Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law
Surveillance camera footage creates a detailed timeline of the 2014 killing of Jamie Gao.
Early January, 2014 Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara meet up at least 27 times in the lead up to Gao’s death, often at the Meridian Hotel in Hurstville.
Early March, 2014 Roger Rogerson obtains keys to storage unit 803 at Rent a Space, Padstow, from a friend called Michael McGuire. Rogerson says he wanted to look at office furniture. Gao is eventually killed inside the shed.
April 27, 2014 A white Ford Falcon station wagon with number plates BV67PX is purchased at Outback Used Cars in Lethbridge Park. The car is later used to transport Gao’s body. Rogerson and McNamara deny involvement in the car’s acquisition, but Rogerson’s fingerprints are found on the receipt.
May 19, 2014 McNamara removes his 4.5 metre Quintrex boat from Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point without notifying staff. This is later used to dump Gao’s body at sea.
May 19, 3.15pm CCTV footage from Rent a Space captures Rogerson removing office chairs from storage unit 803 and placing them in the back of his silver Ford station wagon.
May 19, afternoon A white Nissan Silvia, consistent with Gao’s car, does a U-turn outside Rent a Space.
May 19, 7.50pm The night before Gao is killed, McNamara and Gao meet at the Meridian Hotel, Hurstville. The meeting lasts about 30 minutes.
May 20, 11.37am McNamara uses a payphone in Cronulla Mall to call Gao. CCTV from Cold Rock Ice Creamery captures him walking towards to the phone.
May 20, 1.17pm Rogerson and McNamara drive in separate cars to Rent a Space. McNamara is seen opening and closing the door four times in nine minutes.
May 20, 1.35pm Gao is seen walking down Arab Road, Padstow, dressed in dark-coloured clothes, towards a white Ford station wagon that McNamara is in.
May 20, 1,42pm McNamara drives to the front gate of Rent a Space and enters the gate code – his hood is up and sunglasses are on.
May 20, 1.46pm Gao is seen getting out of the back of a white Ford station wagon and shielded by McNamara as he slips into storage unit 803. It is the last time he is seen alive.
May 20, 1.49pm Rogerson opens the door to storage unit 803 exactly three minutes and 16 seconds after Gao and McNamara entered.
May 20, 2.03pm McNamara comes out of the storage unit, retrieves a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag from the white Ford station wagon, and returns to the storage unit.
May 20, 2.18pm McNamara and Rogerson are seen dragging a surfboard cover containing Gao’s body, and load it into the boot of the white Ford station wagon.
May 20, about 4pm Rogerson and McNamara are seen at Kennards Hire in Taren Point, buying a two-tonne chain block that was later used to lift Gao’s body into McNamara’s boat.
May 20, about 5.15pm A few hours after the killing, Rogerson and McNamara share a six-pack of beer at McNamara’s unit in McDonald St, Cronulla. (McNamara claims he only helped to dispose of Gao’s body because his life was threatened by Rogerson.)
May 21, 7.28am A Quintrex boat carrying the body of Gao and a blue tarpaulin leaves McNamara’s Cronulla unit block.
May 21, 7.32am McNamara and Rogerson are seen carrying fishing rods in the lift of McNamara’s unit block.
May 21, 11.05am After disposing of Gao’s body, McNamara brings his Quintrex boat back to Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point.
May 22 McNamara says he was so worried when he found 3kg of ice in his car that he went to Kmart and bought two pillowslips, a measuring jug and a spoon. He claims this was to “seal” the drugs to stop them from exploding.
May 25, 6.30pm Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives arrest McNamara at a vehicle stop at Kyeemagh. He is refused bail and appears at Kogarah Local Court the following day.
May 26 Fishermen spot the body of Jamie Gao inside a surfboard bag wrapped in blue tarpaulin about 2.5 kilometres offshore of Shelley Beach, Cronulla.
May 27, 11am Police swoop on Rogerson’s Padstow Heights home. He is escorted out in handcuffs and taken to Bankstown police station, where he is refused bail.
This is what the bloody church does, try to hide away filthy disgusting sexual offenders for years. BUT the time is up for the pathetic excuse, up until now known as Father F…Real name former priest John Joseph Farrell
‘Clear evidence’ of Catholic Church cover-up over Father ‘F’: former DPP director
Pressure is mounting on the DPP to investigate the Catholic Church over its role in the cover-up of Farrell’s crimes, with the possibility of further criminal prosecution of senior Catholic Church leaders.
Farrell’s legal representative wrote to the Special Commission into Child Sex Abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in October 2013, saying Farrell offered to give evidence “contrary to the accounts given by Fathers Usher and Lucas”.
“Importantly, such evidence supports the proposition of a ‘cover-up’ and may provide evidence of offences such as misprision of a felony and the failing to disclose information concerning a serious offence,” the letter reads.
On September 3, 1992, Farrell was called to a meeting with senior Catholic church leaders in the in the presbytery of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
Present were Father Wayne Peters (now deceased), Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Lucas, now the national director of The Catholic Mission.
They have said Farrell admitted to “nothing specific” and that Farrell spoke about his “sexual fantasies”, according to the Whitlam Report into the affair, commissioned by the Parramatta and Armidale Diocese in 2012.
“Farrell said nothing on that occasion where he mentioned any names or any matters of child sexual abuse,” Reverend Monsignor Usher told 7.30.
A secret internal letter about the meeting sent in 1992, signed by Reverend Peters and addressed to the Bishop of Armidale, includes details of graphic sexual abuse inflicted upon five boys.
“Some of the boys involved may bring criminal charges against the Rev Farrell with subsequent grave harm to the priesthood and the church.”
Reverend Monsignor Usher disputes the letter’s version of events.
“He [Farrell] talked a lot about homosexuality or gayness but whatever Wayne Peters wrote did not come out of that meeting,” Reverend Monsignor Usher said.
“He may have had access to other information.”
‘Facts constitute serious indictable offences’
Mr Cowdery said it was in the public interest that clergyman that may have known about crimes, yet failed to report them to police, are referred to the DPP on the basis of Farrell’s testimony and the 1992 letter.
“In that letter, there is a very clear description of facts that would constitute serious indictable offences,” he said.
“That is, criminal offences that carry a penalty of five years’ imprisonment or more.”
Associate Professor David Hamer, a specialist in the law of evidence at the University of Sydney, said it is at the discretion of the DPP whether or not to prosecute.
“I’d imagine that someone senior in the NSW DPP would take a very close look at any charges that were laid in this case,” Associate Professor Hamer said.
Father Lucas has always maintained Farrell did not make any admission that required going to the police, and did not agree to an interview with 7.30.
