Cop pleads not guilty to starting devastating fire

More than 70 homes were destroyed by the fire which swept through Roleystone and Kelmscott

It is an interesting story this one. WE could say is a cop have more a responsibility to uphold regulations like total fire bans, is he paying the price for being a cop.Or the devastation he caused means he needs to be prosecuted just like any other idiot who is outside abusing the law on a TOTAL FIRE BAN day? I am looking forward to responses on this one readers…

A Perth police officer has pleaded not guilty to starting a fire which destroyed 72 homes in the hills suburbs of Kelmscott and Roleystone.

Investigators believe sparks from an angle grinder started the February blaze.

Robert James Stevens, who was off duty at the time, has been charged with carrying out an activity in the open that could cause a fire.

A total fire ban was in place on the day of the fire.

Mr Stevens, 56, pleaded not guilty in the Armadale Magistrates Court today.

Outside the court, his lawyer Jeremy Scudds maintained his client’s innocence.

“He maintains his plea of not guilty and he looks forward to the matter being determined by the court,” he said.

He said Mr Stevens is grateful for community support. Well obviously their homes were not burnt down then!

“He does have a lot of support from the community and we thank the community for that,” he said.

A one day trial has been set down for December. Well what does that tell you?

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Letter about Jason Downie


FOR the first time, an Adelaide court has heard the circumstances and motive behind the massacre of Kapunda’s Rowe family.

Andrew, Rose and Chantelle Rowe were found dead in their home in Kapunda. Supplied

Jason Downie murdered Andrew, Rose and Chantelle Rowe because of his sexual obsession with 16-year-old Chantelle.

Details of what occurred inside the Harriet St home in November 2010 were revealed in the Supreme Court this morning.

Prosecutors told the court that Downie had an unwanted and unreturned sexual infatuation with Chantelle in the months leading up to the triple murder.

They said she put up with his unwanted attitude because he was friends with her boyfriend.

However, prosecutors stressed that at no time was Chantelle in a relationship with Downie.

Prosecutors also described horrific new details about the murder scene, saying it would “not be an exaggeration” to call it blood-soaked.

They said Andrew and Chantelle were each stabbed in excess of 30 times by Downie.

Prosecutors said that while murdering Chantelle, Downie also raped her.

Following the attack, he removed her damaged clothing and re-dressed her in clean clothes.

Chantelle’s mother, Rose, was stabbed in excess of 50 times, including while she was crawling on her hands and knees.

The court has also heard highly emotional victim impact statements from relatives and friends of the Rowe family.

Downie, who confessed to the killings, showed little reaction during many of those statements.

However, he glared at Andrew’s sister when she confronted him across the courtroom and asked what right he had to “take away three angels”.

At the start of today’s hearing, Downie again pleaded guilty to three counts of murder committed on November 8, 2010 .

His pleas were confirmed at the insistence of Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Pallaras, QC.

In an unusual move, Mr Pallaras had last month asked Justice John Sulan to “re-arraign” Downie before sentencing submissions were heard.

“We are aware of a conversation had by the accused, with his brother, in which he expressed an attitude inconsistent with his plea,” Mr Pallaras told the court on February 7.

“That attitude is also found in a letter he wrote, to his mother, on an earlier date.

“We are concerned that his pleas of guilty be seen to be unequivocal… the last thing we want is a reversal of plea.

“We urge Your Honour to confirm that he has consciously pleaded guilty and that those are unequivocal pleas of guilty to these charges.”

Justice Sulan is now hearing sentencing submissions – including an expected 26 victim impact statements written by the family’s surviving son, Christopher, and their friends and family.

Five days after the murders, a TV crew recorded Downie visiting a memorial for the Rowe family.

He was seen walking along their property’s rear fence and pausing to look at flowers and cards before walking off.

Downie was arrested on November 16, 2010, after voluntarily attending the Kapunda police station.

Just hours before, detectives had contacted one of his workmates and asked that he “bring Downie in” for questioning.

Downie’s outsider status was backed up by his profiles on social networking websites.

They revealed his hatred for Kapunda – which he dubbed “Krapunda” – but also claimed he was popular.

It listed him as being “in a relationship” and said he enjoyed “partying and hanging out with my friends”.

“I love my sport, I am very active on and off the basketball court if you know what I mean,” he wrote.

