpatrick did not comment to reporters outside court.

The hearing before Magistrate Peter Mealy is continuing.


 

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson’s accused murderer Daniel Holdom charged over murder of toddler Khandalyce Kiara Pearce


Update 15/12/15

 

The man charged with Karlie Pearce-Stevenson’s murder has now also been charged with the murder of her daughter Khandalyce.

Daniel Holdom, 41, was arrested at Parramatta police station this morning.

“We will be alleging in court that Khandalyce was murdered in New South Wales shortly after the murder of Karlie,” Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said.

“I’m talking a number of days.”

He said he expected Holdom to face Parramatta Local Court this afternoon.

“This has been a very intense investigation,” Detective Superintendent Willing said.

“We would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance.

“We would not have been able to lay the charges we have laid without the assistance of the public.

“Karlie and Khandalyce’s family were notified of today’s events earlier today and have indicated they welcome the news.

“Our thoughts remain with them.”

He encouraged anyone who had information about the matters who had not been in touch with the police to contact police now.

Holdom was charged in October with murdering Ms Pearce-Stevenson in or near the Belanglo State Forest in December 2008.

Khandalyce’s skeletal remains were discovered in July this year after being dumped in a suitcase alongside the Karoonda Highway in South Australia’s Murray Mallee, more than 1,000 kilometres away from where her mother’s remains had been found.

Detectives in South Australia and New South Wales were able to link the two cold case murders after two separate calls to Crime Stoppers.

Both Khandalyce and her mother were reported missing in the Northern Territory on September 4, 2009, by Ms Stevenson-Pearce’s mother, but police said the report was later withdrawn.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson was a single mother and had moved away from her family with Khandalyce between 2006 and 2008, intending to travel and work.

She was last seen driving a car with Khandalyce on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy on November 8, 2008.

Police said Ms Stevenson-Pearce was aged 20 at the time while Khandalyce was aged two.

More than 100 mourners gathered at the Alice Springs Desert Church for the private farewell for the pair earlier this month.

A group of people released dozens of pink and blue balloons outside the church at the conclusion of the service.

The mother and daughter were buried together in a small white coffin at a local cemetery, next to Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s mother Colleen Povey, who died in 2012.

Earlier this year new photos of Khandalyce were found on the Facebook page of Hazel Passmore, an ex-girlfriend of Holdom.

It is understood police will allege Ms Passmore was the same woman who impersonated Ms Pearce-Stevenson in 2010.

Police have also said Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s bank account was used to access almost $100,000 and her phone used to contact family to make it look like she was still alive long after she was dead.

Updated 34 minutes ago 27/10/15

Murder victim Karlie Pearce-Stevenson’s bank account was used to access almost $100,000 and her phone used to contact family to make it look like she was still alive, police have revealed.

The woman’s bank account was accessed on hundreds of occasions after she was last seen alive late 2008, Detective Superintendent Des Bray of the Major Crime Investigation Branch told reporters in Adelaide.

Police also said her mobile phone was used to send text messages to family members to fool them into thinking she was alive and well.

Det Supt Bray also confirmed Ms Pearce-Stevenson was last seen alive in Canberra in December 2008.

Police had previously reported she was last seen driving on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy in South Australia in November 2008.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s remains were found in the Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales in 2010.

Her daughter Khandalyce’s remains were found near the side of a highway at Wynarka in South Australia earlier this year.

“People we believe may be the offenders and others have taken over Karlie’s identity, her telephone, her bank accounts, her Centrelink and family payments,” Det Supt Bray said.

“We need to determine if the people involved in the frauds are involved in the murder and it is most likely that one or more may be involved in some way.

“It’s clear that some of the people involved in the frauds knew without doubt that Karlie and Khandalyce were dead and continued with their role.

“In respect to what we know about the suspects involved in the financial aspects of the bank account transactions, Centrelink fraud and the use of the phone, I can say that we know that at least one offender was a male. There may have been more, and at least two are females.

“Those suspects either resided at, or are associated with or were listed in connection with, properties at Davoren Park, Hillbank, Holden Hill and Charnwood in Canberra.”

Woman posed as Karlie to change bank records

Det Supt Bray also revealed that a woman posed as Ms Pearce-Stevenson during a bank visit in 2010 and at Centrelink later that same year.

Police said a member of her family sent money to her bank account and it was later withdrawn.

They said almost $100,000 went through the bank account before it was closed earlier this year due to inactivity.

Police revealed that a woman who went into a credit union branch in 2010 was possibly the same person who later attended a Centrelink office in Adelaide, producing identity papers to pose as Karlie.

“It appears that in June 2010 a woman in a wheelchair impersonating Ms Pearce-Stevenson attended Australian Central Credit Union at Elizabeth to update banking records,” police said in a statement.

“In December 2010 a woman claiming to be Ms Pearce-Stevenson also attended a compulsory interview with Centrelink at Salisbury.

“Detectives are investigating if it was the same woman on both occasions.”

Police also said a bank card was used several times at the Royal Adelaide Hospital during 2010 and later used, in March 2012, at Charnwood in Canberra.

Phone used to mislead family: police

Detective Superintendent Bray said the victim’s mobile phone was kept and used, including to contact the young woman’s family.

“We believe that the phone was kept by the offenders and used to provide some proof of life and to mislead family, friends, law enforcement by suggesting that Karlie was still alive because of activity on her phone,” he said.

He said the message bank was accessed from time to time.

“We know … some of the SMSs were sent to family members, again to suggest Karlie was still alive and that on at least a couple of occasions that we know of a female falsely represented herself to be Karlie in communication with family,” he said.

Detective Superintendent Bray said the last confirmed sighting of the young woman before her death was in Canberra.

“We believe Karlie and Khandalyce were killed at different times and different locations but we can’t say any more about that at the moment,” he said.

“They were both violent and deliberate deaths.”

The circumstances of Khandalyce’s death are unclear, along with when a suitcase containing clothing was dumped about two kilometres from Wynarka in South Australia.

A death notice was printed on Tuesday in the Northern Territory News for the two murder victims.

Angel and her little girl’s story

Police make major breakthrough in alleged double murder case

Khandalyce Kiara Pearce is born in Alice Springs in 2006.

The little girl’s mother Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson was also born in Alice Springs.

In 2008 the pair moved away from their family and began to travel.

Pearce-Stevenson had planned to find work.

The mother and daughter were seen driving on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy on November 8, 2008.

They were last seen alive in Canberra in December 2008.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson was 20 and Khandalyce was aged two.

Her family raised the alarm and contacted Northern Territory Police on September 4, 2009, to make a Missing Person Report.

That report was closed on September 10 after it was believed Ms Pearce-Stevenson was safe and did not want family contact.

The skeleton of a woman is found in the Belanglo State Forest in August 2010 near where serial killer Ivan Milat dumped the bodies of his seven backpacker victims in the 1990s.

Milat was convicted for his crimes in 1996 and remains in jail.

The unidentified woman was named “Angel” by NSW Police as she was found with a T-shirt bearing an ‘Angelic’ motif across the front.

A passing motorist finds a suitcase and bones near the side of the Karoonda Highway about two kilometres west of Wynarka, in South Australia’s Murray Mallee, in July 2015.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray said the motorist was driving along the highway when their attention was “drawn to something on the side of the road”.

