Man charged over allegedly grooming child online and meeting for sex

A man has been charged after allegedly grooming a teenage girl online and meeting with her for sex in the Hunter region.

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commenced an investigation following reports a 15-year-old girl had been sexually and indecently assaulted by a man she met online last month.

Police will allege in court that the pair met on a social media application designed for teenagers, where the man purported to be aged 17. They engaged in conversation before arranging to meet in person.

The man later advised he was aged 27, and the pair met in the Newcastle area on Saturday 29 September 2018, and allegedly had sex.

The incident was reported to local police last week before being referred to the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad for further investigation.

Following inquiries, detectives arrested a 35-year-old man at a home unit at Valentine about 7am yesterday (Monday 15 October 2018).

Shortly after the arrest, investigators executed a search warrant at the unit, before executing a crime scene warrant at a home at Whitebridge.

During the searches, police seized a number of items relevant to the investigation.

The man was taken to Belmont Police Station and charged with nine counts of sexual intercourse with person aged 14-16, two counts of indecent assault-person under 16, groom child for unlawful sexual activity, meet with child groomed for sexual activity, and use carriage service to plan for sex-person under 16.

He was refused bail and appeared at Toronto Local Court yesterday, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Tuesday 30 October 2018.

Meanwhile, police are urging parents and carers to speak with their children about staying safe online.

Safe internet use – tips for parents:

• Be aware of how much time your child spends on the internet.

• Spend time talking to your child about the dangers associated with online conversations, particularly when communicating with someone that they have only ever met online.

• Spend time exploring the internet with your children and let them teach you about their favourite websites and applications.

• Keep computers or internet-enabled devices in a room the whole family can access, not in your child’s bedroom; monitor internet access on those devices.

• Consider installing filtering and/or computer blocking software provided by your internet service provider.

• Ensure you are able to access your child’s email and social media accounts and randomly check the contents.

• Check your phone bill for unusual outgoing calls and consider using ‘caller ID’ to identify incoming calls.

• Consult your telephone company for options designed to ensure privacy and security.

• Enquire with your child’s school, public library, and places they frequent to find out what internet safety measures they have in place.

• Information on internet safety is available on the NSW Police website at: http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/safety_and_prevention/safe_and_secure/online_safety

Tips for children:

• Do not send a picture of yourself to anyone you don’t know and never place a full profile and picture anywhere on the internet.

• Never give out your personal information, including full name, home address, phone number or school, over the internet.

• Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone that you have only ever chatted with on the internet.

• Tell your parents or another adult you know of any contact that makes you feel uncomfortable.

• Think carefully before uploading or sending images or videos to people over the internet. Once you press ‘send’ it’s definite and final – you can’t get it back or take it down.

• Information on youth issues, including online safety is available on the NSW Police website at:

http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/safety_and_prevention/safe_and_secure/young_people

More information and educational packages for parents and children are available from ThinkUKnow, a multi-agency program designed to educate and promote cyber safety: https://www.thinkuknow.org.au/

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.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Newcastle win 2018 Netball NSW State Cup

The 2018 Netball NSW State Cup trophy is heading to the Hunter Region after Newcastle took out the title at the Genea Netball Centre over the weekend.

The competition, which brings the best Metro and Regional teams from across NSW together, was set up to determine the State’s best Association in the Opens age category.

Teams from the 2018 DOOLEYS Metro League and BING LEE Regional League took part with Newcastle the last team standing after two days of action: Saturday and Sunday, 13-14 October.

And it was a double celebration for Newcastle as they were also crowned the Inter-Regional State champions for being the highest-ranked Regional Association at the conclusion of the weekend.

In all, eight Associations from across NSW took part: Barellan & District, Hastings Valley, Hills District, Lismore, Newcastle, Northern Suburbs, Orange and Quirindi.

A total of 76 players took part over 40 games, with over 1800 goals scored.

Newcastle are a new name on the trophy after Northern Suburbs won the inaugural State Cup in 2016 and Hastings Valley took out last year’s title.

2018 State Cup Final Placings
Newcastle
Hills District
Northern Suburbs
Orange
Hastings Valley
Lismore
Quirindi
Barellan & District

Police investigate armed robbery – Newcastle City

Police have commenced an investigation following the armed robbery of a bottle shop in Shortland yesterday.

Just after 6pm (Monday 15 October 2018), a 55-year-old woman was working at a bottle shop on Sandgate Road when a motorcycle pulled in.

