Toowoomba man charged with child abuse offences

Source: Australian Federal Police

***Editor’s note: pictures from warrant available via Hightail***

A 37-year-old Toowoomba man is expected to face Toowoomba Magistrates Court today (Monday, 2 August 2021) charged with child abuse-related offences following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation.

The investigation began in early 2021 after the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States regarding child abuse material allegedly being accessed and transmitted via Gmail stored on devices and online accounts.

AFP child protection investigators identified a Queensland man allegedly connected with this material. The AFP executed a search warrant at the man’s home last week and seized a smartphone.

The man was issued a Notice to Appear to face the Toowoomba Magistrates Court in October for two offences.

However, AFP digital forensic examination of the device was able to extract additional concerning child abuse material and chat logs. As a result, the AFP Child Protection Operations team from Brisbane arrested the man on Saturday, 1 August, 2021 on additional charges.

The man was taken to the Toowoomba Watch House and denied bail to appear before the Toowoomba Magistrates Court this morning. He was charged with:

  • One count of accessing child abuse material using a carriage service contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
  • One count of soliciting child abuse material using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
  • One count of possessing or controlling child abuse material, obtained or accessed using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years’ imprisonment.

AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said “predators are spending more time than ever online since the COVID-19 outbreak – but so are police.” “Sexual abuse has a devastating impact on children and their families and the AFP, with our partners, are relentless in our efforts to stamp it out.”

“The community may think that COVID-19 restrictions have stopped us from operational activity to protect children, but they are wrong. Investigators are on both the dark and clear net ensuring that children are safe and our Joint Anti Child Exploitation Teams across the country are executing search warrants on a near daily basis arresting offenders.”

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

Note to media:

Use of term ‘CHILD ABUSE’ MATERIAL NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase “child pornography” is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
  • conjures images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

Charges – Sexual Assault – Darwin rural area

Source: Northern Territory Police

Northern Territory Police have charged a 54-year-old man over an incident involving a child at a caravan park in Darwin’s rural area last night.

Police allege the man interfered with a young girl in his care. Neighbouring campers alerted police to the incident, and the man was arrested on site shortly afterward, in the early hours of this morning.

He has since been charged with two counts of gross indecency without consent.

At the time of writing, bail is yet to be considered but will be opposed by police.

In the interests of protecting the victim’s privacy, there will be no further details released by police on this matter.

National Missing Persons Week 2021: Aged images of long-term missing persons could provide key to solving heartbreaking mysteries

Source: Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police is releasing a unique series of images that capture how seven Australians, who have been missing for up to 40 years, could look today as it urges the public to help solve the mystery behind these heartbreaking cases.

The age progressed images have been created by AFP forensic artists and will be featured across a series of short videos to be progressively launched from today for National Missing Persons Week 2021 (NMPW), which runs from 1-7 August. The theme for NMPW 2021 is: “Their face might have changed. Missing them hasn’t.

Families of each of the missing persons were directly involved in the production of the videos, providing personal images and describing the emotions and heartache they have lived with while searching tirelessly for their missing loved one.

The AFP’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) Coordinator Jodie McEwan said the age progression campaign was an opportunity to educate the broader community on the need to be aware that long-term missing persons have aged and could look very different to the last time they were seen.

“This year’s campaign acknowledges that as people age, their appearance changes and this obviously also applies to those who are missing. Using the capabilities of specialist AFP forensic artists who work closely with family members, we are able to produce a depiction of how the missing person could look today.” Ms McEwan said.

“It is hoped the images, some of which show how a person may look more than 40 years after going missing, provide the community with an updated idea of who we continue to search for.   The seven people who will be featured throughout the week all have families who continue to wait for answers. They are sons and daughters, parents, siblings, colleagues and friends. They are more than faces on a poster or a website, they are real people who are valued members of their communities and we continue the search to find them. If you have any piece of information that you think could assist police, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.” 

William Fenner has spent the past 22 years seeking answers to the whereabouts of his mother Christine, who went missing from Bundaberg, Queensland. He said that if his mother happened to see the campaign, he would want to pass on one simple message to her.