“They stopped, had a look behind some bushes, and found what we now know to be the skeleton of a young child,” he said.

A suitcase and scattered clothes were found nearby.

A Crime Stopper caller on October 8, 2015, names Khandalyce as possibly being the little girl found near the suitcase.

The caller had not seen the child or Ms Pearce-Stevenson for some time and believed they were missing.

Police discover Khandalyce was immunised at 18 months but there was no further record of her receiving medical treatment or being enrolled in school.

Officers locate a witness who had seen the pair at Marion Shopping Centre in Adelaide in November 2008.

She had taken photos of Khandalyce wearing a pink dress. That dress was found with the remains in the suitcase.

A blood sample from Khandalyce’s medical records was analysed by Forensic Science South Australia and conclusively matched the DNA profile extracted from the skeletal remains near the suitcase.

Blood samples from Ms Pearce-Stevenson medical records were also used to develop a DNA profile. This was sent to police in NSW, who confirmed that they matched that of “Angel”.

Topics: murder-and-manslaughter, crime, law-crime-and-justice, wynarka-5306, adelaide-5000, sa, alice-springs-0870, bowral-2576, canberra-2600

 

MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH see below 21/10/15

We have all seen this tragic story on TV, in the papers, online and radio. I cannot fathom that there is nobody out there that knows something about the little girl who has died and been dumped in the most awful of ways and said NOTHING. Posting here hopefully will help. Our friends at webslueths are doing everything they can to bust open this mystery, congrats!


A MAN serving time in a NSW jail is one of several suspects in the disappearance and murder of Alice Springs mother and daughter Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce Pearce.

A day after police revealed the identities of the pair — a two-year old found in a suitcase near Wynarka in South Australia in July and her 20-year-old mother found in Belanglo State Forest in 2010 — investigators are looking into the movements of the man who is understood to be awaiting sentence on unrelated charges.

A police source confirmed to the Daily Telegraph the man was being looked into while officially police said they were keeping an open mind.

The source said dumping Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s body, which was found by trail bike riders in August, 2010, in Belanglo State Forest, was most likely a deliberate ploy to point the finger at Backpacker Murderer Ivan Milat.

“Where else would you put a body if you wanted to blame someone else?” a police source said.

Police are trying to find the car the pair were travelling in when they disappeared, with phone records and bank records being checked since their bodies were identified.

The focus of the inquiry is how Ms Pearce-Stevenson ended up in the Belanglo State Forest and her daughter in South Australia, after the pair were last seen when they were pulled over by police on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy in November 2008.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed by the grief and the kindness of the Australian community, the family of two “angels” are reeling from the grim discovery that has shocked a nation.

Too distraught to speak publicly, the family of Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson and her toddler daughter Khandalyce on Thursday took to social media sites to pay tribute to the murder victims.
The grieving family on Wednesday launched an online appeal to raise funds for a proper burial in Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s home town of Alice Springs.

Aiming to raise $5000, the appeal already attracted enough pledges in less than a day after it was placed online.

The post said the family had “spent the past six years desperately trying to locate their whereabouts”.

Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, whose bodies were found in two different states – NSW and SA.Source:Supplied

“Our family is asking for assistance to help us raise the funds to bring Karlie and Khandalyce’s remains home to Alice Springs so they can be reunited and laid to rest together with family.”

However, the funeral is likely to be paid for by the state, after Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Michael O’Connell secured funding to ensure the family would not be left to pay for the service and the repatriation of the remains.

Mr O’Connell said he had advised the family late on Thursday and “they were overwhelmed.’’

“They are thankful because this has taken an additional burden from them … they would have found it difficult to deal with while they are grieving,’’ he said.

“My office has received many, many unsolicited offers to pay for the funeral in recent moths from people who genuinely have been touched by the death of the little girl and its circumstances,’’ Mr O’Connell said.

The family’s online appeal page pledged that any extra funds donated would go to other victims of crime.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson was known to her friends as “Mouse” while family members referred to Khandalyce as “Candles”.

Ms Pearce Stevenson’s body was found in the notorious Belanglo Forest in NSW in August 2010 while her daughter’s remains were found inside a suitcase on the side of the Karoonda Highway near the tiny town of Wynarka in July this year.

Karlie’s stepfather Scott Povey last night revealed his devastation.

“(I) just miss them so much … some days I am just numb and other days I, dunno, just (feel) empty,” he told Seven News.

“We had a lot of Facebook pages and everything else … she just disappeared like she did not want to be found but I think we all knew that something wasn’t right.”

Aunties and uncles of Ms Pearce-Stevenson also took to social media to thank friends and strangers alike for their support.

“I’m absolutely overwhelmed with people’s kindnesses (sic) and generosity. Thank you all so very much,” one aunty’s post read.

She lamented how four generations of a family had now been lost.

“Four generations taken from us … Three of them so cruelly,” she posted.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s mother, Colleen Povey, passed away in 2012, aged 44, still believing her daughter and granddaughter were safe and living interstate.

Her grandmother, Connie Duffy, died in 2011.

The family has used social media sites including Facebook during the seven years since she was last sighted with her daughter on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy on November 8, 2008.

On a Facebook page set up to find the young mother, relatives pleaded with her to contact her mother before it’s “too late.”

Police have announced the body of a little girl found in a suitcase in Wynarka is Khandalyce Kiara Pearce.

“Has any 1 at all since this girl it is very important we find her or get hold of her asap so if any 1 knows anything at all plz lets me no thank u,” her cousin Samantha Harris wrote in 2012.

Karlie’s former Alice Springs High School classmate Samantha Camwell Devlin remembered the young mother as “energetic, fun and always laughing”.

Ms Camwell Devlin, 26, said she was devastated when she learned of the murder.

“I immediately raised my hand to mouth because my mouth dropped open and I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

The pair played in the same netball team, it was through netball that Karlie earnt the nickname ‘Mouse’.

“We called her Mouse because she was small and really quick,” she said.

“Her mum (Ms Povey) was our coach in under 17s, she was great.”

The Advertiser has spoken to a number of other family members, who said they were too upset to speak publicly and were hopeful police would make a fast breakthrough in tracking down the killer or killers.

— with Nigel Hunt and Jill Poulsen

NORTHERN Territory Police have confirmed a missing persons report raised for Karlie Pearce-Stevenson in 2009 was closed a week later after her mother heard from her daughter.

NT Police Assistant Commissioner Jamie Chalker provided further information on the report.

“It is known that Karlie’s mother raised a missing persons report on 4 September, 2009, in Alice Springs and normal initial investigation inquiries at that time indicated signs of active life,” he said.

“It was understood that Karlie had travelled interstate with her daughter and that family contact had been intermittent.

“The investigation was subsequently filed on 10 September, 2009, after Karlie’s mum withdrew her concern as she advised that she had received contact from Karlie, that she was safe and did not want further contact.”

Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s mother, Colleen Povey, died in 2012. It is understood her family believed Ms Pearce-Stevenson was still alive but estranged.

Police hunt for Karlie’s car

THE car that Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter Khandalyce were travelling around Australia in has emerged as a major focus as detectives hunt their killer or killers.