NSW Police Strikeforce Glenroe, the DPP, the Sydney Archdiocese and the Bishop of Armidale have all been contacted for comment.
Victim of sexual abuse by Catholic priest felt ‘completely abandoned’ by church
Victims of a former Catholic priest who sexually abused children in northern New South Wales in the 1980s have described the devastating impact of his crimes in statements read out in court.
John Joseph Farrell, 62, is awaiting sentencing for 62 offences involving 12 victims.
One victim said in his statement, which was read by his mother, the abuse was compounded by the fact that when he reported what happened to him, he was not believed.
“I felt completely abandoned by the institution I had put so much faith in,” his statement said.
The victim said he had enjoyed a happy childhood until the age of 11.
“When I met Farrell, all of that changed,” he said in his statement.
He said the Catholic Church merely protected Farrell.
The man also said it was no coincidence he started drinking after meeting Farrell.
He said he developed chronic alcoholism, never engaged in study or long-term employment and has had 20 different homes in the past 25 years.
Victim ‘never had a proper relationship’ after abuse
Another victim said that having to re-live the offences against him was traumatic.
“I have never been able to have a proper relationship because of what happened to me,” his statement said.
My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim.
Child sexual abuse victim
Another victim who was raped by Farrell was overcome with emotion as he was preparing to read out his victim impact statement in the witness box.
His partner stepped up to read the statement on his behalf.
In it, he said the abuse continues to cause him problems with intimacy.
“I feel unclean until I’ve showered [after sexual activity],” he said. “John Farrell has shown neither remorse nor regret for what he has done to me and others.”
Most of Farrell’s victims were altar boys in the Moree area, but three of the victims were girls.
A woman who was sexually abused by Farrell said in her statement that was submitted but not read to the court: “I naively assumed that God must have been okay with it.”
“My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim,” she said.
Convicted paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell given sentence of 29 years for 62 sex crimes
May 2, 2016 2:24pm
A former priest will got to jail following his conviction on 62 counts of abuse.
A PAEDOPHILE priest, who raped one of his victims on the church’s altar, has been sentenced to almost three decade behind bars.
At Sydney’s District Court on Monday Judge Peter Zahra said former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell “disregarded and took advantage” of his victims who he groomed over long periods of time.
Last month, Farrell was found guilty of 62 offences involving rapes and indecent assaults against three girls and nine boys over nearly a decade in the northern NSW towns of Moree and Tamworth.
As well as the 62 historical sexual crimes against children, a further 17 offences were taken into account when he was handed down a sentence of 29 years, with a non-parole period of 18 years.
He will not leave prison until 2033 at the earliest.
The disgraced ex-priest sat in the dock with his eyes closed as Judge Zahra told the courtroom how Farrell had assaulted his victims between 1979 and 1988.
Farrell was aware of, and exploited, the powerful position he held as a priest, the judge said.
Although some of Farrell’s crimes might have appeared to be spontaneous, they were in fact a result of the offender’s long-term grooming of the boys and girls which included gaining the trust of their parents, Judge Zahra continued.
At Farrell’s trial last month, the jury heard one of the victims, who was just 10 when the abuse began, was so trusting of the then-priest she convinced herself the assaults were “OK with God”.
The disabled victim, who can’t be identified, said in a statement tendered the court that the traumatising sexual abuse had continued throughout her teenage years.
“I naively assumed that God must have been OK with it,” she said.
Another of Farrell’s female victims would often try to escape when he visited her family home.
She would run to a friend’s house which led to her family becoming angry with her for being anti-social, she said in her victim impact statement.
“I kept the abuse quiet from my family as I was afraid of their reaction,” she said.
She told the court she had been robbed of her dream of having a husband and child.
“I have had plenty of boyfriends over the years but have always found sexual relations with them to be unpleasant,” she said.
“Although I made my body participate in the actions, my mind would remain detached.”
Before abusing the girls, Farrell had preyed on nine altar boys at Moree in the early 1980s.
He had raped one victim on the church’s altar and targeted others in a local swimming pool and during car trips to nearby parishes.
Many of those sitting in the public gallery of the courtroom wept as the sentence was handed down, while others clapped as the judge imposed a non-parole period of 18 years.
MOMENTS before shots rang out at a Bankstown shopping centre this morning, a man rushed into a shop inside screaming, “There’s not enough f***ing time”.
Standover man and convicted killer Walid “Wally” Ahmad was shot dead and two others were injured at the centre when an unknown person opened fire inside Bankstown Central, in Sydney’s southwest, just before noon.
Police are now hunting two people over the attack, a man who opened fire and another who drove a getaway car.
A 32-year-old woman, believed to be friends with Ahmad, is recovering in hospital alongside Ahmad’s bodyguard, a 53-year-old man.
A woman working in a cosmetics store inside the centre told news.com.au that a man and a woman rushed into the shop moments before the shooting.
“Where’s store security? Where’s store security? Can you call them?” the distressed woman said.
She banged her hand on the counter, saying “call them, call them!”
But the man said: “There’s not enough f***ing time.”
The pair then ran towards an escalator, which leads to the third-level gym, cafe and carpark, where the shooting occurred.
It is not known who the people were or if they were hurt in the shooting.
‘IT’S CLEARLY TARGETED’
Bankstown police commander Detective Superintendent David Eardley confirmed a 40-year-old man is dead and two others were injured in the shooting.
Police believe the gunman did not act alone and a burnt-out white Mercedes connected to the crime has been found in Greenacre.
While police have not confirmed the identity of the victim, he said police would also be looking at the connection with another shooting at Condell Park earlier this month.
“It’s clearly targeted; this is not a random shooting,” Det Supt Eardley said.
“People need to understand and feel safe to go about the streets and their daily lives.”
He also urged those connected to the crime not to take matters into their own hands.
“Leave it to us to investigate … there is no need to resort to any activity that would jeopardise themselves or others.”
‘COME GET ME! HE’S DEAD!’
The niece of the victim Walid “Wally” Ahmad told news.com.au: “It’s my uncle. He’s the victim.”
The woman was at a family gathering at a home nearby when she received a phone call that her uncle had been shot.
She said she received a panicked call from Ahmad’s daughter, her cousin, as she raced to the Bankstown Central shopping centre.
“She said, ‘Come get me! He’s dead! He’s dead!’” the shocked niece told news.com.au
“I need to get to her. She’s all by herself, she’s alone.”
When asked who may have targeted Ahmad, the niece said: “I don’t know. The most important thing is finding my cousin.”
Later, news.com.au witnessed the niece and the daughter hug as they were reunited.
The shopping centre’s management ushered family members to a nearby coffee house, where more than a dozen police officers were gathered.