The rider of the bike entered the store while his pillion passenger stayed with the bike.

A customer left the shop and the rider – still wearing his full-face helmet – removed a shortened double-barrel shotgun from his backpack and threatened the employee while demanding money from the register.

The employee complied with his demands and handed over a sum of cash.

The man left the store and was seen getting onto the back of the motorbike now being ridden by his accomplice.

The alarm was raised and officers from Newcastle City Police District attended and commenced inquiries.

Police have been told the armed man was wearing a black helmet, black jacket with blue jeans and a black backpack.

His accomplice was wearing a multi coloured Motocross style helmet with blue rimmed goggles with grey track pants and a grey hoodie.

Investigators would also like to speak with the customer who left the store just prior to the robbery.

Couple threatened with firearm during aggravated break, enter and steal – Swansea

Police are seeking information after a couple were threatened with a firearm during an aggravated break, enter and steal at Swansea overnight.

About 12.30am (Monday 15 October 2018), three men forced their way into a house in Tomlin Place.

The men, one armed with a firearm, entered a bedroom and threatened a 26-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman.

They stole cash, jewellery and a wallet before running from the house into a car believed to be a white-coloured Volkswagen Jetta.

No one was injured during the incident.

One of the men is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 185cm tall with a thin build.

The three men were wearing dark clothing and had their faces covered.

Intent to murder charge over Central Coast stabbing

A man is due in Wyong court today charged over the alleged stabbing of another man at the Central Coast yesterday.

Emergency services were called to a construction site at Colongra, near Lake Munmorah, after a 33-year-old man sustained stab wounds in his neck and chest, and cuts to both hands after allegedly being attacked about 2.40pm (Sunday 14 October 2018).

He was treated at the scene before being taken to John Hunter Hospital where he is undergoing surgery. Police have been told he is in a stable condition.

Shortly after 4pm, a 32-year-old man was arrested at a service station on the M1 at Warnervale by officers attached to Traffic & Highway Patrol Command.

The man, who is from North Gosford, was taken to Wyong Police Station where he was charged with wound with intent to murder.

He was refused bail overnight and will appear in Wyong Local Court later today (Monday 15 October 2018).

Police believe the men are known to each other.

Woman dies in hospital after Charlestown stolen car crash

A woman has died in hospital after a crash involving a stolen car at Charlestown in September.

Just before 2am on Friday 21 September 2018, a stolen Subaru WRX was travelling north along the Pacific Highway when it lost control near the intersection of Frederick Street and crashed into a service station and an unattended parked car.

Emergency services attended and the three occupants of the car were taken to John Hunter Hospital.

The driver, a 24-year-old man from Taree and his rear-seat passenger, a 32-year-old woman from Gateshead, were both in a serious but stable condition at the time they were taken to hospital.

The woman was pregnant at the time of the crash.

The front-seat passenger, a 22-year-old man, also from Gateshead, had suffered minor injuries and was released a short time later.

On Friday (12 October 2018), the 32-year-old woman, died in John Hunter Hospital.

The 24-year-old man remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Police from Newcastle Crash Investigation Unit continue with inquiries into the incident.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Vice-Chancellor honoured by City

Outgoing University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen has been honoured with the Key to the City.

 

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who has worked in lock step with the Vice-Chancellor on Newcastle’s transformation over the past seven years, presented her with the Key to the City in a celebratory breakfast at City Hall this morning.

Lord-Mayor-and-Mcmillen-inside.jpgLord Mayor presenting the Key to the City to Caroline McMillen.

Professor McMillen leaves for Adelaide later today and a new career as South Australia’s Chief Scientist but was honoured beforehand at this morning’s ceremony.

 

“It’s an honour to the present the Key to the City to Professor McMillen in recognition of her services to Newcastle,” the Lord Mayor said.

 

“Caroline has been instrumental in Newcastle’s growing status as a smart, liveable and sustainable global cityand has been a formidable ally in our quest to transform Newcastle into a magnet city.

 

“She has overseen the expansion of the university into the Newcastle CBD and helped the university gain a rank in the top one per cent of global universities in a prestigious global survey.

“As she departs, I extend to her a profound vote of thanks on behalf of the people of Newcastle and say to her that I will personally miss her wonderful company and counsel.”

 

Professor McMillen and the Lord Mayor have represented Newcastle at UN and smart city forums around the world and were standing shoulder to shoulder in Civic Park in 2016 when the global body’s training arm anointed Newcastle a UN City, as host of an International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Australasia.