“I would say to her that I love her,” he said. “I love her very much and she is very much missed by the family. I still wish she was here with us in this life, to come and share laughter and fun times. It definitely means a lot to get this far down the track and still have people that are willing to help me.”

“My mum’s wish was for her ashes to be scattered in Fremantle, WA. If she is no longer alive, we would love to be able to honor this wish so we ask that if anyone has information, please come forward.” says William.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said National Missing Persons Week shone a light on those still missing, but also on the families, friends, and loved ones they left behind.

“If the AFP’s advanced imagery and world leading forensic artistry can provide answers to just one family, this initiative would be a great success,” Minister Andrews said.

“As these aged images demonstrate so clearly – the pain, heartbreak, and tragedy of a missing person’s case can linger for many years. They also serve as a stark reminder of Australian law enforcement’s dogged pursuit of answers, and of justice for those who may have disappeared in suspicious circumstances.”

The NMPCC developed the campaign in partnership with creative agency Coordinate and state and territory police missing persons units, which supplied the following long-term missing person’s profiles:

To view the age progression videos, please follow AFP and NMPCC social media channels here: https://www.facebook.com/AFPNMPCC and https://www.facebook.com/AusFedPolice

National Missing Persons Week

National Missing Persons Week is supported by the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) whose members have generously donated advertising space in support of NMPW 2021. The donated space will highlight the seven missing persons’ profiles on either static or moving billboards across Australia.

Members of the community sharing their stories and support throughout NMPW 2021 are encouraged to use the hashtag #NMPW2021.

In 2020, there were more than 51,000 missing persons reports made to police in Australia, which is more than 140 on every day of the year. Any person missing for more than three months is classified as a long-term missing person. There are approximately 2,600 long-term missing persons in Australia.

For further information on the age progression process please visit the NMPCC website: https://www.missingpersons.gov.au/support/age-progression

Media is encouraged to read the Counselling Framework for guidance when working with families of missing people. 

About missing persons in Australia

In Australia, a missing person is defined as anyone who is reported missing to police, whose whereabouts are unknown, and where there are fears for the safety or concern for the welfare of that person. A long-term missing person is someone who has been missing for more than three months.

About the NMPCC

The AFP’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre plays an active role in coordinating national police efforts, and educating the Australian community to prevent the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia.

The National Missing Persons Coordination Centre is a non-operational arm of the AFP which put simply means, the team is not involved in the investigations of missing persons. All investigations are undertaken by the relevant State and Territory police.

In support of NMPW, the AFP NMPCC coordinates an annual police campaign with State and Territory police, highlighting a different theme each year to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing persons and profile long-term missing persons to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia.

The annual police campaign compliments other campaigns, events, initiatives and memorial services run by families with a missing loved one, advocacy networks, government and non-government organisations, and members of the public.   

***Editor’s note:  Interviews with family members or case officers available on request*** 

Media Enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

Bushwalker rescue, Leven Canyon

Source: Tasmania Police

Bushwalker rescue, Leven Canyon – Tasmania Police

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Bushwalker rescue, Leven Canyon

Sunday, 1 August 2021 – 1:16 pm.

Police search and rescue teams are currently rescuing two overdue bushwalkers from the Level Canyon area near Loongana. 
Search and rescue ground parties and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter have been searching the area this morning for a man and woman in their 50s overdue from a bushwalk they were expected to complete yesterday.
The man and woman were sighted from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter a short time ago. 
Search personnel will be winched down to the pair to provide assistance prior to retrieval from the area. 
Poor weather conditions including rain in the area are making the rescue challenging for search parties. 

Tasmania Police to raise awareness of seven long-term missing people during National Missing Persons Week

Source: Tasmania Police

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Tasmania Police to raise awareness of seven long-term missing people during National Missing Persons Week

Sunday, 1 August 2021 – 7:41 am.