Detectives from South Australia and New South Wales on Thursday continued to trawl through new calls to Crime Stoppers — which yielded the breakthrough that shocked the nation on Wednesday.

Police quickly ruled out any family members including Khandalyce’s father as suspects but are pleading for any information that could help track down their killer.

Major Crime detectives have refused to say how many suspects they may be investigating.

A major focus of the investigation is finding the Holden Commodore that Karlie and her daughter were last seen driving in when they were pulled over by police near Coober Pedy.

Detectives cannot yet establish if the murders occurred at the same time or exactly how they died.

“It is a rapidly moving investigation,’’ NSW Homicide Squad Detective Superintendent Michael Willing said.

“We are working with the SA police to try establish the circumstances of both deaths.’’

As of Thursday afternoon, there had been 30 Crime Stoppers calls received in SA and dozen in other states.

Landlords and operators of hotels, motels, and caravan and cabin parks are also urged to check their records to see if Ms Pearce-Stevenson stayed with them.

Police renewed their appeal for friends and associates of Ms Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce to make contact with police through Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at Crime Stoppers


 

 

Girl near suitcase identified as Khandalyce Kiara Pearce; mother Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson found in Belanglo State Forest

21/10/15

Remains of a child found near a suitcase alongside a South Australian highway earlier this year have been identified as two-year-old girl Khandalyce Kiara Pearce.

Her mother is Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson, whose body was found in Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales in 2010.

Both Khandalyce and Karlie were reported missing in the Northern Territory in 2009 but police said the report was later withdrawn.

Karlie was a single mother and had moved away from her family with Khandalyce between 2006 and 2008, intending to travel and work.

She was last seen driving a car with Khandalyce on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy on November 8, 2008.

Police said Karlie was aged 20 at the time while Khandalyce was aged two.

SA Police Detective Superintendent Des Bray said both mother and daughter suffered violent deaths and a joint operation with NSW police was focused on finding the person or persons responsible.

“This is one of the most shocking crimes, shocking and unimaginable and another family has been torn apart and devastated,” he said.

“Those people that are responsible for this crime are truly evil and must be quickly caught and held to account for what they’ve done.”

He said it was premature to talk about suspects and said police were not prepared to “speculate” at this stage.

Superintendent Bray said the circumstances and time of the deaths had yet to be determined.

Significant development in case came with phone call

Police said the “significant development” began on October 8 when a call to Crime Stoppers “nominated Khandalyce as possibly being the little girl in the suitcase”.

“Investigators then located a witness who had seen Khandalyce and her mother at Marion Shopping Centre, Adelaide, in November 2008,” police said.

“She had taken photos of Khandalyce wearing a pink dress.”

Police said the dress was identical to the dress found with the remains in the suitcase, which was found off the Karoonda Highway near Wynarka in SA’s Murray Mallee on July 14 and reported to police the following day.

The family of Karlie and Khandalyce said in a statement they were grateful to the police, the community and media, “and everyone who has assisted or provided information in this investigation”.

“As you would expect, our family is devastated by this news of the deaths of Karlie and Khandalyce and we are trying to deal with the grief,” they said.

“We understand that this case has created considerable interest across the country but at this time we ask that you respect our privacy to allow us to grieve.”

Khandalyce’s remains found dumped near a suitcase

Police said Khandalyce’s remains were originally dumped in a suitcase up to three months earlier, before somebody unknown tipped out the contents, including the child’s remains, before dragging the suitcase onto the verge.

Police said the girl could have died at any time since 2007 and was aged between two-and-a-half and four years old.

Investigators are still trying to identify a man, believed to be in his 60s, who was seen in the Wynarka area with a dark suitcase on both April 13 and May 26.

The skeleton of a woman was found in the Belanglo State Forest in August 2010 and more than a year later NSW police released a likeness of the woman who they believed to be aged between 13 and 25 and murdered in the past decade.

Police also released an artist’s impression of a T-shirt which was found near the bones. The T-shirt carried a distinct motif featuring the word “Angelic” in pink text, a rose, and a heart with angel wings.

The type of T-shirt was available for sale in New South Wales and other parts of Australia from the early to mid-2000s.

Belanglo is notorious as the former stamping ground of serial killer Ivan Milat, who was convicted in 1996 over the murders of seven young people in the area.

It is understood Karlie and Khandalyce may have lived in Canberra for a period prior to their disappearance.

ACT police said for this reason they were assisting detectives from New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory with their investigations.

Sally, Gaf and Miss X: The clothing tags police identify as the latest chilling clues in the hunt for the killer of tragic ‘suitcase girl’… but her identity is STILL a mystery

  • Police have released images of five clothing tags found in a suitcase
  • The skeleton of the girl was found dumped with the suitcase of clothing on a highway near a remote outback South Australian town 
  • The tags of the five unidentified items of clothing indicate they are from brands Gaf, H.F., Miss X Australia, Sally and Haolailh 
  • Investigators are tracking down brands in the hope of identifying child 
  • Earlier mothers on a blog identified the black tutu found with the bones  

Police have released images of more clothing tags in the hope of finding the murderer of a young girl whose body was found in a suitcase beside a highway last month.

South Australian detectives have revealed that of around 50 items of clothing found with the child’s remains, they are yet to identify the brands of five items.

The bones, which police say belong to a girl aged between two and four years old who died up to eight years ago, were found dumped on the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of Wynarka in South Australia.

The tags of the five unidentified items of clothing indicate they are from brands Gaf, H.F., Miss X Australia, Sally and Haolailh.

Police have released more images of clothing found in a suitcase with the remains of a young girl last month

Police have released more images of clothing found in a suitcase with the remains of a young girl last month

They hope by revealing the tags on the clothes it will bring them closer to whoever was responsible for the child's death

The Haolailh tag is from the distinctive Dora The Explorer top, one of the more recognisable items along with the navy blue Cotton On tutu, according to News Corp.

‘We hope either a retailer or member of the public may be able to identify where the items have been or still are sold,’ Major Crime officer-in-charge Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.

‘The Dora the Explorer top is pretty individual and someone may remember this and remember seeing a little girl they once knew wearing it.’

Locating the buyer of a dark blue tutu found in the suitcase is one of the other strong lines of inquiry being taken by police.

This tag came from a distinctive Dora The Explorer top found in the suitcase

'We hope either a retailer or member of the public may be able to identify where the items have been or still are sold,' Major Crime officer-in-charge Detective Superintendent Des Bray said

‘We hope either a retailer or member of the public may be able to identify where the items have been or still are sold,’ Major Crime officer-in-charge Detective Superintendent Des Bray said

This Miss X Australia label is also one of the brands investigators are still trying to locate

This Miss X Australia label is also one of the brands investigators are still trying to locate

Late last month a group of mothers on the ‘websleuths’ online forum uncovered new clues in the case of the murdered ‘suitcase girl’ whose remains were dumped with a bag of children’s clothing by the side of the road in a remote outback railway siding town.

In a discussion on a websleuths.com forum, the women have identified the distinctive black tutu adorned with large sequins as a Cotton On brand dress for young girls which was discontinued several years ago.

The keen-eyed blog posters also identified the item originally described as a child’s ruler as a Lanza brand luggage tag, probably from the faded bag in which the remains lay amid numerous items of clothing, and a patchwork quilt found in a degraded state as an ‘I-spy’ quilt.