An elderly woman, believed to be the mother of the victim, was seen slumped in a wheelchair, quivering, with her hands covering her face.
The family were agitated as they left the area, demanding that no pictures be taken.
Today’s shooting took place at a major shopping centre, formerly known as Bankstown Centro, on the corner of Stacey St and Rickard Rd, in Sydney’s southwest.
Witnesses told news.com.au that the shooting happened in the centre carpark outside Michael’s Coffee House, near Crunch Fitness gym and Rebel Sports store.
People who parked close to the scene have been told by police they could not move their cars, and some have resorted to taking the bus home.
Early reports said a man aged about 40 went into cardiac arrest. The body is believed to still be at the scene.
It is understood two people have been detained at the scene, including an unidentified, handcuffed man pictured. Police told news.com.au that nobody had been formally arrested.
A Bankstown resident working at the shopping centre, who asked not to be named, told AAP that “police arrested the wrong people to start with”.
He said a Mercedes was stopped and searched by police on the corner of Jacobs St and Rickard Rd, but police failed to find a weapon.
“It happened in front of us,” he said. “They handcuffed the wrong person.” He said police found the right car, a black four-wheel drive, at the rooftop car park near the gym.
Police have warned drivers to avoid the area around the centre because of traffic delays.
“There were a couple of screams and you just wondered if they were kids or something,” Mr Davis said.
“It was surreal really.
“I suppose I’m feeling really fortunate that I wasn’t there (at the tome of the escalator).”
The victim is a known standover man with a previous manslaughter conviction.
Officers were called to the shopping centre about 11.50am after reports of a shooting. There were unconfirmed reports of eight shots being fired in the carpark.
A witness having coffee outside a nearby cafe said she heard the commotion and everybody got up and started walking away.
A Channel 7 video shows one of the victims being asked whether he was OK as he was being wheeled away on a stretcher.
When asked what happened, the victim said: “Firework”.
The previous shooting at the smash repair business left one man, Safwan Charbaji, 32, dead with gunshot wound to the chest. Another, Abdullah El Masri, 35, was left in a critical condition after being shot in the face. He remains in an induced coma.
The shooting happened on the afternoon of April 9 in Condell Park, a suburb of Bankstown.
Witnesses reported hearing an argument before a number of shots were fired.
At the time, authorities said the men were known to police.
“We believe that the people did know each other,” a police spokesman told media on Saturday, adding that it was unclear whether the men were shot by a third party.
“It’s quite possible that a meeting has taken place.”
A local shop worker told news.com.au Ahmad was one of her “favourite customers.”
“When I had first met Walid he had recently been out of jail,” she said.
“But he was always a sweet man, had brought in his little girl and his wife a few times.
“Could never say no to the lollies she’d want to buy.
“Anyway I understand people are different, but I only had an employee-customer relationship with him.
“I’m sure his wife is very heartbroken though.”
At least six ambulances and a dozen police cars were at the scene and television footage showed paramedics putting a man on a stretcher.
Police said they arrived to find two men and a woman injured; one of the men died at the scene.
A crime scene has been established, which will be examined by detectives and forensic specialists.
The shopping centre car park has been closed as a precaution.
Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Bail denied for Chantelle Strnad who is charged with murder after Ingleburn, Sydney, shooting
May 11, 2016
Chantelle Strnad is taken away by police from her western Sydney business that was the scene of a siege in March Warren BarnsleyAAP
A SYDNEY woman charged with the shooting murder of a man during a business dispute at a Sydney factory has been refused bail.
An emotional Chantelle Strnad, 31, appeared in Campbelltown Local Court on Wednesday charged with the murder of her client, 44-year-old Michael Bassal, who was shot dead at an Ingleburn sign factory in March.
Strnad, who was already on bail having earlier been charged with concealing a serious indictable offence in relation to the matter, was arrested on Tuesday.
She also faces a charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Mr Bassal was shot dead during a six-hour siege at the western Sydney factory, of which Strnad is the owner and operator, in what police believe was a business dispute.
His brothers Terry and Mark were with him at the time and were wounded.
The court heard the gunman, 33-year-old Inline Signs employee and Strnad’s former partner Wayne Williams, turned his assault rifle on himself at the end of the siege.
Prosecution lawyer Clint Nasr told the court on Wednesday that Strnad lured the victims to the premises.
Police at the Ingleburn siege. Picture: Channel 9 NewsSource:Channel 9
Strnad allegedly told Williams to “come and sort these guys out. I am going to f***ing kill them”, Mr Nasr said.
Mr Nasr said that was “clear evidence of her intention”.
He also said she was aware the rifle used in the crime was in Williams’ possession and was “loaded and ready to go”.
Strnad will remain in custody after Magistrate Robert Rabbidge agreed with the prosecution about the seriousness of the alleged offences.
Ingleburn shooting victim Michael Bassal. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
Mr Rabbidge said Strnad was “hell-bent” on undertaking the alleged “criminal enterprise”.
“We have one dead and two who almost died,” Mr Rabbidge said. The court also heard Strnad collected the rounds from the rifle after the shooting.
Strnad’s defence lawyer, Karen Watson, argued her client should be granted bail because she had not broken her previous bail conditions and her business had suffered considerably due to the March incident.
She also said the case against her client was weak.
But Mr Nasr warned a number of prosecution witnesses were her employees at the sign factory.
A CRAZED gunman who shot three brothers and held three bystanders hostage for six hours killed himself last night in the bloody final act of a feud believed to be over a sign.
Wayne Williams had opened fire on the Bassal brothers at 10.45am at Ingleburn’s Inline National Signage and Property Services after police believe they went to the business to complain about a sign they had ordered.
Father-of-one Michael “Mick” Bassal — who was friends online with Rebels bikies president Alex Vella — died on the grass verge outside the business. His two brothers were taken to Liverpool hospital, where one required emergency surgery.
Police today charged a man and woman who were led from the building by police at the height of the siege.
The 52-year-old man, reported to be Williams’ father Peter, was charged with discharge firearm in a public place and conceal serious indictable offence.
He has been refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court today.
Inline’s distraught owner, 30-year-old Chantelle Tonna was charged with conceal serious indictable offence. She’s has been granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear in the same court next month.
Tonna was so traumatised she could barely walk as police helped her from the warehouse, where three bystanders were taken hostage.
Police believe she knew Williams, who had connections with the Finks bikies gang and who could be heard yelling at police negotiators for hours.
Detectives were last night piecing together the dispute that led to Williams opening fire with a high-powered rifle but one line of inquiry was that the brothers were unhappy with sign work.