Tasmania Police will raise awareness of seven long-term missing people during National Missing Persons Week which starts today.
“National Missing Persons Week is an annual week of action aimed at profiling long-term missing persons and raising awareness of the significant issues surrounding missing persons,” said Sergeant John Delpero of the Tasmania Police Missing Persons Unit.
“While a number of missing persons will be highlighted this week, it is important that we remember all our missing persons and the pain felt by their families and loved ones.”
Currently in Tasmania, there are 168 long-term missing persons dating back to the 1950s.
The seven Tasmanian long-term missing persons being highlighted this week are:
Craig Taylor – missing since 1993
David Sushames – missing since 2005
Michael Lenssen – missing since 2019
Nancy Grunwaldt – missing since 1993
Robert Mansell – missing since 2015
Gilbert Midson – missing since 1964
Zedric Woolley – missing since 2012
“As police officers, our aim is to locate missing persons and bring answers. A missing person case is never closed until the person is located. Even in instances where the disappearance of a person is reported to the Coroner, the case remains open,” said Sergeant Delpero.
“This week I urge anyone with information about any missing person to please come forward and help us provide some kind of closure to the families and loved ones of the victims.”
Information relating to a missing person can be provided to Tasmania Police on 131 444 or to Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000. All information received will be assessed for investigation.
Craig Taylor
Craig Taylor was reported missing from the Coningham area on 3 September 1993, when he was 9 years old.
At the time of his disappearance, Craig and his family were holidaying at Coningham, an area he was familiar with as he had visited on numerous occasions. Craig was of slim build with brown hair.
Police conducted full scale searches of the area however Craig was not located.
Craig was born in the United Kingdom in 1984. Craig later moved to Tasmania and, at the time of his disappearance in 1993, resided at Launceston.
Craig’s disappearance was reported to the Coroner who in 2014 determined he was deceased but was unable to determine the precise cause of death.
 Anyone with information about what happened to Craig is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.
David Sushames
David Sushames was reported missing from Devonport in 2005, when he was 44 years old.
David was last seen at a family member’s home in Devonport on 1 November 2005 (Melbourne Cup Day) and has not been seen or heard from since.
At the time of his disappearance David was 180cm tall, medium build, brown shoulder length hair, blue eyes, fair complexion and a goatee style beard.
David’s disappearance is totally out of character, and foul play is suspected.
Anyone with information regarding David’s disappearance is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.
Michael Lenssen
Michael Lenssen was reported missing from the Launceston area in 2019, when he was 48 years old.
Michael was reported missing by his family who reside in the Netherlands. He was a Launceston resident, after relocating from Sydney in 2010.
Police investigations established that Michael visited a business in the Launceston CBD on 30 March 2020, but there has been no trace of him since.
Michael is described as around 180cm tall, solid build with short brown hair.
Michael’s disappearance is out of character and concerns are held for his welfare. Investigations surrounding Michael’s disappearance are ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding Michael’s disappearance is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.
Nancy Grunwaldt
Nancy Grunwaldt was reported missing from north-east Tasmania in April 1993, when she was 26 years old.
Nancy had arrived in Tasmania in March 1993, after she departed her hometown in Germany in 1992, travelling to New Zealand then Australia.
At the time of her disappearance Nancy had recently hired a red mountain bike from a business in Devonport. She was around 168cm tall, with black hair and she wore glasses.
Extensive police searches and investigations were conducted which traced Nancy from Devonport to Launceston to the state’s north-east.
The last confirmed sighting of Nancy was on 12 March 1993, about 5 km south of Scamander, riding a red mountain bike south on the Tasman Highway.
Nancy has not been seen since and she remains a missing person.
Nancy’s disappearance was reported to the Coroner who in 2004 found that she died as a result of foul play.
A $500,000 reward is offered for information that leads to the conviction of offender/s regarding Nancy’s suspected murder.
Anyone with information about what happened to Nancy is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.
A moving message from Nancy’s sister can be viewed at missingpersons.gov.au/search/tas/nancy-grunwaldt
Robert Mansell
Robert Mansell was reported missing from Flinders Island on 8 August 2015, when he was 42 years old.
Robert was last seen at Salmon Rocks, a popular spot for recreational fishing, at the mouth of the North East River.
Tasmania Police conducted extensive searches for Robert however he was not located.
Robert remains a missing person. At time of his disappearance Robert was 183cm tall, of slim build, had brown hair and small tattoo under his left eye.
Robert’s disappearance was reported to the Coroner who in 2020 determined that he died in suspicious circumstances.
Anyone with information about what happened to Robert is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.
Gilbert Midson
Gilbert Midson was reported missing from Hobart on 4 November 1964, when he was 23 years old.
On the day he was last seen, Gilbert went to work in Hobart where he was employed as a bus driver. He was 177cm tall, of slim build and had brown hair.
Gilbert has not been seen since, and his disappearance was totally out of character.
At the time of his disappearance, Gilbert was married with a young family and lived in the Hobart suburb of New Town.
Gilbert’s disappearance was recently re-investigated by Tasmania Police and reported to the Coroner.
Anyone with information regarding Gilbert’s disappearance is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.
Zedric Woolley
Zedric Woolley was reported missing from the Huon Valley on 7 April 2012, when he was 81 years old.
On the day he was last seen, Zedric had lunch with his daughter at a Huonville bakery. He was last seen later that evening driving his blue Hyundai i30 south on the Huon Highway towards Franklin. This is the last confirmed sighting of Zedric, however possible sightings occurred in Huonville on 8 April 2012.
At time of his disappearance Zedric was in reasonable health. He was around 175cm tall, of medium build and had grey hair.
Tasmania Police and volunteers conducted extensive searches.
On 14 April 2012, a family member located Zedric’s Hyundai on Watsons Road, Glen Huon.  Despite further searches, Zedric was not located, and he remains a missing person.
Zedric’s disappearance was reported to the Coroner who in 2019 found that his Hyundai became stuck in soft ground at Watsons Road, Glen Huon, following which he walked away from it and died.
Anyone with information about what happened to Zedric is asked to phone Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online at crimestopperstas.com.au or on 1800 333 000.