When one woman blogger named Pheme on the websleuths.com online forum spotted this distinctive little girls' black tutu dress, she knew it was the same model as the one she had bought her daughter from Cotton On and that it had been made a few years ago 

When one woman blogger named Pheme on the websleuths.com online forum spotted this distinctive little girls’ black tutu dress, she knew it was the same model as the one she had bought her daughter from Cotton On and that it had been made a few years ago 

Pheme's discovery sparked Snoop Dog on the websleuth forum to track down this ebay image of the black tutu dress with its distinctive cross-stitched large sequins, which differ in colour to a few of the sequins on the found dress, perhaps because of the garment's degradation lying for weeks in the open on an outback road

Keen amateur sleuths like Snoop Dog (who posted this on websleuth) are busily trying to solve the mystery of where the clothing found with the murdered girl's body might come from, thus leading detectives closer to the identification of the skeletal remains of the 2 to 4-year-old dumped by an outback highway in July

Keen amateur sleuths like Snoop Dog (who posted this on websleuth) are busily trying to solve the mystery of where the clothing found with the murdered girl’s body might come from, thus leading detectives closer to the identification of the skeletal remains of the 2 to 4-year-old dumped by an outback highway in July

Thought at first to be a child's ruler, the metallic object above was soon identified on websleuth.com as actually coming from a suitcase, which police then identified as a Lanza brand piece of luggage

Spotted: websleuth poster astorytold (above) promptly identified the 'child's ruler' as a luggage label for the Lanza brand, which was sold by the shop Strandbags but seems to be no longer widely available

Spotted: websleuth poster astorytold (above) promptly identified the ‘child’s ruler’ as a luggage label for the Lanza brand, which was sold by the shop Strandbags but seems to be no longer widely available

The Lanza logo with its distinctive diagonal motif belongs to a brand of luggage which appears to be no longer  widely available which fits in with the South Australian police estimated date of the murder of the little girl dumped with the suitcase, possibly as far back as 2007

This websleuth blogger also recognised the black tutu, saying her daughter wore a similar garment until she was about four years old, placing the item in the age framework put forward by police who believe the murdered girl was a preschooler of Caucasian appearance with fair hair and about 90cm tall

This websleuth blogger also recognised the black tutu, saying her daughter wore a similar garment until she was about four years old, placing the item in the age framework put forward by police who believe the murdered girl was a preschooler of Caucasian appearance with fair hair and about 90cm tall

This weather-beaten suitcase (above) was dumped by the Karoonda highway and lay there for weeks until a passer by stopped and and inspected it, along with children's clothes among which was the skeleton of an unidentified murdered girl

 This weather-beaten suitcase (above) was dumped by the Karoonda highway and lay there for weeks until a passer by stopped and and inspected it, along with children’s clothes among which was the skeleton of an unidentified murdered girl

An original Lanza brand suitcase (pictured) which SA police presented at a press conference about the continuing investigation into the murdered 'suitcase girl' dumped 120km south-east of Adelaide

An original Lanza brand suitcase (pictured) which SA police presented at a press conference about the continuing investigation into the murdered ‘suitcase girl’ dumped 120km south-east of Adelaide

Online speculation has been rife since South Australian police revealed the discovery of the bag with the skeleton of a young girl who police say died ‘a violent and terrible death’.

The bones were found dumped on the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of Wynarka in South Australia.

A tiny railway siding township 120km south-east of Adelaide, Wynarka lies on the truck route between the South Australian grain belt and Port Adelaide.

Residents living in the handful of houses at Wynarka noticed a ‘mystery man’ carrying a suitcase on the Karoonda Highway on April 13 and May 26. The man was about 60 years old, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.

Detectives are trying to identify the body of young child

When SA Police released this image of this badly degraded but colourful quilt found with the child's body, quilters quickly went to work identifying seven of the fabrics used in the hexagonal patches, including the 'musical note' material in the border which was sold at Spotlight fabric outlet some years ago

Exact matches: The musical note and pumpkin patterned fabrics were identically matched by police with help from the public, and quilting experts have spread the word through mothers’ quilting groups and online forums which have lit up with discussions by people keen to solve the mystery of the dead girl’s origins

Quilters took to the SA Police Facebook page to write about the 'musical note' fabric and to say they had passed on the mystery information to their mother's quilting group in the hope of helping to crack the case

Quilters took to the SA Police Facebook page to write about the ‘musical note’ fabric and to say they had passed on the mystery information to their mother’s quilting group in the hope of helping to crack the case

Can you fill in the gaps?: Seven hexagonal squares out of 25 plus the border in the degraded quilt (left) have had their fabric positively identified (right), with the star material being a Spotlight fabric possibly made in the US, and readers eagerly trying to match up the faded remnants with textile patterns they know

Can you fill in the gaps?: Seven hexagonal squares out of 25 plus the border in the degraded quilt (left) have had their fabric positively identified (right), with the star material being a Spotlight fabric possibly made in the US, and readers eagerly trying to match up the faded remnants with textile patterns they know

Another clue: Mellisa Preusker, writing on the police Facebook page, is still trying to identify the more faded patchwork pieces in the degraded quilt found with the murdered girl's body, believing one to depict a unicorn

Another clue: Mellisa Preusker, writing on the police Facebook page, is still trying to identify the more faded patchwork pieces in the degraded quilt found with the murdered girl’s body, believing one to depict a unicorn

Daniella Erin thought the same patch believed to be 'a unicorn' was possibly a cartoon face of a lady, perhaps a Lorelei, but while she recognises it she cannot 'for the life of me' pin down where she knows it from

Daniella Erin thought the same patch believed to be ‘a unicorn’ was possibly a cartoon face of a lady, perhaps a Lorelei, but while she recognises it she cannot ‘for the life of me’ pin down where she knows it from

On July 15, a motorist who claimed they were ‘drawn to something on the side of the road’, found a faded suitcase lying open with clothing and other items scattered nearby close to the road and near a set of low bushes dotting the landscape.

When police investigated, they noticed a jawbone poking through piles of children’s clothing.

Stuffed into a 40cm wide weather-beaten case, in between a Dora the Explorer t-shirt and pink tracksuit pants, a pink toweling slipper, black tutu dress and satin Size 2 boxer shorts with kittens and teddy bears on them, were the skeletal remains of a child.

Forensic officers who examined the bones say the girl was between two-and-a-half and four years old, Caucasian with fair hair and could have died up to eight years ago.

The skeleton of the murdered girl was found in a suitcase dumped on the Karoonda Highway near Wynarka (above), a tiny railway siding township 120km south-east of Adelaide, lying on the truck route between the South Australian grain belt and Port Adelaide

Residents living in the handful of houses at Wynarka noticed a 'mystery man' carrying a suitcase on the Karoonda Highway on April 13 and May 26. The man was about 60 years old, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed 

The folorn sight of this little girl's pink slipper found with the murdered child's remains has so far sparked no recognition from the public

Daily Mail Australia could find only one partial match for the found slipper, a French 'chausson' (above) for 0-18 month old girls strikingly similar in design but with a 'Hello Kitty' motif instead, suggesting the butterfly slipper may be a copy

The folorn sight of a little girl’s pink slipper (left)  found with the slain child’s remains has sparked no matches to date, with Daily Mail Australia finding only the French slipper (right) for 0-18 month old girls strikingly similar in design but with a ‘Hello Kitty’ motif inbstead, suggesting the butterfly slipper may be a copy

The gap between the estimated time of the girl’s terrible death and the dumping of her remains fits in with what the websleuth bloggers have deduced about the origins of the clothing.

