#AceNewsReport – May.11: Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad were notified and took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Kempbridge.
QLD REPORT: Man has been extradited and charged over alleged aggravated sexual assault of woman in Sydney’s north-west: ‘On Thursday 29 April 2021, officers attached to Blacktown Police Area Command received a report that a woman had been sexually assaulted by three unknown men’
Friday, 07 May 2021 10:07:02 AM
Officers were told that the 37-year-old woman met three men at a licenced premise at Rouse Hill on Saturday 24 April 2021.
The men allegedly took the woman to a home at Riverstone, where she was sexually assaulted on several occasions by the group in the early hours of Sunday 25 April 2021.
The woman left the home and sought medical treatment at Blacktown Hospital on Monday 26 April 2021, before contacting police.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested a 26-year-old man at a home at Riverstone and a 35-year-old man at a home at Valley Heights about 2pm on Tuesday (4 May 2021).
The pair were charged and remain before the courts.
As part of ongoing inquiries, Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives obtained an arrest warrant for a 31-year-old man, believed to be interstate.
Following further investigations, strike force detectives, with assistance from Queensland Police Service, arrested a 31-year-old man at Amberley, Brisbane, about 2pm on Wednesday (5 May 2021).
The man was taken to Brisbane watch house and charged with the outstanding interstate warrant.
He appeared at Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday 6 May 2021), where detectives applied for, and were granted, his extradition to NSW.
The man was escorted back to Sydney and taken to Mascot Police Station, where he was charged with an outstanding warrant for six counts of aggravated sexual assault – offender in company with other persons.
He was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Friday 7 May 2021).
The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.
#AceNewsReport – May.10: Richard Visser was 19 years old when he went to Luna Park with his girlfriend and her two younger sisters: He has told the ABC he remembers smelling kerosene inside the ride late that night. Kerosene was a popular fire accelerant at the time, used frequently to commit arson.
NEW SOUTH WALES: New Luna Park Ghost Train fire witnesses come forward to demand government inquiry: All three witnesses were at Luna Park on the night of the fire but were never contacted or interviewed by NSW Police, and were not included at the 1979 coronial inquest: The ABC’s EXPOSED documentary series revealed the officer in charge of the Luna Park fire investigation, Detective Inspector Doug Knight, was a corrupt “fixer” who accepted bribes from criminals to thwart and manipulate investigations.
updated 1h ago
“It’s something that I’ve always remembered,” Mr Visser told the ABC.
“I smelt burning kerosene.”
Mr Visser said when he rode the Ghost Train earlier that night, there was no smell of kerosene and nothing was out of the ordinary.
But during a second ride later that night, something was amiss.
“I could distinctly smell the kerosene burning,” he said.
“Absolutely … There’s no doubt about it.”
Mr Visser remembers the strong smell of kerosene being “very strange” because it was not present earlier that night.
He wanted to speak to police the next day and tell them about the kerosene but says he was deterred by the actions of the officer in charge.
“When I heard the news report the next morning that [the fire was caused by] an electrical fault, well, you just believed the police, because the police are law-abiding people,” he said.
“You believe what you hear from the police.”
But the announcement by NSW Police that the blaze was caused by an electrical fault was baseless.
Mr Visser is one of many witnesses never contacted or interviewed by NSW Police. He was also never called to the coronial inquest.
Now, 42 years later, Mr Visser says he is prepared to be interviewed by police and sign a sworn statement.
“I’m only saying what I saw and experienced. I’m not making it up,” he said.
“If kerosene is burning, I could pick it straightaway.
“As a child, my mother had kerosene cookers to keep the soup warm. And that smell, that kerosene-burning smell, is something that stays with you all the time.”
Mr Visser has kept his mother’s original kerosene cookers and has shown them to the ABC.
“There was definitely an accelerant used in there, absolutely,” he said.
Mr Visser is the third witness to state they remember smelling kerosene inside the ride. His account supports those given by former Luna Park employee Frank Boitano and another park patron, Greg Chard. Both Mr Boitano and Mr Chard say they smelt kerosene at the origin area of the fire.
He said he was coming forward now after watching the ABC’s EXPOSED documentary series and realising other people smelt kerosene inside the ride late that night, supporting his belief that the fire was deliberately lit.
He is now calling on the government to establish an inquiry into the fire and the conduct of NSW Police.
“The government should tell the police what to do. They should push it. Absolutely. I mean, the police report to the government, they represent the law,” he said.
He is also calling on other witnesses who were never contacted or interviewed by police to come forward.
“The truth needs to be told, people need to come forward,” he said.
“If you were there, come forward to explain your experience.