Driver involved in single vehicle crash at Richmond on 26 July 2021 dies in hospital.

Source: Tasmania Police

Driver involved in single vehicle crash at Richmond on 26 July 2021 dies in hospital. – Tasmania Police

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Driver involved in single vehicle crash at Richmond on 26 July 2021 dies in hospital.

Friday, 30 July 2021 – 8:06 pm.

Sadly, the 22-year-old male driver, and only occupant, of a Toyota utility involved in a single vehicle crash on Middle Tea Tree at Richmond on 26 July 2021has passed away because of the injuries sustained.
The male died at the Royal Hobart Hospital on 31 July 2021.
Tasmania Police expresses condolences to the man’s family and friends on this very sad occasion.

Updated Cross Border Travel-Associated Direction 31 July 2021

Source: South Australia Police

The Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel-Associated Direction No 35) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 has been revoked and replaced by the Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel-Associated Direction No 36) (COVID-19) Direction 2021. This Direction came into effect at 5.47pm on Saturday 31 July 2021.

Changes came into effect from 5.47pm 31 July 2021:

Victoria/South Australia Cross Border Community Members

  • The Victorian Cross Border corridor has been extended to the area 70 km either side of the border between South Australia and Victoria.
  • People who are ordinarily resident in the Victorian Cross Border corridors who have a permitted purpose to travel across the border are not required to submit to the COVID-19 testing requirements.
  • Permitted purposes for travel are:
    • Employment or education
    • Providing care and support to or receiving care from another person or obtaining food, petrol or other fuel or medical care or supplies
    • Obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination
  • Residents of South Australia and Victoria living in the Cross Border Corridor are not required to submit to testing requirements if they have not left the Cross Border corridor in the last 14 days and have not associated with a person in Victoria from the restricted zone (outside of the cross border corridor).
  • A South Australian resident who travels further than the cross border corridor into a restricted zone is deemed either a permitted arrival or essential traveller on return and is subject to Level 4 restrictions and cannot associate with a person who has been outside of the corridor in a restricted zone in the last 14 days.
  • If a Cross Border Community Member who is a resident of Victoria and has been outside the Cross Border Corridor into Victoria within the last 14 days they must:
    • COVID-19 test on day 1, 5, & 13. Unless they can produce evidence of a COVID-19 test or a negative COVID-19 result within the previous 7 days.
    • Must self-quarantine and must not enter a high risk setting for 14 days.
    • Must wear a face mask (covering mouth and nose) at any time that they come into contact with the public for a period of 14 days after their arrival in South Australia.