The sites also detailed his love of basketball and the Saw horror movies, as well as his devotion to his mother, despite their occasional clashes.

Both of Downie’s pages listed Chantelle as a friend.

The “best thing” to ever happen to Downie, he wrote on one site, was “leaving school”, while his worst fear was “not seeing my family”.

“Love my family in Scotland, haven’t seen them for six years,” he wrote.

“I grew up without a dad since I was two months old, so I have been raised up by my mum all my life . . . I respect and love her to death, even though we have our bad moments.”

AdelaideNow understands Downie’s birth certificate does not list the identity of his father.

His brother, Jamie, was living in Kapunda at the time of the murders.

His half-sister, Jodie, lives in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and was in regular correspondence with her brother prior to his arrest.


Getting any news in relation to the Jason Downie case is very frustrating.I have been sitting on an email I received form a person claiming to be from Scotland and connected to his family over there. It raises some very interesting things and I have decided to post it here in full (Although not revealing who sent it to me). Have a read and lets see what it brings to the table.

I  know for a fact that people from all “Sorts of places” follow this thread at the very least and may be quite interested in its contents. So here it is, opinions welcome as usual…

Jason Downie, awaiting trial for triple Murder

(Outright Abuse and Trolling will not be tolerated. The following is as written in original form minus author identity)

I’m contacting you because you have been following the Rowe murders on your blog and you may be
interested in a heads up on a line the defence may take.

Let me me introduce myself my name is *****  ******* and I live in Kilmarnock, Scotland. I am
friendly with Jacqui and Ronnie Weir who are godmother and godfather to the boy accused of
killing the Rowe family.

I have always found them to be nice people but recently they have started saying some suff that isn’t right.
When we found out that their godson had been charged wth a triple murder we were shocked but weren’t
surprised to hear them say he was 100% innocent and supported them. I avoided reading anything to do
with the murders because I knew it would portray the boy as guilty and as he hadn’t been tried yet so reckoned
he deserved a fair go. I was also persuaded by the strong arguments of his godmother saying that he didn’t do it.

Then about three weeks ago the attitude suddenly changed. His godmother started putting it round
that Chantelle has ‘messed with his mind’ and basically talked him into murdering her parents only
it all backfired because Jason sussed he was being used and snapped, killing Chantelle as well.
I think this is lies. I think it is a slur on an innocent family who aren’t here to defend themselves.
Still I think it is worth people knowing that this is being put about.

More than anything else it is such a sudden change of story. One minute Downie’s family are
convinced he’s 100% innocent. The next they blame the Rowes for inciting their own murder.
My guess is new and damning evidence against Jason Downie has been uncovered and they
are trying to get him a reduced sentence by making it seem like he was provoked. I don’t know
what Aussie courts are like but here in Scotland smears against the victims like that can mean
a reduced sentence.

I don’t believe in the death penalty but I do believe that life should mean life and if as I now
know Downie is guilty of these murders he should never be freed from prison. If the defence
can make it look like he was provoked he might get a lighter sentence. No matter whether or not
Downie did do it the Rowes don’t deserve to be slandered like this. Like I say none of us know all
the evidence against Downie yet but his family are acting like he’s guilty and are slandering the victims.
It’s not right.

If you want to use any of this on your blog you can but the Weirs are pretty rough people and I may be
attacked or driven out my home for speaking out against them so I am asking you not to use my real
name or just refer to me as ‘an insider’ ‘a friend’ or ‘a neighbour’. If you want to pass any of this onto
lawyers acting for the prosecution that is fine too. It might help them out if they know what Downie’s
defence are thinking. The Rowes have been though enough. If there is a decent bone left in Downies body
he’ll plead guilty but with what has been said recently I think he is going to blacken Chantelles name to get
an easy sentence. This needs to be stopped.



Chartwell boss Ian Rau jailed

Chartwell boss Ian Rau

Ian Rau has been jailed for 31 months.

DISGRACED Chartwell Enterprise boss Ian Rau was today jailed for 31 months in the Supreme Court over the Geelong company’s $80 million demise.

The fraudster pleaded guilty to several dishonesty charges after the share trading company collapsed in April 2008 leaving investors with nothing.