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Former Luna Park staffers come forward to reveal they saw group of bikies
Two new Luna Park staffers have come forward to the ABC to reveal they also saw a suspicious group of bikies at the funfair that night.
Kerry Lawson was 18 years old and working as a cashier on the night of the fire.
She came forward to break her 42-year silence to 7.30, after watching the ABC’s EXPOSED investigation and realising other people saw bikies as well.
A group of seven witnesses told police at the time that they saw a group of bikies, including riding the Ghost Train just minutes before the blaze broke out, with some providing detailed physical descriptions of the men to police the very next morning after the fire.
Witnesses also said they overheard a group of bikies standing outside the Ghost Train talking about using “kerosene and matches” to light the fire, with another responding, “You shouldn’t have done that,” and, “Come on, let’s split,” after the fire had broken out.
But the police officer in charge, Inspector Knight, disregarded it all and allowed the leads to run cold.
Inspector Knight then falsely announced to the public that there were no suspicious circumstances to the blaze, despite NSW Police taking statements from multiple witnesses about a suspicious group of bikies onsite that night.
The eventual coronial inquest also failed to call witnesses to give evidence in court about the bikies. The inquest also failed to even consider arson.
Now Ms Lawson has come forward to reveal she distinctly remembers standing inside the booth at the entrance gates of Luna Park when she saw a group of men queuing up to come inside.
“They were dressed and looked like bikies,” Ms Lawson told the ABC.
“I thought it was unusual. It was not a place that bikies would frequent or for bikies to come to.”
Ms Lawson said she was so concerned she made sure security followed them after they had entered the park.
She said she saw the bikies again later that night, and they were behaving oddly.
“What they were really doing is just sort of killing time,” she said.
“They weren’t really interested in riding rides. They were just hanging around.
“Those bikies had been around different parts of the park during that night.”
It was after this second sighting of the bikies that Ms Lawson said the fire in the Ghost Train broke out.
The next morning, Ms Lawson returned to Luna Park and said she witnessed the entire Ghost Train wreckage being hastily cleared away at the direction of police.
“I couldn’t understand why it’d be moved so quickly. I was assuming that there would have been still some investigation,” she said.
“There was nothing there to examine. It had gone.”
Ms Lawson said she stood under an awning and waited to be spoken to by police so she could tell them about the suspicious group of bikies she had seen the night before.
But NSW Police never approached her, and they never contacted her for a statement or an interview.
“They were not interested in following up,” Ms Lawson said.
“I was upset that I wasn’t interviewed. I did have things to say.”
Not only was she never interviewed by police, but Ms Lawson was never included in the coronial inquest despite being a key staffer on duty and working at Luna Park on the night of the fire.
She is now calling on authorities to explain why she was excluded from all inquiries.
“I would have told them what I saw that night,” she said.
“I would have told them how I’d seen the same people on a repeated basis.
“And I would have told them I believed [the fire] was deliberately lit.”
Ms Lawson is not the only Luna Park staffer to come forward with information about a group of bikies at the funfair that night.
Kathy Dewar was 24 and working a weekend shift at the chip bar on the night of the fire.
She has told 7.30 she too witnessed a group of bikies walk through the park.
“I do remember seeing a group of bikies. I distinctly remember this group,” Ms Dewar said.
“They walked around the side of the chip bar and past the front, and I remember one of them turning around, sort of smirking, and they were laughing.
“I am actually confident that I saw that group, a group of bikies, that evening.”
Ms Dewar said it was unusual for bikies so “rough-looking” to be at Luna Park.
“These were young guys who were thin, [wore] leather boots, long hair. They just looked kind of a bit out of place at Luna Park,” she said.
“It was very unusual to see a group like that at the park.”
Like her colleague Ms Lawson, Ms Dewar was never interviewed by police and never included at the coronial inquest.
“For me, there were actually two tragedies,” Ms Dewar told 7.30.
“First, there was the fire itself.
“The second tragedy for me was the failed investigation … not having the truth come out. There was so much buried, so many facts distorted and hidden.”
Four decades later, Ms Dewar is still waiting for police to contact her and take her statement.
“I am definitely prepared at this point in my life to give a statement to the police,” she said.
“And I really resent the fact that I was not given the opportunity to do that at the time.
“Anyone who was at the park that evening should have been interviewed by the police and whatever observations they had, what experiences they had, should have been documented and recorded.”
She is demanding action, imploring the government to establish an inquiry and ensure justice is done and NSW Police’s defective investigation is acknowledged.
“Because that to me is really the biggest crime of all,” she said.
