Police Praise Brave Efforts Of 11-Year-Old Girl
'If this doesn't reach into the heart of everyone and want a result, I don't know what else would.'
Police have praised the heroism of an 11-year-old girl whose bravery working with them led to the arrest of a Newcastle man who faced court today (Sunday, June 17) .
The 47-year-old man, charged with kidnapping, six counts of aggravated sexual assault, and four counts of aggravated indecent assault, has been remanded in custody and will return to court on Wednesday.
The man, who cannot be named, did not apply for bail. He is alleged to have kidnapped the girl at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her in a five-hour ordeal on Tuesday, June 12.
At a press conference outside Newcastle Court House this morning Newcastle City Police District Commander Superintendent Brett Greentree said it had "been a very hard week for Newcastle" and people in the community would be sleeping easier tonight.
"This incident sent shivers down the spine of every Novacastrian, and affected not only the police but the community right across the Hunter," Supt Greentree said.
"I think the community can now rest assured that the person we are alleging is responsible for these horrifc crimes is now sitting in a police cell and will face charges today.
"This brave little girl is certainly a hero, and the courage that she has displayed and certainly her family in terms of the heroism that they have, in terms of supporting the police, is just fantastic and it has certainly led to this arrest."
Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec from SCC Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad said while he could not go into the evidence being brought before the court, he described it "compelling circumstantial evidence".
He said the alleged offender was unemployed and had lived a "nomadic life", but was predominantly from the Newcastle area.
He too remarked on the brave efforts of the 11-year-old girl.
"It is remarkable the strength of this young girl, supported by her friends and family, supported by counsellors from John Hunter," Det-Supt Kerlatec said.
"But she has stood up, she has worked with us, her family and friends have worked with us, and she'll continue with her life as we continue on to the next job, sadly.
"We all are parents, we all have children, whether nieces or nephews. If this doesn't reach into the heart of everyone and want a result, I don't know what else would."
The man will face Newcastle Court this morning while police continue to gather evidence. The forensic search, including an examination of the man's car, is expected to take several days.
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
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