Police

Man accused of stealing $80,000 worth of property from flood victims

A MAN has been arrested and charged after allegedly stealing up to $80,000 worth of property from flood affected homes in Townsville.

The 57-year-old is accused of helping himself to leather lounges, chairs, dining suites, beds, fridges and washing machines over a three week period from February 1 to February 21.

Police were alerted to the man’s activities on Thursday after a member of the public allegedly spotted the man in the act, snooping through property at a house in Idalia.

Officers from Townsville’s Rapid Actions and Patrols squad swooped the scene and allegedly found the man in the front yard of a home on Summerlake Court.

The man was arrested and taken back to his home in Mount Louisa where police allegedly found a stockpile of stolen property inside a shipping container.

Police allege the estimated value of the stolen property is somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000.

Among the items recovered from the shipping container include 3 fridges, 5 washing machines, 12 lounges, several bicycles and lawn mowers, as well as a number of dining tables and chairs.

Police have released more than 70 images of the stolen property. To view the full gallery, click here.

The Mount Louisa man has been charged with two counts of stealing and is due to front Townsville Magistrates Court on March 22.

Extra police are patrolling the flood affected region and are urging people to stay away from affected streets unless they have a legitimate reason to be there.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Arrest

Man, 66, accused of sending sexually-explicit messages to 15-year-old girl known to him

A 66-YEAR-OLD man has been charged after allegedly sending indecent and sexualised images to a 15-year-old girl known to him on the NSW North Coast.

The man was arrested by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad at a home in Boambee East on Thursday afternoon after the teenage girl came forward and reported the incidents to police.

Police will allege in court that the man started engaging in sexualised conversations with the girl through social media in January and sent her numerous indecent and sexually-explicit messages.

While at the man’s Boambee East home, officers seized a number of mobile phones and electronic storage devices, as well as documentation.

The man was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where he was charged with two counts of use carriage service to transmit indecent material to a child under 16 years old.

He was refused bail and due to appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court today.

Police confirmed the man is known to the girl, however, have not revealed how.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

 

“I must protect the public from you’: Bourke Street killer James Gargasoulas jailed for life

THE man who used a stolen car to mow down dozens of pedestrians in Melbourne’s CBD – killing six and injuring 27 – in 2017 will spend at least the next 46 years behind bars after being sentenced for the massacre.

James Gargasoulas, 29, was handed six life sentences – one for each life he took – with a non-parole period of 46 years on Friday morning.

The 29-year-old killed six people and injured 27 more when he mowed down dozens of pedestrians in the Bourke Street mall while in a drug-induced psychosis on January 20, 2017.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Mark Weinberg described Gargasoulas’ actions as “one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australia’s history”.

Justice Weinberg said the fact Gargasoulas was in a drug-psychosis was no excuse for the “callous and cowardly act”.

“You were not suffering a mental illness at the time you committed these offences. you were suffering fro a dug-induced psychosis,” Justice Weinberg said.

“You knew full well what you were doing. You knew that, by your actions, you were likely to kill or seriously injure those who happened to be in your path.

“You made no attempt to stop or slow down. You simply ploughed through them – quite deliberately.

“I do not accept that you are genuinely remorseful.

“The horror of what you did has profoundly affected many. I must ensure that the public are adequately protected from you.”

Gargasoulas will be able to apply for parole at the age of 76.

The family of five of Gargasoulas’s victims have released a statement though their lawyers, saying the sentence is not harsh enough.

“There is no excuse for murder,” the statement said.

“If you are a danger to society you should never be allowed to roam freely.

“The sentence is not harsh enough.

“Our family hopes that no one will ever have to suffer a similar fate as those who lost their loved ones and will continue to struggle with survival.

“We are looking forward to the inquest to shed light on past mistakes and to enforce changes that are needed.”

Anita Cobby killer Michael Murphy dies in jail

One of the men who raped and murdered Sydney nurse Anita Cobby more than 30 years ago has died in jail.

Michael Murphy, 66, was among five men, including two of his brothers, that abducted the 26-year-old as she walked home from Blacktown train station in 1986 before taking her to a paddock where she was brutally attacked.

Ms Cobby was repeatedly raped before one of the men, John Travers slit her throat.

Her body was found two days later sparking fear and outrage across the city.

All five men were convicted in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison with their papers stamped ‘never to be released’.

Murphy had been suffering from liver cancer with Corrective Services NSW confirming he died at Long Bay Hospital on Thursday night.

A report will now be prepared for the Coroner.

Ms Cobby’s widower John welcomed the news.

“I hope it was painful for him” he told Newscorp.

“One down, four to go”.

Hospital

Woman hospitalised after home invasion

A WOMAN has been taken to hospital after being held down and punched in the face by two men who broke into her home in outback New South Wales.

The men, aged 23 and 27, allegedly forced their way into the Mica Street home in Broken Hill about 5pm on Wednesday and confronted a 35-year-old woman.

Police alleged the due held the woman down and proceeded to punch her in the face before removing property from her home.

The pair then fled the home, leaving the woman with facial injuries, police said.

She was assessed by paramedics at the scene before being taken to Broken Hill Hospital for treatment.

Four hours later, one of the woman’s attackers, the 27-year-old man, was arrested outside a home on Chapple Street.

He was taken to the local police station and charged with aggravated break and enter, and committing a serious indictable offences.

The man was refused bail and due to appear in Broken Hill Local Court today.

Police are still trying to locate the 23-year-old man.

Anyone with information that could assist police with their investigation is urged to come forward.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.