During the siege heavily armed police armed with assault rifles surrounded the business and evacuated nearby premises.
At one point Detective Inspector Mark Brett said that the situation had reached a “delicate stage”.
The three terrified hostages were freed from their hiding places just after 5pm by police in “bear cat” armoured truck and reunited with anxious family members waiting in a nearby street. The men were checked by paramedics before they were taken to Macquarie Fields police station to be interviewed about their ordeal.
Williams was found inside the property and was believed to have shot himself.
One worker told of his terror as he ushered his wife, who came to visit him at work, into an outside toilet as a volley of shots rang out. Machine operator Gurjinder Girn, who has worked at the Heald Rd site for five years, and his wife Navjot Kaur heard a man shouting, “Come out, come out, come out”.
They then heard six shots.
“Nothing like this has happened in front of my eyes with me or this company. It was very terrifying,” Mr Girn said.
“By chance we went outside to go to the bathroom.
“I know there were three other employees inside who were hiding from the gunman.”
The couple heard police arrive about 10 minutes after the shooting and they were soon escorted to safety.
Mark Callaghan, owner of nearby A & A Equipment in Shaw Rd, said he heard a commotion at the time. “I heard a woman hysterically screaming down the road. It was a muffled scream and I couldn’t understand the words,” he said.
Family and friends of Mr Bassal gathered at Liverpool Hospital last night to support his two injured brothers.
One of the men was critically injured while the other had superficial wounds.
AS IT HAPPENED
10.45am: Triple-0 emergency call reports three people shot at Inline National Signage and Property Services at the corner of Heald and Stennett Rds, Ingleburn. Neighbours report hearing up to five shots. Police find three people with gunshot wounds. One man dies at the scene. Two men are taken to Liverpool Hospital, one suffering superficial wounds and another with gunshot wounds to the lower part of the body. Police surround the printing company.
11-11.30am: Police set up a 1km exclusion zone and nearby companies are told to close their doors. Some go into lockdown while others evacuate.
11.25am: Police issue a warning to the public to avoid the area.
11:55am: Heavily armed tactical police can be seen with guns drawn at the door of the printing firm.
12.05pm: The $400,000 police “Bear Cat” armoured truck arrives at the rear of the premises.
12.25pm: Police confirm three people have been shot and one man is dead.
2pm: A man is arrested for “hindering police” near the scene.
2.30pm: Macquarie Fields crime manager Detective Inspector Mark Brett confirms the dead victim was 43 years old.
5pm: Armed tactical response police storm the building and free three hostages, who are taken to safety and attended to by paramedics. The gunman, 33, is found dead at the scene.
HOSTAGE WAS ON FIRST DAY OF HIS JOB
ONE of the three workers held hostage in yesterday’s deadly Ingleburn siege has revealed he was on the first day of his new job.
Seksane had only been at Inline Signage for a few hours when gunman Wayne Williams opened fire, killing Mick Bassal and wounding two of his brothers.
He was trapped in the building after armed police arrived to begin a lengthy standoff with Williams.
“I don’t know – I (was) still working,” he said, adding he was “pretty much okay”.
“That’s the first start to the job, today.”
Ingleburn shooting: Shooter’s father charged after siege in Sydney’s south-west
As a society it should not matter where someone ranks in in life when a murder occurs.Their death MUST be investigated to the fullest extent.So maybe with some info from someone we can find out what really happened to Reggie Mullaly?
The body of Reginald Mullaly, 69, was found in September 2015 under a bridge in Bathurst, with 11 stab wounds to his arms and chest. Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.
Every day Reginald Mullaly would stir from his makeshift shelter under the Denison Bridge and take the $8-$9 cab ride into Bathurst’s CBD.
Twice a week, he would stroll into the Reliance Credit Union and withdraw a few hundred dollars from the almost $30,000 he had in his bank account.
This money would be spent on pies at a bakery, cans at the bottle shop and a loaf of bread to feed the ducks on the banks of the Macquarie River.
Dawn, the sister of homeless man Reginald Mullaly, holds a photo of him. Photo: Kate Geraghty
His spare change would go into the guide dog donation tin at Liquorland.
It is this money that police suspect might have led Mr Mullaly, who chose the life of a vagabond despite the thousands in his bank account, to be targeted in a vicious and fatal attack.
The 69-year-old homeless man’s body was found lying under the bridge he called home on September 20, 2015.
The shelter under Denison Bridge in Bathurst where Reginald Mullaly slept and where his body was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
He was clutching a tissue and was holding it up against a bloody wound on his temple. Small blood spots dotted rocks that formed his sleeping nook.
A blanket, given to him by staff at the bakery, covered his bottom half and his boots were off, as if he had settled in for the night.
Days later, staff at the Newcastle Morgue removed his six layers of clothing and found 11 stab wounds on his body.
A bag where Reginald Mullaly’s body was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
“It’s a cowardly attack on a vulnerable member of the community,” Detective Senior Constable Adrian Graham said.
Mr Mullaly was last seen about 3.15pm on Thursday September 17, when a taxi dropped him off at his usual spot near Lions Club Drive.
Police are still hunting for the person or persons responsible for Mr Mullaly’s death but they believe his financial status, in stark contradiction to the itinerant life he led, may have been a motive.
A hat where Reginald Mullaly was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
While detectives found about $70 in Mr Mullaly’s wallet at the crime scene, his attackers may have been disappointed to find he did not have a bank card to access the money in his account.
He inherited tens of thousands of dollars after his mother died a few years ago but resisted putting it towards accommodation.
It was no secret that Mr Mullaly had money but the exact figure would fluctuate depending on who you spoke to in town.
Reginald Mullaly was last seen getting out a taxi on September 17 last year. Photo: NSW Police
Twice a week he would withdraw enough cash to cover his daily routine, which seldom changed.
Some days he would sit beside Kerry Hodge, as he strummed his guitar and sang Johnny Cash songs on the Howick Street footpath.
“With his little bag alongside him, he would have a bit of a beer hidden and he kept it so nobody could see his beer,” Mr Hodge said.
Detective Senior Constable Adrian Graham stands near the shelter where Reginald Mullaly’s body was found. Photo: Kate Geraghty
“But I knew and I didn’t mind because he never, ever, ever, said anything to upset me.
“Then he would come along with bread and feed the little sparrows.
“Now that he is gone, I am feeding the sparrows for him.”
Reginald Mullaly’s sister Dawn holds a lock of his hair. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Mr Hodge, who was one of the last people to see “Reggie” alive, had heard that Mr Mullaly often knocked back offers for accommodation.
Despite his generosity, people would sometimes confront Mr Mullaly for money, Mr Hodge said.