Police released photographs of the black tutu dress, the pink slipper embroidered with a butterfly motif, a smiley-faced T-shirt, what they originally thought was ‘a child’s ruler’, two pairs of boxer shorts made from the teddy bear and kitten patterned fabric, and the faded suitcase.

The photographs sparked excited chatter among the websleuth bloggers who quickly identified the ‘child’s ruler’ as the plastic tag from a Lanza brand bag, with its distinctive diagonal logo.

They moved on to the issue of  the black tutu dress, which also had a distinctive feature of large coloured sequins cross-sewn onto the tulle skirt of the garment.

The amateur sleuthing of the blogger mum and others who have posted on a police Facebook page place the clothing or fabric as dating back to at least seven years ago, tying in with the date SA police estimate the child was murdered.

Websleuth blogger Pheme quickly identified the tutu dress as ‘from a store called Cotton On. My daughter had the same one when she was about 2. Not sure how long they stocked it for though or even if they still do’.


The murdered girl in the suitcase

Found: On July 15 on the outback Karoonda Highway near Wynarka, 120km south-east of Adelaide

Sighting: 60-year-old clean cut, well-dressed Caucasian man seen April-May carrying a suitcase on the highway

The victim: 

  • • Believed to be a girl who died ‘a violent and terrible death’
  • • Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death 
  • • Likely Caucasian
  • • Had fair hair, 18cm long
  • • Was 90-95cm tall
  • • Was killed at another location
  • • Was killed some time since the start of 2007

Items found with the skeletal remains of the victim:

Black sequinned tutu dress, pink slipper with butterfly motif, Dora the Explorer outfit, boxer shorts, patchwork quilt and a Lanza brand suitcase

Snoop Dog responded, finding a photograph on ebay of an almost identical black tutu made by the Australian clothing giant Cotton On.

The only difference was the large cross-sewn sequins were of a single pale pink colour, whereas on the tutu found with the slain child, some of the sequins appeared blue or green, but this could have been as a result of the weathering which has also seen the deteriorated black bodice of the outfit lose much of its colour.

Daily Mail Australia has also identified a pink slipper, strikingly similar in design of the found item, but with a ‘Hello Kitty’ motif instead of the embroidered butterfly design.

Police then released a photograph of a badly degraded, colourful quilt, and quilters lit up the South Australian Police Facebook page with a discussion about the origin of the fabric squares in the quilt design.

Following this, the SA Police released a further image of the 90cm square quilt along with seven octagonal patches identified by their fabric, featuring musical notes, stars, teddies, a camel, pumpkins, flowers, insects and animals.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray, the officer in charge the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch, said the identified quilt patches included the pumpkin design and the musical notes border, which were an exact match, and the other fabric patches were a close likeness.

Supt Bray said the images of the items found with the girls’ remains had sparked a massive public response.

On the SA Police Facebook page, quilter Emma Stenhouse wrote that the kind of quilt in the photo released by SA Police was often called an ‘I-spy’ quilt as they could be used with children playing the I-spy game.

Emilee Egeberg went to Google images and wrote on the Facebook page that she had found a product called an ‘I spy kids quilt’ from 2008, which had the exact musical note fabric in some of its patches.

Could this 'I-spy' quilt be made by the same quilt maker who produced the degraded item found with the body of the murdered girl dumped by the South Australian highway in July?

Could this ‘I-spy’ quilt be made by the same quilt maker who produced the degraded item found with the body of the murdered girl dumped by the South Australian highway in July?

After Facebook poster Emma Stenhouse identified the quilt as possibly from a series of patchwork quilts called 'I-spy' used in the game of the same name played with children, Emilee Egeberg wrote (above) that she went on to Google images to find a quilt with the exact musical note and star fabric of the found item

After Facebook poster Emma Stenhouse identified the quilt as possibly from a series of patchwork quilts called ‘I-spy’ used in the game of the same name played with children, Emilee Egeberg wrote (above) that she went on to Google images to find a quilt with the exact musical note and star fabric of the found item

Heather Symons wrote that the musical note fabric had been around 20 years ago, sold by the Spotlight fabric outlet, and that the star fabric was from the same series.

Emma Rains shared the information with ‘my Mum’s patchwork group’, saying ‘someone must know something’.

Speculation that the fabric from the United States, meaning the quilt was possibly American-made, was quashed by the SA police, who said the fabric was probably imported from the US and sold here.

Other posters on the police Facebook page, who are taking a closer look at the patchwork designs, may come up with further clues.

Mellissa Preusker thought she could identify the ‘2nd hexagon from the right, top row. Looks like a ‘Unicorn’ fabric with a white unicorn head (facing to the left) and pink background. Seems familiar, but not sure where i have seen it.’

Daniella Erin wrote on the page that she recognised the ‘cartoon face of a lady … but for the life of me I can;t figure out from where. Maybe a Loralie design?!? I’m hoping somebody else does. It’s been driving me nuts.’

SA Police are continuing their investigation and say they have excluded 32 missing children as the potential victim.

Anyone who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/


police.sa.gov.au

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The following are media releases, photographs and press conferences relating to the discovery of a child’s skeletal remains near the Karoonda Highway about 2kms west of Wynarka in the Murray Mallee region. The remains were located by a member of the public on 14 July 2015, with police advised early 15 July. Anyone with information about the matter is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

These items are in chronological order – with the oldest items at the bottom of the page.

A poster relating to the murder can be downloaded here.

5 August 2015

Task Force Mallee investigators fan out from Wynarka

Task Force Mallee investigators continued their widespread canvass of the Wynarka area today in relation to the ongoing investigation into the murder of an unidentified little girl.

Officers from the Task Force, along with police from the Murray Mallee Local Service Area and State Tactical Response Group, yesterday began canvassing within a 25km radius of where the child’s remains were found in July, seeking information from the community.

The little girl was found, along with a faded suitcase, items of clothing and a degraded quilt, discarded near the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region.  Her identity remains a mystery.

As part of the door-knock, police are speaking with residents, businesses operators and employees, schools, doctors and anyone else connected with the local community.

“Today our officers fanned out from the township of Wynarka to visit farming properties within the search zone,” said Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins, Major Crime Investigation Branch.

“There are many unknowns with this case.

“This is a horrific case centred on the murder of a young girl -someone must know something.

“A police forward command post has been established at the Karoonda Football Club and anyone with information is welcome to stop by and talk with police.”

Posters and letters will be distributed throughout the wider community and across the Murray Mallee Local Service Area as part of the operation.

The posters feature the distinctive black tutu dress and quilt found with the remains.  Of note, only 28 of the Cotton On Kids dresses were sold within South Australia about eight years ago.  The quilt was handmade, but machine-stitched.

To date 643 reports have been made to Crime Stoppers in connection with the case, and 60 children eliminated as potential victims.

