Detectives investigate sexual assault of girl – Lake Macquarie

Police will address the media after launching an investigation into the reported sexual assault of a teenage girl in the Hunter region yesterday.

About 3.30pm (Wednesday 17 October 2018), a 14-year-old girl alighted a bus on the Pacific Highway near South Street, Windale, and walked along Yertala Close before entering scrubland, where she was approached by an unknown man armed with a knife.

The girl was dragged into the bushes and sexually assaulted. The man then ran from the scene and is believed to have driven away in a silver vehicle.

Police were notified after the girl reported the incident when she arrived home.

Emergency services attended the girl’s home before she was taken by NSW Ambulance paramedics to John Hunter Hospital for examination. She has returned home into the care of her family.

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad and Lake Macquarie Police District have established Strike Force Kielpa to investigate the incident.

A crime scene has been established off the Pacific Highway, near South Street, which is currently being examined by specialist forensic officers.

Local police are also conducting a high-visibility policing operation throughout the area to complement investigative strategies.

The man has been described as being aged in his 30s or 40s, with a heavy build, a large belly and legs, a prominent nose and lips. He was last seen wearing a black hooded jumper, long dark-coloured pants, and white sneakers.

Investigators are urging anyone who may have been in the Windale area yesterday afternoon and noticed something suspicious to contact police.

In particular, they are seeking dash-cam vision from motorists who may have been travelling on the Pacific Highway or South Street between 3pm and 4pm to provide copies either to Belmont Police Station or upload it through the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

Lambton kids link centuries through time capsule

LAMBTON’s Mia Witherdin, 4, hopes to convince onlookers at a local war memorial in 100 years’ time that coins, USB sticks and newspapers actually once served a purpose.

The items will be among a host of contemporary curiosities buried this Saturday as part of a time capsule to replace another by left by unsung heroes from the Great War a century ago.


St John’s Primary School students Remy Whitson, 9 and Elliot Guest, 9 with Mia Witherdin, 4 (middle).

“Thank you for putting that time capsule in the ground a long time ago and another one this Saturday,” says Mia, who may well live to address the 22nd century event to unearth the new capsule.

While 140 Lambton men were off fighting World War One, a number of their wives, mothers and sisters formed the Lambton Ladies Committee to raise money to pay for Lambton Park’s Memorial Gates.

Their makeshift time capsule, buried in a bottle beneath the gates a few weeks before armistice, is the only such World War One commemoration in Australia.

When recently unearthed, a newspaper reporting the declaration of war and decaying pennies were found inside.

The 100-year-old bottle was painstakingly dug up – and the new time capsule prepared – to officially salute the 30 visionary women who together mourned 27 local men who didn’t return from the war.

“Saturday’s event will be a community celebration of a resilient group of women with enough spirit and foresight to leave us a link to that disastrous time for the world and the defining event of their lives,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Everyone in the Hunter is invited to turn out to be part of an important piece of local history.

“The City of Newcastle unanimously resolved to help excavate and replace the time capsule by supporting the project with around $60,000 in funds and in-kind support, and Ward 3 Councillors Rufo, Clausen, Winney-Baartz and I will be there on Saturday as very proud representatives of the City.”

Time-Capsule-Photo-4-inside.jpgLord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes pictured with Elder Street Early Childhood Centre students Lucas Wang, 5, and Mia Witherdin, 4. 

Descendants of the Ladies Committee will attend the celebration together with Sydney man John Estell. He will bring the engraved golden trowel his great grandfather, then the local state member, used to lay the foundation stone.

Scores of local kids – Mia among them – will also be there after receiving commemorative medallions from Hunter Development Corporation to encourage them to return in 2118.

The centenarians will then be charged with explaining the contents of the second time capsule, which was built with 21st century smarts, including high-grade stainless steel and an air filter.

“Once closed and sealed, inert argon gas will be pumped into the 26-litre box through one of two valves to avoid mould and oxidation,” City of Newcastle heritage specialist Tom Smith said. “The other one will be used to expel any impure air.”

Lambton community historian Robert Watson said archaeologists, volunteers and a stone mason recently took around nine hours to exhume the old time capsule.