One of five children, Mr Mullaly was well known in the area, having grown up fishing and shooting on a property near Newbridge, about 30 kilometres outside Bathurst.
Kerry Hodge, a friend of Reginald Mullaly and one of the last people to see him alive. Photo: Kate Geraghty
He moved between the family property and his sister Dawn’s house in Bathurst and worked as a wardsman at the Bathurst Base Hospital and a shearer in adulthood.
But it was his penchant for a drink and Dawn’s loathing for alcohol that often caused their relationship to become unstuck.
“He lived with me for 13 months and just one day he would pick up with fellas that he knew,” Dawn said.
“He always knew he could come back [to my house] but the conditions were no drink and you smoke your rollies outside.”
They were simple conditions that would have put a roof over his head. Yet Mr Mullaly wanted to do things his way, even if it meant sleeping in the dirt between two bridge pillars.
“Say he lived with you and you had the TV too loud, if you started the mower or vacuum cleaner or you were watching Home and Away on TV, that would be enough to make him pack up and leave,” Dawn said.
“He packed up and left in what he stood up in.
“I just don’t understand it because Dad was a hard worker and mum was and the four of us girls don’t drink.”
Former police detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara have been found guilty of murdering Sydney man Jamie Gao during a drug deal.
Jamie Gao murder trial: Jurors in case of Roger Rogerson, Glen McNamara begin deliberations
UPDATE 2pm 02/06/16
Three men walk into a shed. Only two men come out alive. They were former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara.
In his closing address to a NSW Supreme Court jury, Crown Prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC argued there were 29 reasons why the pair should be found guilty of the murder of Jamie Gao and stealing the drugs he had brought to a meeting.
“These are the main or important circumstances that the Crown relies upon,” Mr Maxwell said before starting his list below.
1. Glen McNamara had 27 meetings with the deceased Jamie Gao in the lead up to his death on May 20, 2014.
2. Mr McNamara claims the meetings were for research on his next true crime book on Asian gangs and drugs in Sydney. The Crown says his lack of notes taken prove this is not the case.
3. Roger Rogerson obtained six keys to the shed where Mr Gao was killed from a friend in early March and only returned five keys.
4. The arrival of two Asian men in Australia – who the Crown allege were there to facilitate the drug deal – and their presence on Arab Road where Mr Gao gets into a car with Mr McNamara.
5. Mr Rogerson visits Rent a Space – the storage facility where Mr Gao is killed – on April 2 and again with Mr McNamara on April 4.
6. Google searches found on Mr McNamara’s computer of the same calibre firearm that would later be used to shoot and kill Mr Gao.
7. The frequency of telephone calls between Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara between January and May 2014, particularly around the times when Mr McNamara meets with Mr Gao.
8. The purchase of BV67PX – a white Ford Falcon station wagon that the Crown alleges was acquired by Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara on April 27. This was later used to transport the body of the deceased.
9. The statements Jamie Gao made to his friends and associates – he once told his cousin Justin Gao that he was going to take part in an ice deal and “he said it was going to be massive”.
10. Mr McNamara removes his boat from storage the day before Mr Gao’s death and returns it the day after. The boat was used to dispose of Mr Gao’s body at sea.
11. Mr Rogerson goes to Rent a Space the day before the killing and removes two chairs from unit 803. He returns them two days later.
12. Mr McNamara parks his blue Ford Falcon on the street on May 19.
13. The way Mr McNamara was dressed on May 20 – he was wearing a dark hooded jacket and sunglasses.
14. Mr McNamara had the gate code and keys to unit 803 on May 20.
15. The way in which Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara parked their respective cars on Arab Road minutes before Mr Gao was due to arrive.
16. The way Mr McNamara parked the white station wagon BV67PX outside unit 803 and shielded Mr Gao so that he would not been seen on CCTV as he entered the shed.
17. Mr Rogerson enters the storage shed three minutes and 19 seconds after Mr McNamara and Mr Gao enter.
18. Mr McNamara brings a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag which is used to place the deceased’s body inside.
19. Mr Rogerson brings ropes and tarpaulin to the storage shed on the day of the killing.
20. Mr McNamara’s garage was used to transfer the deceased into a boat.
21. Mr Rogerson was present at Kennard’s Hire and assisted in hiring a chain block to move Mr Gao’s body.
22. Mr Rogerson’s actions inside Mr McNamara’s Cronulla apartment after Mr Gao is killed. Mr McNamara’s daughter Jessica claims that she saw Mr Rogerson tapping a dark coloured object in his pockets.
23. The gunshot residue on Mr Rogerson’s hat and from the pockets of his black tracksuit pants.
24. The disposal of the body of Mr Gao at sea on May 21. It was found floating off the shores of Cronulla by fishermen on May 26.
25. Mr McNamara disposes of a bag of clothing on May 21.
26. Two pillowcases, a jug and a measuring spoon were bought from Kmart on May 22 – these items are used to repackage the three kilograms of ice.
27. The involvement of a man named Adam Borg and the attempts made to get the untraceable car BV67PX towed after it is used to transport the deceased’s body.
28. A meeting at Sydney Airport on May 28 between Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson.
29. After the police tow away the car BV67PX with the drugs inside, Mr McNarama uses a payphone to call Karl Bonnette, a man who the Crown argues helped the two accused to purchase the car.
Mr Maxwell ended his closing address by looking at the jury and saying: “It will be your solemn obligation to return a verdict of guilty in relation to both counts against both accused.”
A jury has started to consider verdicts in the trial of former police officers Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson, over the shooting murder of a young Sydney man during a drug deal.
Jamie Gao, 20, was shot twice inside a storage unit in Sydney’s south-west on May 20, 2014.
Prosecutors said his body was later dumped at sea near Cronullausing McNamara’s boat.
Both men adopted vastly different versions of what happened inside unit 803 at Rent-a-Space Padstow.
McNamara claimed Rogerson got into a heated argument with Mr Gao about drugs.
He said Mr Gao pulled out a knife and simultaneously, Rogerson grabbed a gun from his pocket and fired it.
McNamara said Rogerson then threatened to kill him and his daughters if he did not help move the body.
But Rogerson told the jury Mr Gao was dead on the floor of the unit by the time he entered.
He said he was told Mr Gao had pulled the gun on McNamara and the shooting happened during a struggle.
‘We’re both innocent’: recorded prison phone call
Phone calls McNamara made to his daughters from prison after his arrest gave no indication he was planning to turn on his friend.
“It’s an almost non-existent circumstantial case, this case. There’s no evidence. We’re both completely innocent,” McNamara said in one call.
The crown alleges both men formed an agreement to kill Mr Gao and steal drugs from him.