Other existing requirements remain. The information above only highlights the key changes made to the Directions and does not reflect all requirements. Members of the public are encouraged to see the full Directions for further information.

All existing directions, frequently asked questions and other information can be found here: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/emergency-declarations

If you require further information you can call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 between the hours of 9am to 5pm 7 days per week or go to the SA Health website at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au or www.sa.gov.au/covid-19

IRONSIDE: Sydney man charged for importing cocaine

Source: Australian Federal Police

Editor’s note: arrest footage is available via hightail
 

A Sydney man with links to an Outlaw Motorcycle Club faced Sydney Central Local court yesterday – after being charged with importing cocaine and knowingly participating in a criminal group.

Australian Federal Police Operation Ironside intelligence revealed the 40-year-old Sydney man was allegedly involved in organising the importation of illicit drugs into Australia through the parcel post system.

In February 2021, the New South Wales Police Force Organised Crime Squad arrested a 48-year-old man in relation to the importation of 2.1kg of cocaine.

On 30 July 2021, AFP officers attended a premises in Sydney and arrested the 40-year-old Sydney man in connection to the same importation. The man was charged with:

  • Importing a substance, the substance being a border-controlled drug, namely cocaine, and the quantity being a marketable quantity, contrary to s. 307.2(1) of the Criminal Code 1995(Cth); and
  • Knowingly participating in a criminal group by directing the activities of the group, knowing that it was a criminal group and reckless as to whether the participation contributed to the occurrence of criminal activity, contrary to s. 93T(1A) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The man did not apply for bail. He is expected to appear before court again on 29 September 2021.

A separate 40-year-old Sydney man was arrested in June 2021 in connection to the same importation of 2.1kg of cocaine and charged with the same offences. He is next expected to appear before court on 4 August 2021.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

Fatal crash at Furner

Source: South Australia Police

Major Crash officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding a fatal crash in the states south east last night.

At 10pm on Friday 30 July, emergency services were called to Princes Highway after reports of a crash involving a Toyota Corolla sedan and a prime mover.

Sadly, the driver of the sedan, a 19-year-old man from Craigmore man died at the scene.

The driver of the truck, a 49-year-old woman from Victoria, was taken to the local hospital where she was treated for minor injuries

Traffic restrictions are still in place on Princes Highway, please take an alternate route.

The man’s death is the 62nd life lost on SA roads this year, compared to 56 at the same time last year.

Perth man charged with further 14 terrorism offences

Source: Australian Federal Police

A 53-year-old Perth man has appeared before Perth Magistrates Court today (Friday, 30 July 2021), charged with an additional fourteen terrorism offences.

The Western Australia Joint Counter Terrorism Team (WA JCTT) – comprising Australian Federal Police (AFP), Western Australia Police Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation – executed a search warrant on the man’s home and vehicle in April 2020 after becoming aware of an online account hosting content that called for acts of politically-motivated violence offshore.

A number of electronic devices were seized for evidentiary purposes and in December 2020 the man was arrested and charged with four counts of advocating terrorism, contrary to section 80.2C of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). Further information about the man’s arrest can be found here.

Police will allege between April and December 2020, the man uploaded several more videos to the online video-sharing platform.

As a result of reviewing evidence seized during the course of the investigation police identified further grounds to lay an additional 14 charges of advocating terrorism, contrary to section 80.2C of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)

Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should contact the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297