Police are also seeking further information about a man seen in the area with a dark suitcase on both 13 April and 26 May.

Seen by locals who did not recognise him, he is described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

What police know about the girl:

* Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death

* Likely Caucasian

* Had fair hair, 18 cm long

* Was 90-95 cm tall

* Was killed at another location

* Was killed some time between the start of 2007 and 12-18 months ago

4 August 2015

Wide-spread canvass of Wynarka area begins

Task Force Mallee will today begin a large-scale canvass of the Wynarka area as the investigation into the discovery of a little girl’s remains continues.

Officers from the Task Force, along with police from the Murray Mallee Local Service Area and State Tactical Response Group, will begin doorknocking in the area around where the discovery was made in July, seeking information from the community.

The little girl was found, along with a faded suitcase, items of clothing and a degraded quilt, discarded near the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region.

“We believe that someone in this area will have vital information for investigators,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray, the officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch, said.

“Someone loved this little girl. Someone other than her killer knows who she is and what happened to her.

“We are appealing to that person to come forward and talk to us.”

Dtv-Supt Bray said police would be speaking with residents, businesses operators and employees, schools, doctors and anyone else connected with the local community.

Today he noted that a quilt and a little black dress – which were both found with the girl – may hold the key to identifying her.

“The reality is we haven’t had anybody come forward that has had that exact quilt so we do think that quilt is still very distinctive and could hold the key to solving this,” he said.

He also noted there were only 28 dresses sold by Cotton on Kids throughout South Australia about eight years ago and it was not sold over the internet or in markets “so again that dress may hold the key”.

Black tutu style dress

“It’s a very challenging investigation and I don’t think that anyone would have thought that weeks later we would still be trying to identify the little girl.

“But every day we’ve been able to find out a little bit more than the day before and if every day continues like that then I’m happy.

Posters and letters will be distributed throughout the wider community as part of the operation.

“At this time we will be canvassing a 25km radius around where she was found, but we may extend that as the inquiry continues,” he said.

“Police will be establishing a forward command post at the Karoonda Football Club today (4 August), and anyone with information is welcome to stop by and talk with police.”

Data provided by the community will be cross referenced as Task Force Mallee investigators continue to follow leads in the inquiry into the girl’s identity and death.

 

At this time 610 reports have been made to Crime Stoppers in connection with the case, and 55 children eliminated as potential victims.

Police will also be seeking further information about a man seen in the area with a dark suitcase on both 13 April and 26 May.

Seen by locals who did not recognise him, he is described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.

“Despite many inquiries about the man with the suitcase we have been unable to identify him,” Det-Supt Bray said.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

What police know about the girl:

* Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death

* Likely Caucasian

* Had fair hair, 18cm long

* Was 90-95cm tall

* Was killed at another location

* Was killed some time since the start of 2007 and 12-18 months ago

Poster

31 July

Task Force Mallee expanded

An additional five police officers have been assigned to Task Force Mallee as SA Police continue to investigate the death of a little girl whose skeletal remains were found alongside the Karoonda Highway earlier this month.
The officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch, Detective Superintendent Des Bray said lines of inquiry are also being issued to detectives across the state on a daily basis.
He added that while forensic work is continuing, it has been confirmed that the remains are those of a girl.
She was found by police, along with a faded suitcase, items of clothing and a degraded quilt (pictured top right), near the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region on 15 July.
Taskforce Mallee was established in the wake of the discovery with 15 police officers initially assigned to the investigation, along with a significant forensic response.
To date 550 reports have been made to Crime Stoppers in connection with the case, and 53 children have been eliminated by investigators as potential victims.
“The massive public response has generated many lines of inquiry in addition to opportunities being identified by investigators,” Dtv-Supt Bray said.
“All of this information is assessed, prioritised and issued for investigation on a daily basis.
“The investigation is continuing at full speed while we await the results of forensic analysis.”
He noted that despite receiving a very large number of calls in respect to the homemade, machine-sewn quilt, the information supplied has not resulted in Task Force Mallee identifying a potential victim at this stage.
Police are also still seeking to identify a man seen in the area with a dark suitcase on both 13 April and 26 May.
Seen by locals who did not recognise him, he is described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.
“Despite many inquiries about the man with the suitcase we have been unable to identify him,” Det-Supt Bray said.
Anyone with information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/
What police know about the girl:
* Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death
* Likely Caucasian
* Had fair hair, 18cm long
* Was 90-95cm tall
* Was killed at another location
* Was killed some time since the start of 2007

29 July 2015

Task Force Mallee rules out Madeleine McCann

Missing UK girl Madeleine McCann has been ruled out as the victim in the South Australia Police inquiry into a child’s remains found at Wynarka earlier this month.

The officer in charge of the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch, Detective Superintendent Des Bray today said that 43 children had now been eliminated as potential victims.

“I can confirm that Madeleine McCann has been totally excluded as a potential victim and UK Police have been advised,” he said. “Task Force Mallee has no further comment to make about this line of inquiry.”

To date there have been 511 reports made to Crime Stoppers since the child’s remains were found –  along with a faded suitcase, items of clothing and a degraded quilt – near the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region on 15 July.

What police know about the child:

*             Believed to be a girl

*             Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death

*             Likely Caucasian

*             Had fair hair, 18cm long

*             Was 90-95cm tall

*             Was killed at another location

*             Was killed some time since the start of 2007

Anyone who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au

27 July 2015

‘Massive’ public response regarding Wynarka child

More than 400 reports have been made to Crime Stoppers in connection with the discovery of a little girl’s remains near the Karoonda Highway on 15 July.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray, the officer in charge the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch, said there had been a massive response from the public in relation to the murder inquiry – with a total of 410 reports made to Crime Stoppers, including 194 since Friday.

The child’s remains were located along with a faded suitcase, items of clothing and a degraded quilt near the highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region.

Images of the distinctive 90cm x 90cm homemade quilt were released on Sunday following forensic examination, and today Task Force Mallee investigators released a further digital image with seven of the quilt’s 25 octagonal patches now identified.

The image of the pumpkins and the 125mm-wide border fabric featuring music notes are exactly the same as those on the original quilt and the other images are a very close likeness, Det-Supt Bray said.

“We are extremely grateful for the level of community support we have received, and as a result of that support the investigation continues to progress each day,” he said.

At this time 32 children have been excluded as potential victims.

“It is highly unlikely that the victim in Madeleine McCann,” he added.

“At this time our inquiries will focus on where the evidence leads us in this investigation and at this point that primary focus remains within Australia.”

What police know about the child:

*             Believed to be a girl

*             Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death

*             Likely Caucasian

*             Had fair hair, 18cm long

*             Was 90-95cm tall

*             Was killed at another location

*             Was killed some time since the start of 2007

Anyone who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

Digital image of quilt

26 July 2015

Quilt may hold key to Wynarka child’s identity

Photographs of a degraded quilt located, along with the remains of a child, at Wynarka earlier this month, have been released by Task Force Mallee investigators today.

Following close forensic examination, details of the 90cm x 90cm quilt have been released to the public in a bid to identify the child, who police believe was a young girl aged two-and-a-half to four at the time of her death.

Her skeletal remains were found along with a suitcase, items of clothing and the quilt near the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region on 15 July.

The officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch, Detective Superintendent Des Bray, said on Friday that police believe the child could have died up to eight years ago and that she was killed at another location.

At some stage she was placed in the suitcase before it was left at the Wynarka location – sometime since mid-March.

Investigators believe the suitcase and its contents – including the child – were left at the location by an unknown person behind a bush and that at some stage someone tipped most of the contents out behind a nearby bush and left the suitcase near the roadside.

Among those items was the quilt, which appears to be homemade although it’s been machine-stitched.

That fact, along with its filling of a light-coloured polyester material, could indicate that its maker intended it to be washed regularly, police believe.

Dtv Supt Bray also noted that much of the quilt is badly degraded, but the fabric which is still intact reveals a wide border of black material illustrated with musical notes along with images of a pumpkin patch, a camel and dragonflies.

“It has been suggested this is a so-called i-Spy quilt which is especially constructed to allow a parent to play i-Spy with the child using the images stitched into the blanket,” he said.

“Someone loved that little girl and either made her, or gave her, that quilt. I would appeal for whoever loved her to get in touch with us.”

He added that investigators with Task Force Mallee continue to follow lines of inquiry, with 273 calls made to Crime Stoppers to date.

As a result, police have eliminated 25 children from the investigation who have been nominated as potential victims, but have been determined to be alive.

Police are still appealing to a man seen in the area about six to eight weeks ago with a dark suitcase to come forward. They have confirmed sightings of him with a suitcase near Karoonda on both 13 April and 26 May.

Described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed, he was seen by a number of locals in the area and investigators are seeking to identify him and potentially exclude him from the inquiry.

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

What police know about the child:

*             Believed to be a girl

*             Aged 2.5-4 years at time of death

*             Likely Caucasian

*             Had fair hair, 18cm long

*             Was 90-95cm tall

*             Was killed at another location

*             Was killed some time since the start of 2007

Quilt found with bones near Wynarka

23 July 2015

Wynarka child believed to be a girl

SA Police have today announced they believe the skeletal human remains found near Wynarka last week are those of a girl aged two-and-a-half to four years.

At a press conference today, the officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch Detective Superintendent Des Bray, also announced that investigators believe the little girl could have died up to eight years ago – potentially making her aged 10-12 years if she was alive today.

“While the forensic analysis has not yet provided a conclusive result regarding this child’s gender we are reasonably confident at this time that these are the remains of a girl who had fair hair and was 90-95cm tall,” he said.

A manikin with hair of a similar colour and length, dressed in new versions of items of clothing found with the body was displayed to the media today as Task Force Mallee investigators continue their inquiries into the child’s murder.

Police have received 223 call to Crime Stoppers  (ph 1800 333 000) in relation to the discovery of the remains, near the Karoonda Highway about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region, on Wednesday 15 July.

Clothing and a suitcase – a new version of which was also displayed by police today – were found along with the remains.

Investigators believe the suitcase and its contents – including the child – were left at the location by an unknown person behind a bush and that at some stage someone tipped most of the contents out behind a nearby bush and left the suitcase near the roadside.

While the suitcase now appears a grey colour, it was originally black and has faded.

Dtv-Supt Bray said the suitcase was first seen after road works were concluded in mid-March, but police are keen to hear from anyone who saw it, touched it or emptied its contents.

“We believe the child died elsewhere and was placed into the suitcase before being left at the Wynarka location,” he said.

“For reasons I’m not going to disclose we are confident that this child was murdered and we would appeal for anyone with information that might assist us to make contact.

“This is a tragic case and we continue to follow a number of lines of inquiry in a bid to identify this child.

“At this time 24 children have been nominated as potential victims, but have been ruled out by investigators who have determined that they are alive and not requiring any further police attention.”

Police are still appealing to a man seen in the area about six to eight weeks ago with a dark suitcase to come forward.

Described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed, he was seen by a number of locals in the area and investigators are seeking to identify him and potentially exclude him from the inquiry.

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

Mannequin and case

23 July 2015

Crime Stoppers receive 200 calls regarding Wynarka case

Forensic analysis of human remains found near Wynarka last week have not yet determined the child’s gender, however Task Force Mallee investigators have ruled out 20 children as victims.

SA Police have now had 200 calls to Crime Stoppers (ph: 1800 333 000) in relation to the discovery of the remains of a child, about 2km west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region, on Wednesday 15 July.

Major Crime detectives have released images of clothing found along with the child’s remains near the Karoonda Highway.

The clothing, including a purple Dora the Explorer T-shirt, blue pyjama shorts and a pair of pink track pants, were mostly found on the ground near a grey Lanza suitcase.

The suitcase and its contents – including the child – were left at the location by an unknown person behind a bush.

Police believe that at some stage someone tipped most of the contents out behind a nearby bush and left the suitcase near the roadside.

People driving along the road saw the suitcase over time, originally closed and later with the lid open. Some stopped and inspected it.

The suitcase was first discovered shortly after road works were completed in March this year.

“Identifying who emptied the suitcase contents behind the bush and when it was emptied is very important to investigators,” said Detective Superintendent Des Bray, Officer in Charge, Major Crime Investigation Branch.

“The person who did this is not in any trouble and we encourage that person to come forward and contact us through Crime Stoppers or attend their local police station.”

Det Supt Bray also noted that further sightings of a 60-year-old man with the suitcase around the same time have been reported to police.

Earlier police appeals have noted that a man was seen in the area carrying a dark suitcase, about 8am one morning about six to eight weeks ago.

Described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed, he was not a local.

“Identifying this man remains a priority so that he can be excluded if not involved,” Det Supt Bray said.

“Police continue to encourage this man or anyone who knows him to come forward and make contact with us.

“Forensic Science SA have been working very hard to identify the gender of the child and to obtain a DNA profile.

Despite their best efforts they have not been able to achieve that result yet, however they continue to be committed to the task using alternative methods of analysis.

“In the interim we need to be patient and we are actively investigating other lines of inquiry that are enabling us to progress the investigation.”

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online athttps://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

20 July 2015

Forensic analysis of remains continues

Forensic analysis of human remains found near Wynarka last week has not yet determined the gender of the child, however, police have been able to rule out potential victims.

“Forensic Science staff are working very hard to deliver a result as quickly as possible.  We are hoping to be able to confirm the gender of the child this week.  A DNA profile is also being taken of the child, however, that will take longer, ” said Detective Superintendent Des Bray, Officer in Charge, Major Crime Investigation Branch.

Investigators have been assisted by 125 calls to Crime Stoppers since the bones were discovered.  Acting on information received from the public,  ten potential victims have been identified but detectives have been able to exclude them from the investigation.

Major Crime detectives have released images of clothing found along with the child’s remains near the Karoonda Highway at Wynarka last week.

The clothing, including a purple Dora the Explorer T-shirt, blue pyjama shorts and a pair of pink track pants, were found in a grey Lanza suitcase about two kilometres west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region, on Wednesday 15 July.

“The response we have received from the public is encouraging and we urge anyone that recognises any of the clothes to please contact police.

“We believe the child aged between 2 and 5 years was murdered at another location but the motive and the exact time frame is unknown.

“We are also seeking any information about a man seen by several people walking along the Karoonda Highway, carrying a dark suitcase, about 8am one morning about six to eight weeks ago.  He is described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.  He was not a local.”