On the day before the shooting, McNamara took his boat out of storage and Rogerson removed two office chairs from unit 803.
Both were described as acts of preparation for the murder.
McNamara had held 27 meetings with Mr Gao in the months before the shooting.
He said they were all about research for a book he was planning to write about Asian crime gangs.
But prosecutors said there was virtually no evidence he had made any notes of his research and the real purpose of the meetings was to organise a drug deal.
McNamara said he only cooperated with Rogerson after the shooting under duress.
Rogerson has denied making any threats and his barrister told the jury, unlike McNamara, his client made no attempt to hide his appearance on the day of the shooting.
Jamie Gao murder: Jury in Roger Rogerson, Glen McNamara murder trial retires
June 2, 2016 12:40pm
AMY DALE Chief court reporterThe Daily Telegraph
THE jury in the murder trial of former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara has retired to consider their verdicts.
Justice Geoffrey Bellew officially sent the Supreme Court jury of seven men and five women out at 12.35pm telling them
“I am directing you to reach unanimous verdicts in respect of each count”.
“If at any stage of your deliberations you would like me to repeat any direction I’ve given you or elaborate…you must ask.
“It is fundamentally important that you understand the directions of law I have given you.”
The jury has been hearing evidence in the trial of Rogerson, 75, and McNamara, 57, since early February.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to murdering 20-year-old Jamie Gao inside a Padstow storage unit on the afternoon of May 20, 2014, and to taking part in the supply of 2.78kg of ice, allegedly brought by the university student to shed 803 of Rent A Space.
While both men have a right to silence, and were under no obligation to give evidence, they chose to take the witness stand and give their accounts over several gruelling days of questioning by their own lawyers, as well as cross examination.
What emerged were two very different stories, told in starkly contrasting manners.
McNamara, his voice often becoming distressed in recounting, says Rogerson shot Gao while “seeing with anger” over the handover of drugs and cash, and then threatened the safety of McNamara and the lives of his daughters if he didn’t co-operate with the disposal of the body.
Rogerson, whose voice remained steady as he gripped the witness box with both hands each day, said that by the time he entered the storage unit Gao was already lying dead on the floor, with his friend McNamara telling him that the young man had “shot himself” during a “real struggle” between the pair for the gun.
“He was going to kill me …(if we don’t leave here soon) this place will be swarming with Chinese assassins,” Rogerson claimed McNamara warned him.
He says he agreed to help out of trust for the man he considered “at that time a very good friend of mine.”
Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the jury — as he did in his opening address in the early days of February — that they do not have to determine which man was the shooter in order to return verdicts of guilty to murder, as they are being tried under a joint criminal enterprise.
Mr Maxwell presented to the jury lists of circumstances he said prosecutors have revealed in the evidence as proof of the Crown case beyond reasonable doubt.
For McNamara, they include the more than 20 meetings he had with Gao. in the months before the execution, documented by CCTV footage and text message exchanges, and internet searches on his laptop for the type of firearm that police believe was used to kill the 20-year-old.
The murder weapon has never been found.
McNamara said in his evidence that he was meeting with Gao because the university student was a source for a planned true crime book on drug syndicates in Asian triad gangs, but Mr Maxwell said there has been no evidence of written notes made by the 57-year-old for this book.
Prosecutors have also pointed to Rogerson making a trip to Rent A Space the day before the murder to remove office furniture from the shed that had been leased by his friend Michael Maguire, who has since died from cancer.
McNamara’s barrister Gabriel Wendler told the jury in his closing address this week that, if
Rogerson had not been responsible for the shooting then he must be “the unluckiest guy in the world”, pointing to the traces of gunshot residue that were found on the clothes the 75-year-old was wearing on the day, as well as a fingerprint of his that was detected on the receipt for the white Ford Falcon at the centre of the murder.
“Can you seriously see Glen McNamara executing Mr Gao, a man the same age as one of his daughters?” Mr Wendler asked the jury.
“A person with whom he had built up a relationship with?”
Rogerson’s counsel George Thomas in turn rubbished the suggestion his client acted in a “joint criminal enterprise” with McNamara, drawing on the window of three minutes and 19 seconds when his client was not inside shed 803.
Mr Thomas also suggested to the jury that if there had been a plan all along to kill the university student, then both Rogerson and McNamara would have waited inside to “ambush” Gao.
Mr Thomas said “Glen McNamara intended to kill Jamie Gao”.
“That was why the surfboard bag [in which Gao’s body was removed from the shed] was there [in McNamara’s car]. It was how the body was to be taken out,” Mr Thomas said.
He said that, if there had been a plan to kill Gao all along on Rogerson’s part, he would have been in the shed at the same time as the other two, “not arrive later.”
“What is the point of that?” Mr Thomas asked the jury.
“[If that was the plan] you would have Rogerson [already] in there to do the killing, you would have the surfboard bag ready … have the site properly prepared if there is a planned execution.”
Jamie Gao murder trial: Rogerson and McNamara gave ‘unbelievable’ versions of events, court hears
Two former police officers charged with the murder of Sydney student Jamie Gao have given “far-fetched and unbelievable” versions of what happened, prosecutors say.
In his closing address at the murder trial of Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson, prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the jury both men were part of an agreement to kill Mr Gao and steal almost three kilograms of the drug ice.
The court heard the pair used a car that could not be traced to transport Mr Gao from the Padstow storage unit where he was shot on May 20, 2014.
Rogerson said he was not involved in acquiring the white Ford Falcon station wagon, but his fingerprint was found on the receipt for its purchase.
Mr Maxwell said McNamara’s boat was taken out of storage the day before the shooting, “to make Jamie Gao disappear”.
The court heard it was used to dump the body at sea the day after the 20-year-old was killed, and the boat was then returned to storage.
McNamara said Rogerson shot and killed Mr Gao before threatening him and his family.
Courts hears of meetings in months before alleged murder
Rogerson said he found Mr Gao already dead and was told he had pulled a gun on McNamara, who tried to defend himself.
“Jamie Gao shot himself twice in a struggle?” Mr Maxwell asked.
“It never happened like that,” Mr Maxwell added.
“It is far-fetched and unbelievable.”
Mr Gao had told his cousin Justin Gao he was going to be involved in a massive drug deal with a man called ‘Glen’ that was going to make him rich.
He held a number of meetings with McNamara in the months before his death and the men were also in contact by text message.
Mr Maxwell said Rogerson knew all about it, because he was in regular phone contact with McNamara, including around the time of a number of the meetings with Mr Gao.
The jury was told McNamara tried to shield Mr Gao from CCTV cameras at the Padstow storage complex.
