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Sex Crime Man Caught

A convicted child sex offender reported as a missing person by his mother and who eluded a police investigation for seven years appeared in Benalla Court yesterday. John Fridey, 53, of Mate Street, Albany, did not enter a plea to 34 charges relating to sex offences against children under 16.
His bait application was part heard last Thursday in Wodonga Court when Det Sgt John Penney from the Geelong Criminal Investigations Unit told the court police had been searching for Mr Fridey for seven years in relation to the investigation.
Sgt Penney told the court Mr Fridey had fled the Geelong area in 1997 when be became aware police wanted to speak to him in relation to a new investigation relating to child sex offences allegedly perpetrated by Mr Fridey from 1992 until 1996.
The court heard there were genuine fears held by' one of the victims that the accused had recently been seen outside a school yard in Geelong.
Sgt Penncy said police had been contacted by Mr Fridey's ex-wife in early March this year after she began receiving child support payments from him, seven years after fleeing the area.
The payments were linked to Albury and police issued a warrant for his arrest on March 4.
The court heard Mr Fridey was arrested at his house in Mate Street on March 10 by Albury police and was extradited to Victoria on March 11.
Police discovered several bills in his house bearing a different name.
Magistrate John Murphy granted Mr Fridey bail on his own undertaking.
Mr Fridey was bailed to reappear at Geelong Magistrates Court on June 18.

Border Mail (16-3-2004)

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