“These were people who were in positions of authority and trust. And they abused those positions and hid the truth and lied to people.”
In a statement to 7.30, NSW Police said its unsolved homicide team was reviewing the origin of the Luna Park fire and the circumstances surrounding the seven deaths.
A spokesperson for NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman told 7.30 the state government was “aware of calls for a fresh inquiry into the matter, following questions raised by the Exposed series”.
“The State Coroner has asked the NSW Police Force to conduct a review of available evidence to determine whether a fresh inquest should be held,” the spokesperson said.
“The government continues to consider any other appropriate action.”
Watch this story tonight on 7.30 on ABC TV and iview.
#AceNewsReport – May.10: The arrest warrant was sought by NSW JCTT – comprising the AFP, NSW Police Force (NSWPF), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission – following an investigation into the man’s alleged travel from Sydney to Turkey in 2013.
NSW Report: Australian man who allegedly recruited for #IslamicState arrested on return from Turkey in 2013: The 30-year-old former Sydney man, who was subject to an outstanding arrest warrant in NSW, was arrested at Melbourne International Airport by members of the AFP International Counter Terrorism Investigations Response Team after arriving on a flight from Turkey about 4pm yesterday (Saturday, 8 May 2021)’
Authorities will allege the man then travelled from Turkey to Syria, where he allegedly facilitated the travel of foreign terrorist fighters to support Islamic State (IS).
The man appeared via video link before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning. He was remanded in the custody of Corrections Victoria where he will undergo mandatory quarantine.
He is next scheduled to appear on Friday, 21 May 2021 for an extradition application to NSW, where he will face court on a number of Commonwealth terrorism offences, including:
One count of knowingly give support/resources to a terrorist organisation, contrary to section 102.7(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 25 years imprisonment.
One count of engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state, contrary to section 6(1)(a) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment.
Three counts of provide support for another person to engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state, contrary to section 7(1)(e) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment; and
One count of entering, or remaining in, declared areas contrary to section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment.
Australian Federal Police Commander Counter Terrorism Operations Stephen Dametto said the return of the Sydney man demonstrates Australian authorities continue working with overseas counterparts to support the management of terrorist threats offshore.
“Anyone who fights with, provides material support to, or associates with terrorist groups, is committing a serious crime and will be subject to the law,” Commander Dametto said.
“It has been an offence since 1978 to engage in hostile activity in a foreign country, unless serving in, or with the armed forces of the government of a foreign country.
“We have a responsibility to prevent our citizens from contributing to violence and instability overseas. Our laws are aimed at discouraging Australians from fighting in overseas conflicts and endangering their lives.”
NSWPF Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said this was another example of the strength of the partnerships and collaboration in the counter terrorism framework.
“The diligence and dedication of the NSW JCTT investigators, was complemented by the significant work conducted by other colleagues both here and abroad, to achieve this result,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.
“Counter terrorism investigations remain a priority in NSW, and any act or plan for an act that may impact on the safety of our community – regardless of when it occurred – will be acted on with the same tenacity.”
There is no current or impending threat to the community related to the operation.
Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.28: Police will allege a 38-year-old man got out of the Holden and approached the older man and engaged in an altercation before the older man was stabbed to the abdomen:
‘Man charged following alleged stabbing – Umina About 8.30am (Tuesday 27 April 2021), a 43-year-old man was seated in a Subaru on McMasters Road, Blackwall, when a silver Holden Commodore pulled up beside the vehicle’
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 12:54:32 PM:
The younger man fled the scene in the Holden.
The 43-year-old was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he remains under police guard in a serious but stable condition.
Brisbane Water Police District arrested four people a short time later – a 38-year-old man and three women aged 26, 36 and 42.
All four were taken to Gosford Police Station where the three women were released pending further inquiries.
The 38-year-old man was charged with wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and affray.
He was refused bail to appear at Gosford Police Station today (Wednesday 28 April 2021).
Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident are continuing, anyone with information is urged to come forward.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.28: In March, detectives attached to Sydney City Police Area Command commenced an investigation following reports a woman had been sexually assaulted at an apartment at Ultimo:
NSW Police Report: Man charged over alleged aggravated sexual assault in Ultimo: Following extensive inquiries, a 27-year-old man was arrested at a house at Lakemba, about 7.30am yesterday (Monday 26 April 2021).
Tuesday, 27 April 2021 07:51:50 AM:
He was taken to Campsie Police Station, where he was charged with aggravated sexual assault – victim with cognitive impairment.
Police will allege in court that the man sexually assaulted the woman, who is known to him, while she was unconscious following a medical episode on Wednesday 17 February 2021.