During his evidence, McNamara said he was meeting Mr Gao as a source for a book he was writing about Asian crime gangs but learnt that Mr Gao was being followed by triads.
Mr Maxwell dismissed this, saying McNamara and Rogerson did things in preparation for the killing.
“Both of them knew what was to happen after Jamie Gao entered unit 803 at 1:46pm on the 20th of May,” he said.
“It’s clear one of the accused shot Jamie Gao.
“To convict both accused, you don’t have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, who was the shooter.”
Barrister Charles Waterstreet probed for contempt of court over social media posts in McNamara and Rogerson murder trial
Charles Waterstreet (left) arrives at the murder trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara in July. Photo: Ben Rushton
High-profile criminal barrister Charles Waterstreet may face contempt of court charges for alleged social media posts which had the potential to prejudice the trial of his client Glen McNamara and co-accused Roger Rogerson.
On Thursday, Justice Geoffrey Bellew formally vacated the trial of Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson for the murder of university student Jamie Gao during a botched drug deal.
The trial was scheduled to go ahead on Monday, but will not proceed until early next year.
Justice Bellew ordered the registrar of the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court to investigate Mr Waterstreet for contempt of court.
On Tuesday, as pre-trial hearings were under way, Justice Bellew was told of a post on an Instagram account in Mr Waterstreet’s name, being charleswaterstreet.
The post contained a picture of Mr Waterstreet and another man and was taken in the vicinity of the Darlinghurst Supreme Court.
It had a caption, the contents of which Justice Bellew has suppressed.
Mr Waterstreet told Justice Bellew he did not post the picture and caption.
The court also heard a Twitter account in Mr Waterstreet’s name at @ccwaterstreet posted a link to the Instagram post.
Justice Bellew said he had “no practical alternative” to vacate the trial despite the considerable expense to the taxpayer.
He said it was no fault of the court, the “criminal justice system”, the Crown, Mr Rogerson’s solicitor and barrister or Mr McNamara’s solicitor and said each had worked diligently to ensure the trial proceeded efficiently.
“To say the vacation of the trial is unfortunate would be a gross understatement,” he said.
But he said Mr McNamara, through no fault of his own, was suddenly left without a barrister on Wednesday morning, just days from the opening date, and to proceed would potentially rob him of a fair trial.
Former Liberal NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith, SC, appeared in court, saying Mr McNamara wanted to retain him and Mr Waterstreet’s junior counsel Peter Lange. However, he would not be able to take on the case until next year.
Mr Rogerson’s barrister, George Thomas, argued strongly for the trial to be put back for only two weeks, arguing a competent and experienced barrister who is available to take on the case could get across the brief in that time.
He also accused Mr McNamara of instructing Mr Waterstreet to act in a way that caused the case to go off the rails.
However, Justice Bellew dismissed any suggestion Mr McNamara was behind Mr Waterstreet’s alleged actions.
He also said any barrister taking over the case would need much more than two weeks to get across the volumes of material to be tendered during the trial.
Mr Smith said he was hoping the Legal Aid Commission would approve his retainer.
Mr Thomas said that, as Mr McNamara’s defence was funded by Legal Aid, he did not have the luxury of choosing his own barrister and should take whoever was available.
Both Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Gao in a storage unit in Padstow last year.
Following the revelation of the social media posts, Mr Waterstreet was given time to get legal advice. He consulted noted appeal barrister Tim Game, SC.
On Wednesday, Mr Waterstreet sought the court’s leave to withdraw from the case.
Mr Game, appearing for Mr Waterstreet, told the court he had advised his client to step down, although this did not constitute an admission of wrongdoing.
Crown Prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, and Mr Game agreed Mr Waterstreet should be referred to the registrar for investigation.
In referring Mr Waterstreet, Justice Bellew ordered the registrar to seek and adhere to the “advice of the Crown Solicitor as to whether proceedings for contempt should be taken against Mr Waterstreet”.
He also ordered the registrar to inform the Attorney-General, Gabrielle Upton.
Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murder trial of Jamie Gao hearing to begin for the 2nd time on August 18 2015
These 2 pathetic (and stupid) coppers go on trial today TRIAL aborted on the 2nd day! for the alleged botched drug theft gone wrong resulting in the murder of Jamie Gao
Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murder trial of Jamie Gao hearing to begin on August 18 2015
New trial date: former detectives Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson will appear before the NSW Supreme Court on August 18. Photo: Rocco Fazzari
Former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara will face a new trial over the murder of Sydney student Jamie Gao on August 18, following the discharge of the jury in their first trial.
Justice Geoff Bellew told the NSW Supreme Court that the new trial date for the pair had been confirmed, lifting a non-publication order made on Tuesday.
Mr Rogerson, 74, and Mr McNamara, 56, are accused of being part of a “joint criminal enterprise” to murder Mr Gao, 20, in a southern Sydney storage unit on May 20 last year.
Twenty-year-old Jamie Gao was killed on May 22, 2014. Photo: Facebook
It is alleged that they stole 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice from him and then dumped his body off the coast of Cronulla. It was found six days later.
Half way through the trial’s second day on Tuesday, Justice Bellew discharged the 15-member jury for legal reasons which cannot be disclosed.
Both accused have pleaded not guilty to murder and drug supply.
Counsel for Mr McNamara, Charles Waterstreet told the jury on Tuesday that Mr Rogerson had been solely responsible for the murder.
He said the 74-year-old had shot Mr Gao twice in the chest and then threatened to kill Mr McNamara and his family if he did not help him to cover up the crime.
No evidence was presented to support these claims before the jury was discharged.
Counsel for Mr Rogerson, George Thomas, did not have the opportunity to address the jury before members were discharged.
On Tuesday Justice Bellew said the NSW sheriff had confirmed that a court was available on August 18 to begin a new trial, and he formally set down that date.
TWO former detectives charged with murdering a Sydney student will go on trial before a jury today. Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson face charges of murdering 20-year-old UTS student Jamie Gao in May last year. They are also accused of drug supply. Their trial at the NSW Supreme Court at Darlinghurst is expected to get underway later this morning. Police have alleged the pair lured Gao to a storage unit in Sydney’s southwest, with Mr Gao attending the meeting carrying almost three kilograms of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine.
Roger Rogerson.Source: DailyTelegraph
Former detective Glen McNamara being escorted to prison after his arrest.Source: News Corp Australia
Police have alleged the trio were spotted on CCTV entering the storage unit. Ten minutes later, cameras allegedly captured McNamara and Rogerson leaving, dragging a surfboard bag. Mr Gao’s bound body was found floating in waters off Sydney six days later. Both McNamara and Rogerson deny the charges and entered not guilty pleas at a previous hearing. In January they waived their right to a committal hearing in order to get to trial as soon as possible.