 

VC-Caroline-McMillen-main.jpgProfessor McMillen

Professor McMillen joined the University of Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor and President in 2011.

 

Over 30-plus years in the education sector, she has held leadership roles across research, innovation and teaching.

 

Her Australian career began in 1983 as a Monash University lecturer; she was appointed Professor, Chair and Head of the Department of Physiology at the University of Adelaide around 10 years later.

 

Professor McMillen has a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University and completed her medical training at the University of Cambridge.

 

From 2005 she served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia until her move to Newcastle.

 

As a biomedical researcher, Professor McMillen is internationally recognised for her work on the nutritional environment before birth on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity in adult life.

 

She is the current Chair of the Endocrinology, Reproduction and Development Commission of the International Union of Physiological Societies and has served on various state government groups and the Prime Minister’s group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders focusing on maternal and peri-natal health.

 

She has also served as Chair of the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council’s grant review panels.

Matildas role models emblazoned across city

The City of Newcastle and McDonald Jones Stadium have teamed up to promote the Matildas national women’s soccer team across the city ahead of their match with Chile next month.

Twelve banners bearing images of the players were unveiled today by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Emily van Egmond, the team’s Newcastle-raised vice-captain, to help raise the profiles of our national stars and promote the 13 November fixture.

Inside-1.jpgEmily van Egmond and the Lord Mayor with the flag bearing Emily’s image.

Images of the footballers, who at seventh in the world rankings fare much better than our men’s national team, will be emblazoned across city on the 1.2m x 50cm banners or flags.

“From today action shots of them will fly in prime positions along Turton Rd at the entrance to McDonald Jones Stadium, Merewether St next to the City’s Newcastle Museum and in Break Block Park at Honeysuckle until just after the match,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“These banners will serve as a beacon to young local girls that they too can make the big time and is yet another example of how Newcastle is getting behind women’s sport.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the Matildas back to Australia’s hottest sporting city because Novocastrians are still talking about last year’s win against Brazil when Sam Kerr celebrated a goal with a back-flip.

Natalie-Van-Egmond.JPG“Newcastle is now hailed for hosting both national and international sporting events including the Asian Cup Football tournament, The Newcastle 500 Supercars, and most recently the A-League Grand Final, plus rugby and rugby league Test Matches.”

Newcastle was selected by Football Federation Australia after a bid put together by Venues NSW with financial support from City.

“Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the Matildas are one of our greatest success stories in terms of record-breaking home game crowds and international achievements.

“Novocastrians love their sport and no team is more inspirational than the mighty Matildas,” Mr Ayres said.

“These fantastic banners will serve as a beacon to young local girls that they too can make the big time and is yet another example of how Newcastle is getting behind women’s sport.”

The night time Test will be the second of a two-match series, following the first in Penrith on Saturday 10 November.

After wowing Novocastrian football fans with a 3-2 win over Brazil almost 12 months ago, the Westfield Matildas will take on their sister World Cup qualifiers from South America on Tuesday 13 November.

Sam Kerr, the most popular current footballer among Aussie fans, including players of both sexes from the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-league, will return with the team.

Matildas-5.JPGThe two-time Football Media Association International Player of the Year and 2018 Young Australian of the Year bagged a brace and set up a third goal in the comeback win over Brazil in September 2017 to clean sweep the two-match series.

Hunter residents will also get to see Newcastle-raised van Egmond turn out in the midfield.

Van Egmond’s father, Gary, a former Socceroo and Jets coach, is the team’s assistant coach

City of Newcastle actively promotes Women’s Sport and is a proud sponsoring partner of the Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League team

Newcastle: Let me entertain you

A Supercars drivers’ signing session with a cruise down Beaumont Street, an early Christmas on Darby Street and Disney the Pixar Cars Truck Tour in Civic Park will spread the excitement of this year’s Newcastle 500.

Residents are invited to enjoy four days of festivities across the inner city as Newcastle again proudly hosts its biggest event of the year, the Supercars Newcastle 500 series finale.

LM_Entertain_wide1.jpg

Seven exciting activities have been planned across six locations as part of the “Entertain Newcastle” festival.

The festival aims to stretch the high-octane atmosphere beyond the race precinct, activating Cooks Hill, Hamilton, Hunter Street Mall and Civic Park.