The woman, aged 40, has a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment.
The Lakemba man was refused bail and will appear at Bankstown Local Court today (Tuesday 27 April 2021).
#AceNewsReport – Apr.27: A short time later officers attached to Blue Mountains Police Area Command were notified and commenced inquiries into his whereabouts:
NSW Police Appeal to find missing man – Blue Mountains: Michael Conquest, aged 43, was last seen walking east along the Great Western Highway, just outside his house in Wentworth Falls, about 5pm last Friday (23 April 2021).
Tuesday, 27 April 2021 06:14:00 PM:
Police and family hold concerns for Michael’s welfare due to a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment: Michael is described as being of Caucasian appearance, 180-185cm tall, medium build, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket: It is believed Michael is in Sydney, possibly the Northern Beaches region.
Police are urging anyone with information about Michael’s whereabouts to contact Blue Mountains Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.21: Child abuse and sex crimes detectives made a public appeal for information, resulting in a further 14 women and girls coming forward over four months:
Alleged serial rapist Anthony Glumac faces almost 50 charges involving 19 women and girls: ‘Anthony Stevo Glumac, 24, chose to remain in his jail cell during a brief hearing at Campbelltown Local Court today where he was subjected to 19 Apprehended Violence Orders’
updated 2h ago
Police prosecutor Len Kerr described the case as “an unusual matter”.
“There are 19 complainants, this is an unusual matter,” Sergeant Kerr told the court.
The fitness instructor caught the eye of detectives in September over sexual assault allegations involving a 24-year-old woman.
Two further women, aged 19 and 21, and two teenage girls, aged 15 and 16 contacted police as part of the investigation.
One of the women claims Mr Glumac sexually assaulted her, while he was armed with a knife.
Mr Glumac was arrested at his Campbelltown unit and charged with 15 sexual violence-related offences in December.
Police said the alleged victims, aged between 14 and 28, were attacked in Darlinghurst, Wollongong and across Sydney’s south-west.
Mr Glumac is facing an additional 32 charges, including 16 counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
He remains behind bars and is due to face Campbelltown Local Court in June.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.20: In 2019, former nightclub bouncer Vinzent Tarantino was found not guilty of her murder, despite the fact he confessed to police.
‘Missing Granville 12-year-old Quanne Diec died by homicide, inquest finds she was last seen walking from her home in Granville to a railway station in July 1998’
updated 5h ago
An inquest into her death commenced last week and Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee found although the evidence did not allow for a finding for the place or precise cause for her death, she died by homicide on or after July 27, 1998.
Mr Lee has recommended the case be referred to the unsolved homicide team in the state crime command.
Detective Inspector Andrew Mackay confirmed Mr Tarantino remained a person of interest in the case.
“The disappearance and suspected murder of Quanne Diec remains an open case with the NSW police,” he said.
“We’re committed to the Diec family and we’re seeking to provide them the answers they so dearly need.
“The matter is an open investigation and there’s a number of lines of inquiry and (Vinzent Tarantino) is a person of interest.”
The Diec family did not attend the closure of the inquest.
“It is a very challenging time, they’re beautiful people, today wasn’t for them,” Detective Inspector Mackay said.
“The findings were expected, they’re very detailed and I acknowledge and thank the coroner for their good work.
“As a matter of course the investigation will proceed to the unsolved homicide team at the state crime command.”
Mr Tarantino confessed to Quanne’s alleged murder at a Sydney police station in 2016.
But at trial, he pleaded not guilty and his defence team argued he made the false confession because he feared for his safety and thought bikies were after him.
The court heard Mr Tarantino allegedly told a girlfriend he had done something “really bad” during a “botched ransom” and the girl was not meant to die.
It took the jury almost six days to return a verdict of not guilty.
The inquest findings reference “alleged admissions” made by Mr Tarantino, by calling his two brothers while he attended Sydney Police Centre.
“When I was out of it on drugs I did a horrible thing,” he said.
“I have to go in and open up … I’m going to be charged with murder … I killed a f***ing kid.”
In his police interview, Mr Tarantino made admissions to strangling and killing the 12-year-old at the back of his father’s house as part of a ‘stupid ransom attempt’ that went wrong.
In his findings, Mr Lee extended his “most sincere and respectful condolences” to Quanne’s family.
“The unbearable anguish, uncertainty and loss that a family experience after a loved one is reported missing is indescribable,” he said.
“This is particularly so when that loss is felt by a parent in relation to a child.
“It is hoped that one day some further information will be provided to Quanne’s family to hopefully allow them to find some measure of solace from such a tragic and devastating event.”