In a bid for a reduced sentenced, Rau signed an undertaking in court that he would be “full and frank” when he gives evidence against former business partner Graeme Hoy,

who has pleaded not guilty to more than 200 fraud charges.

Rau was in charge of the trading while Hoy had the role of luring new investors to the business that operated as a Ponzi Scheme – one investor’s money used to pay another investor’s interest.

Investors were promised returns of up to 80 per cent depending on how many people they recommended and how much cash they poured in.

More than $21 million was invested in Chartwell between 2007 to 2008 but only about $429,000 was traded.

Rau used investors’ money to renovate his Newtown mansion, while it’s alleged Mr Hoy used the cash to buy a luxury yacht and Rolls Royces.

Justice Terry Forrest described Rau’s actions as disgraceful.

“You buried your head in the sand and hoped Mr Hoy would sort it out,” Justice Forrest said.

Rau had pleaded guilty to eight charges, including counts of providing false information to investors and carrying on a financial services business without a licence.Rau will serve 18 months.

He and Graeme Hoy ruined many lives, some even committed suicide,here are some Reader Comments

The two ripoff merchants, Former Chartwell company secretary Ian Rau outside Geelong Magistrates Court, right, and Graeme Hoy leaves the court yesterday, left.

This goes to show, CRIME DOES PAY. I too would steal over 21million if I knew I was only going to
serve 18months of jail. Another of many many cases of where justice has NOT been served and the
victims are worse off than the crooks.

Posted by: TDS of Geelong 4:10pm today
Comment 12 of 12

Posted by: Mark of Geelong 1:05pm today
Comment 1 of 12

Jailed for 31 months, will serve 18 months??

obviously Rau is not being held accountable for his actions. Karma will bite him in the butt. I

would not want to have to look in the mirror if I had ruined so many lives.

Posted by: Just another sucker of Highton 3:11pm today
Comment 11 of 12

How many families have been destroyed by suicide after people lost their life savings.
Unfortunately they all have a life sentence. Should have been more serious prison term.

Posted by: Life sentence of Geelong 2:51pm today
Comment 10 of 12

Although the investors were lured by their own greed some of them lost 30 or 40 years of savings but
this parasite will be walking the streets again in 18 months.If only several hundred thousand of the
21 million was traded where did the rest go? Hidden away for use after the pathetic jail term is
served,smells of Clarke and Farrow all over again

Posted by: w brown of geelong 2:12pm today
Comment 9 of 12

Unbelievable! He has ruined so many peoples lives and knew exactly what he was doing, I am enraged
that he has got off so lightly, where is the justice? All the other people the next level down
should also be prosecuted for helping get investors in, we were told it was a completely legit
investment company, and had no idea that it was shonky. May karma deal him and Hoy what they
deserve, the justice system sure isn’t.

Posted by: Affected by his crimes of Geelong 2:11pm today
Comment 8 of 12

31 months you have got to be joking. What more can you say, this sentence is a disgrace. He is
basically getting away with it.

Posted by: Rodney of Newtown 1:59pm today
Comment 7 of 12

It is great to see some form of justice meted out to white collar criminals such as Rau. The only
disappointing aspect is the leniency of the sentence. How does 34 months in jail equate to those
many people whose lives have been destroyed as a result of the greed and criminality of Mr. Rau and
his colleagues. In simple terms it doesn’t!

Posted by: rod smyrk 1:40pm today
Comment 6 of 12

How does the justice system work. 31 months but out in 18 months for stealing $80 million and
destroying so many lives. And no doubt when he gets out, all his share of the money will be waiting
for him. It should have been more like 31 years and out in 18 years.

Posted by: Paul of Geelong 1:30pm today
Comment 5 of 12

Oh really, only 31 months! Bit soft! Nevertheless, I sincerely hope he is also banned from having
any involvement or similar employment roles upon his release.

Posted by: More Deserved of Geelong 1:27pm today
Comment 4 of 12

18 months for $80mil, worth the risk! Victims (some may say suckers) must be happy with the

Posted by: Phil of Grovedale 1:15pm today
Comment 3 of 12

Rau gets out in 18 months, while those investors who have lost their life savings; many with little
or no chance to regain them; suffer for life. If this offence is not worth at least 10 years, then
what is? The legal system lets us all down again.

Posted by: Lock him away of Geelong 1:09pm today
Comment 2 of 12