Entertain Newcastle is for all residents and visitors to the city, not just race-goers, and will appeal to foodies, families, and funsters.

The festival starts Thursday 22 November with all 26 Supercars drivers visiting Hamilton and continues to Sunday 25 November with a family fun zone featuring Disney Pixar Cars Mack The Transporter in Civic Park.

“I want everyone to come into the city to be part of these great events and enjoy the atmosphere as we proudly host tens of thousands of visitors to our region,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We want everyone to share in the fun of the event through these activations and for businesses across the city to benefit from the Newcastle 500.

“Last year’s event served as an unprecedented advertisement for the city and this year’s will showcase a newly revitalised city centre.”

LM-with-UON-robotics-staff-inside.jpgThe Lord Mayor with Alexander Biddulph (L) and Taylor Young from UON’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computing.

Executive Manager Newcastle Now Richard Christian said the business association was excited to be partnering with the City to make the most of the world-class event.

“We are pleased that this year we’ll have a number of exciting events that will encourage Novocastrians and visitors to eat, shop, and explore their city,” he said.

Hamilton Chamber President Nathan Errington said the business community was thrilled to host the Hamilton Supercars Start-Up.

“Last year, many visitors to the city enjoyed the convenience and diversity on offer at Hamilton,” he said.  “We are now thrilled to offer our suburb as a place to get the event started.”

The line-up for the Entertain Newcastle festival includes:

Thursday 22 November 2018 

Hamilton Super Start-Up

From 4.30pm: Head to Gregson Park, Hamilton to take part in a signing session with your favourite Newcastle 500 Supercars drivers, then watch them cruise down Beaumont Street and enjoy everything this eat street has to offer.

Friday 23 November 2018 – Darby Street Turns It On

From 5pm: Embrace the festive season when the Christmas lights come on early and enjoy a night of live music, great food and late night trading.

Saturday 24 November 2018 – Newcastle 500 Concert

International megastars Simple Minds headline alongside Australian rock legends Birds of Tokyo at No 1 Sportsground.  Make the easy 2km walk through the City to eat, drink, and enjoy everything Newcastle has to offer before finishing off your night with some amazing live entertainment.

Sunday 25 November 2018 – Super Sunday Session

Finish off a big the weekend in Newcastle’s City East pubs and restaurants with a range of Sunday Session Super deals.

Additional events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 

Newy Super Breakfast

From 7.00am: fuel up each day with a delicious breakfast prepared by local cafes in Market and Hunter Streets.

Newcastle Innovation Showcase

From 8am: check out the latest electric vehicles, prototype race cars, a race simulator, and a dynamic game of robotic soccer.  See an Augmented Reality art exhibition and don’t miss the chance to learn more about what City of Newcastle’s Smart City team are doing to help create a smarter and more innovative Newcastle. On Saturday, there will be Sprung Stilt walking and juggling from 10.00am to 1.00pm.

Newcastle Now Family Fun Zone

From 8am – 4pm: Fun is centre stage at Civic Park as the Disney Pixar Cars Truck Tour rolls in. Strike a victory pose on the Champions podium.

National apology to screen at City Hall

The City of Newcastle will screen the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on Monday week and invites the public to attend this significant event for our nation.

The apology by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, in the House of Representatives will be screened in the Banquet Room of City Hall at 11am on Monday 22 October.

The sombre event will acknowledge and apologise for the appalling abuse endured by vulnerable children, by the very people that were supposed to care for them, leaving immeasurable and lasting damage.

“City of Newcastle recognises the significance of this National Apology and will screen the Prime Minister’s address at City Hall,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“The National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse will mark an important milestone in addressing an abhorrent chapter in our nation’s history.

“Importantly, the National Apology will recognise the bravery of those who survived child sexual abuse, and those who fought to expose it.”

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the local screening of the National Apology was a specific request from survivors who took part in face-to-face Apology consultations in Newcastle.

“Survivors in Newcastle made it clear they wanted the option to attend a local Apology event where they could be in a supportive environment with friends and family,” Ms Claydon.

“The National Apology will provide an historic opportunity for the Parliament of Australia to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, and, on behalf of the nation, say sorry.”

The National Apology Information Line – 1800 604 604 – enables survivors and their supporters to seek further information about all aspects of the Apology and the arrangements for its delivery.

Members of the public are invited to attend the screening in the Banquet Room of City Hall from 10.30am on Monday 22 October. Entry is from Christie Street.