The body of Mahmoud, a 16-year-old former Granville High School student, was found beaten and unrecognisable in a derelict house on Belmore Street in Fairfield East on May 17.
The Fairfield house where the body of Mahmoud Hrouk was found.
It is understood Mahmoud met Terkmani, whom he considered a friend, at Villawood McDonald’s on May 16. The pair arrived at 6.30pm and stayed for about an hour.
A 22-year-old man has been charged over Mahmoud Hrouk’s sexual assault and murder. Photo: Facebook
Mahmoud called his mother about 9.40pm but the call cut out.
The bike he had ridden to the McDonald’s was seen on Mitchell Street that night and found on Melaleuca Street the next day.
Mahmoud’s mother, Maha Dunia, has described her son as “a beautiful boy” and her best friend.
Police said he was hardworking and had no criminal history. Their investigations are ongoing.
Terkmani will appear in Campbelltown Local Court via video link next week.
Police have revealed Mahmoud Hrouk, 16 was sexually assaulted before he was beaten to death.
His bloodied body was found by his family in an abandoned house after a trip to McDonald’s. In a disturbing twist, police now say 16-year-old Mahmoud Hrouk was also sexually violated.
Panicked relatives stumbled across his body in Fairfield East in Sydney’s west, two months ago. He had been bashed to death.
Detectives hunting his killer have now revealed Mahmoud was sexually assaulted either before or at the time of his death, Fairfax reports.
The level of brutality Mahmoud endured has shocked police.
Mahmoud Hrouk, 16 was reported missing on Saturday May 16, 2014. He was last seen alive at a Villawood McDonalds.Source: Facebook
Maha Dunia with a photo of her murdered son Mahmoud Hrouk.Source: News Corp Australia
The derelict house in Villawood where Mahmoud Hrouk was murdered.Source: News Corp Australia
“In my experience, I’ve never seen anything like it … it’s gut-wrenching. What happened to this boy is terrible; it shouldn’t happen to anyone,” Detective Sergeant Olivares told Fairfax, describing the boy as a “model child”.
“This is separate from organised crime; it’s a more individual, more opportunistic crime. We certainly don’t think it was planned.”
Police are struggling to find a motive for such a violent murder.
He was found covered in wounds and suffered internal injuries also. Until now, it was thought that was the only horror he endured, but after the sexual assault revelations, the full extent of Mahmoud’s suffering has become clear.
Whoever killed Mahmoud Hrouk could possibly have taken his bloodied clothing, including running shoes and long dark pants, police say.
Mahmoud’s mother Maha Dunia last spoke to her son at 9.40pm on Saturday, May 16, when he asked her to pick him up from a friend’s place on Mitchell St but the call cut out halfway through the conversation.
He was last seen eating a burger at Villawood McDonald’s about 6.30pm.
The family of Mahmoud Hrouk need to know why their son was brutally killed.Source: Facebook
The next morning, after searching the streets of Villawood and Fairfield East, the family were told to check a vacant house on Belmore St, where local teens had been seen gathering in recent months.
It was inside they made the traumatic discovery.
“I need to know: why would you bash a 16-year-old? Are you Muslim, Jewish, Christian? You cannot do this in any religion. You cannot kill,” Ms Dunia told the Daily Telegraph.
“God takes the soul from us, not you.”
Holding a photo of her son, Ms Dunia said: “I need to know why. I know it’s not going to bring my son back but I need to know why. I need to know what did he do to deserve this.
“No mother in the world deserves this pain. To lose a son, that’s it. You feel like the whole world doesn’t mean anything to you. You feel like something from your heart is taken out.”
When the phone vibrated in my pocket in September 2007, I had no idea the incoming call would plunge me into the middle of Australia’s biggest Mafia investigation in decades.
I was also unaware that the caller, who identified himself as “Stan”, was, in fact, a driven and entrepreneurial drug trafficker from Griffith, NSW, called Pat Barbaro.
Federal Police and Customs agents with some of the Ecstasy and Cocaine after the drug bust. Photo: John Woudstra
Barbaro had organised the world’s biggest ecstasy shipment into Melbourne in June 2007. But by the time he rang me, three months later, he was unable to locate the shipping container packed with his $500 million load.
Calling me, and then sending a series of texts from several mobile phones registered in fake names, was part of a desperate plan by Barbaro to either locate his shipment or confirm his suspicions that the police had seized his drugs.
He was hoping I would reach out to police or waterfront sources to do this, and then report my findings. To say his plan failed spectacularly would be an understatement.
Unbeknownst to either me or “Stan,” police were intercepting the text messages, which included detailed descriptions of the size and likely location of the drug shipment. These text messages, and analysis of the corresponding metadata, were used to prove Barbaro had organised the drug shipment.
But that was not the only implication. Over the past six months, federal police have used the scenario as a case study to convince the Federal Government of the need to pass laws ensuring telcos store the metadata generated when a person uses a phone or computer.
As the hulking Barbaro walked around Melbourne’s CBD, meeting bikies, South Asian money launderers and other Mafia bosses, he carried up to a dozen phones. One was his personal mobile, with a subscription under his own name.
The other phones were “burners”, which were registered in false names and regularly replaced with new phones. The problem for Barbaro is that these burners were hitting the same mobile phone towers as his regular phone.
Barbaro’s personal phone and the burners were pinging off the same towers so often that police were able to prove the burners belonged to Barbaro.
According to the Director of Public Prosecution’s Andrea Pavleka, the texts sent from the “Stan” burners “showed that Barbaro had critical knowledge of the contents of that container”.
“That was a terrific link for the prosecution to have in this particular matter.”
Back in 2007, I knew none of this.
In fact, had I known my communications were being intercepted, I would have been furious.
Many of my sources are banned by their employer from speaking to me, or any other reporter, so the prospect of any innocent whistleblower being outed would have concerned me greatly.
I only learned this many months later of the interception. From all the checks I have since conducted – and there have been many – no source of mine was compromised and the AFP agents involved acted professionally and with regard to the sensitivities of my trade.
That said, ever since 2007, I have implemented a range of measures to protect sources’ communications — steps not unlike those suggested by Malcolm Turnbull during the recent debate about metadata.
Ever since the phone buzzed that day in my pocket, and “Stan” briefly entered my life, I’ve been especially conscious about how a person’s communications leave a trail, no matter how careful they are. It is a lesson the now jailed Barbaro has, no doubt, also learned well.
Watch part two of a joint Fairfax and ABC Four Corners mafia investigation on ABC1 8.30 PM Monday.