“The whole excavation was a painstaking process because underneath the foundation stone was solid a block on concrete with the glass bottle inside,” he said.

“The rolled-up newspaper was pretty damp and in a bad state of decay and we could barely read anything on a penny because of the corrosion.”

The new capsule will also contain:Golden-Trowel-(1).jpg

  • A letter from Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes
  • A letter from His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley
  • A letter/document from Newcastle Museum with a contemporary interpretation of World War One
  • A letter from Terri-Lee Darcy/Auntie Phyllis to consider Aboriginal cultural heritage and stories/family experiences
  • A contribution from Lambton Jaffas Football Club
  • A contribution from Lambton Swimming Pool
  • Photo of RSL guard of honour set against backdrop of the Gates
  • Photo and names of the Newcastle City councillors
  • Cr Rufo’s Council badge
  • A copy of the invite to the event
  • A USB stick with a copy of My Country video and VR package from 2018 NAIDOC Week and another containing photos of 1918 capsule and its retrieval
  • A copy of all 54 issues of The Lambton Local
  • A copy of the names of the Anzac Ladies Club’s members
  • RSL charter
  • Sonia Hornery – RSL book
  • Photos of pre and school kids – whole of school / preschool or classes
  • St Johns photo
  • Stamps and Armistice Commemorative coins from 2018
  • Photos documenting original time capsule from International Conservation Services
  • The Story of Lambton in Lambton book by Julie Keating
  • A street map of Lambton with current lot & DPs
  • Old RSL relic items – two bullet shell cones and the Lambton-New Lambton RSL Sub- Branch Constitution, 1938.
  • Current issue of coins.
  • Program from Lizottes
  • Music from This Land

Man charged over alleged indecent assault of young employee

A man has been charged after allegedly indecently assaulting a young employee at a Hunter region take-away shop.

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commenced an investigation earlier this week after receiving reports a teenage girl had been indecently assaulted while at work.

Following investigations, a 74-year-old man was arrested by detectives at a shop on Tarean Road, Karuah, just before 10am yesterday (Tuesday 16 October 2018).

He was taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station and charged with four counts of indecent assault-person under 16 years.

Police will allege in court that the girl was indecently assaulted on a number of occasions while working alone with her employer at a take-away store at Karuah.

The man was refused bail and appeared at Raymond Terrace Local Court yesterday, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Tuesday 6 November 2018.

Investigations are continuing.


Australia Day Awards now open online

Nominations have opened for Newcastle’s 2019 Australia Day Awards.

Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said the city was looking for inspirational role models to be nominated for Newcastle’s Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year.

Traditional hard-copy nomination forms can be downloaded from City of Newcastle’s website and can also be completed and lodged online.


Mark Hughes receiving this year’s Citizenship Of The Year Award from The Lord Mayor.

“These awards recognise an individual’s or group’s outstanding achievements and contribution to the community for the past year,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This could be in the through arts, science, engineering, sports or any other field of endeavour. The aim is not just to award people with high profiles – we also want to hear about the quiet achievers who work tirelessly and often thanklessly to make the world a better place.”

Our current Citizen of the Year is Mark Hughes, whose Foundation has raised more than $1.75 million for brain cancer research.

Previous winners include Newcastle refugee advocate Sister Diana Santleben,  legendary athlete Kurt Fearnley, and former University of Newcastle Chancellor and clinical psychologist Professor Trevor Waring.

“Nominating someone is simple, so we want to see as many worthy people as possible nominated and considered for these annual awards,” Cr Nelmes said.

Nominees must be residents of the Newcastle local government area, except for Community Group of the Year which can be from outside the LGA in exceptional circumstances.

They must be Australian citizens and must be turning at least 16 years of age in 2018.

A panel of judges will consider each nomination on its merits, with the awards presented at a ceremony on Australia Day, 2019.

To access nomination forms go to Australia Day nominations

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:

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:

More information and educational packages for parents and children are available from ThinkUKnow, a multi-agency program designed to educate and promote cyber safety:

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:

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
Hills District
Northern Suburbs
Hastings Valley
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.