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

19 July 2015

Further images released of clothing found at Wynarka

Major Crime detectives trying to identify the body of a young child, have released further images of clothing found along with the child’s remains near the Karoonda Highway at Wynarka last week.

The clothing, including a purple Dora the Explorer T-shirt, blue pyjama shorts and a pair of pink track-pants, were found in a suitcase about 2kms west of the Wynarka township in the Murray Mallee region, on Wednesday 15 July.

“From 5pm last night police have received nearly 100 calls from the public to Crime Stoppers, which is encouraging and we urge anyone that recognises any of the clothes to please contact police,” said  Detective Superintendent Des Bray, the officer in charge of Major Crime Investigation Branch.
“Forensic Scientists are also working around the clock to help provide vital information to assist in the investigation.”

“We believe the child aged between 2-5 years was murdered at another location but the motive and the exact time frame is unknown” Det-Supt Bray said.

“We are also seeking any information about a man seen by several people walking along the Karoonda Highway, carrying a dark suitcase, about 8am one morning about six to eight weeks ago.
He is described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.  He was not a local.” Detective Superintendent Bray Said.

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

Vision taken from the SAPOL Remote piloted aircraft (drone) which flew over the search area on Thursday 16 July, shows the terrain and Karoonda Highway, SES volunteers searching the area, and a large blue tent where the child’s remains were found.

Wynarka child's clothing

Wynarka clothing coat and pink pants

17 July 2015

Images released as police investigate child murder

Major Crime detectives trying to identify the body of young child today released images of clothing and a suitcase found along with the child’s remains near the Karoonda Hwy this week.

The remains, clothing and case were found at Wynarka, about 150km east of Adelaide in the Murray Mallee region, on Wednesday.

Taskforce Mallee has been established with 15 police officers now working on the investigation, along with a significant forensic response.

A post mortem was conducted this morning – but the gender of the child still remains unknown .

Further forensic testing will be required before a gender is known early next week, while a DNA profile may take longer due to the complexities involved in the forensic analysis.

“Police emphasise that while it’s possible that the victim is female, the presence of female clothes should not be taken as confirmation of that, or that the clothes belonged to the child,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray, the officer in charge of Major Crime Investigation Branch, said today.

“We are hoping that someone recognises the clothes and then can help us identify the child.”

Police are renewing their appeal for information that may lead to the identity of a man seen walking along the Karoonda Highway, carrying a dark suitcase, about 8am one morning about six to eight weeks ago.

He is described as being aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed. He was not a local.

Calls to Crime Stoppers have revealed the man was also seen on the highway walking with a suitcase west of Wynarka heading towards Murray Bridge.

Police are also calling on any drivers who may have dash-cam vision of the highway to contact police as they may have inadvertently recorded information in their trucks and cars that may assist with the investigation.

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

Suitcase and clothing

Clothing and case tag

17 July 2015

Detective seek information from public after bones found near Wynarka

Major Crime detectives want to speak to a man seen carrying a suitcase on the Karoonda Highway, near where the remains of a child were found earlier this week.

Late on Wednesday morning, police were contacted by a motorist who discovered human bones near a suitcase just off the highway, about 2 km west of Wynarka in the Murray Mallee region.

Detectives have door-knocked the Wynarka region and appealed to anyone with information to come forward.

Detectives believe the body and suitcase were dumped at the roadside location some time within the last ten weeks.

Police have received information that a man was seen walking along the highway, carrying a dark suitcase, about 8am one morning about six to eight weeks ago.  He is described as aged about 60, of Caucasian appearance, average height, lightly built, clean cut and neatly dressed.  He was not a local.

Major Crime detectives are awaiting the interim results of a post-mortem to provide more details about the identity, age and gender of the human remains found near Wynarka this week.

Police have established the bones are the skeletal remains of a child.  Initial examinations of the remains have determined they are those of a child aged between 2 and 7 years.  The gender is not known at this stage.

The remains were transported to Adelaide where a post-mortem was undertaken yesterday afternoon.  A more detailed examination of items found with the body will also be conducted.

As part of the investigation, detectives are checking National Missing Persons registers.  There are no current missing persons from South Australia that match this description.

Anyone who saw the man or has seen the suitcase by the highway, or who has any information that may assist the investigation, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au/

The investigation is ongoing.

16 July 2015

Wynarka investigation continues

Major Crime detectives have returned to the Karoonda Highway today following yesterday’s discovery of human remains.

Late on Wednesday morning, police were contacted by a motorist who discovered human bones just off the highway, about 2 km west of Wynarka in the Murray Mallee region.

Police have established the bones are the skeletal remains of a child.  Initial examinations of the remains have determined they are those of a child aged between 2 and 7 years.  The gender is not known at this stage.

The remains have been transported to Adelaide where a post-mortem will be conducted this afternoon.

Forensic examination of the scene is being conducted.  SES volunteers are assisting with a search of the area along the highway today.  The police drone is also being utilised to search from overhead.

Detectives believe the body and suitcase were dumped at the roadside location some time in the last four to six weeks.

As part of the investigation, detectives are checking National Missing Persons registers.  There are no current missing persons from South Australia that match this description.

The investigation is ongoing.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray, Officer in Charge of Major Crime Investigation Branch, spoke with SA Police News yesterday to update the public on the situation and appeal for information.  Listen to his interview here.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

15 July 2015

Human bones found near Wynarka

Police including Major Crime Detectives are investigating the discovery of human bones near the Karoonda Highway about 2kms west of Wynarka in the Murray Mallee region.

Late this morning police were contacted by a member of the public after the bones were found just off the highway.

Police have established the bones are the skeletal remains of a child.

Forensic examination of the scene is currently being conducted.

The investigation is ongoing and further information will be provided as soon as possible.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

SA Police rule out 10 potential victims after child’s remains found

Updated 20 Jul 2015, 3:57pm

Police have discounted 10 potential victims in their search for the identity of a child whose remains were found in bushland near Wynarka in South Australia last week.

The skeletal remains of a child aged between two and five were found behind a bush off the Karoonda Highway on Wednesday last week.

Police believe the remains were originally dumped inside a suitcase found at the location, two kilometres west of Wynarka, up to two-and-a-half months ago.

They said they had received 125 calls from the public, with “10 potential victims identified” but subsequently excluded from the investigation.

A forensic analysis of the human remains has not been able to establish its gender yet but police have already announced the child suffered a “violent, horrible death”.

“Forensic Science staff are working very hard to deliver a result as quickly as possible,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.

“We are hoping to be able to confirm the gender of the child this week.

“A DNA profile is also being taken of the child, however, that will take longer.”

Police are still searching for man seeing walking along the Karoonda Highway at Wynarka carrying a dark suitcase about six to eight weeks ago.

He was not a local and is described as being aged about 60, Caucasian, clean cut and neatly dressed with a light build.

Major Crime detectives have released images of clothing found along with the remains, including a purple Dora the Explorer T-shirt, blue pyjama shorts, and a pair of pink tracksuit pants, in the hope a member of public recognised them.

“We believe the child, aged between two and five years, was murdered at another location but the motive and the exact time frame is unknown,” Superintendent Bray said.

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