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State pays for bikeway rapist Luke James Colless' crimes

Total compensation for the victims of Brisbane's bikeway rapist Luke James Colless has risen to $127,750, after another victim was awarded $35,000.
The woman is the seventh of Colless's 11 victims to be awarded criminal compensation.
Brisbane District Court judge Marshall Irwin, in a just-published 36 page decision, awarded criminal compensation to the woman, now aged 24, after Colless raped her as she was out walking at Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast.
The court was told the woman, then 18, was "very frightened" during the unprovoked attack.
Colless pleaded guilty in August 2009 to one count each of raping the teenager and sexually assaulting her.
Judge Irwin awarded the victim $35,250 compensation, including $18,000 for mental or nervous shock, $2250 for physical injuries and $15,000 for adverse impact of a sexual assault.
The court was told the woman no longer goes to Burleigh Heads, is extremely frightened when hearing someone running behind her, avoids walking at night and experiences constant nightmares.
Judge Irwin noted, as he did in previous cases, that all of the victims "were exercising and enjoying their environment by walking, jogging and bike riding in public places where they had every right to feel safe and secure".
"The applicant (referred to only as ASH) in no way contributed to her injuries."
In addition to compensation, $50,000 in rewards was paid for the capture of Colless.
As Colless has no assets, all payments are expected to be made from a state fund.
Colless, a church-going father of four, made national headlines in August 2009 after admitting to attacks on 11 women, aged between 18 and 52, across Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
On August 28, 2009, Judge Irwin sentenced Colless to 25 years' jail, but that sentence was reduced by the Court of Appeal to 16 years.
The Court of Appeal's reasoning was that the sentencing judge failed to properly take into account all mitigating circumstances.
The Courier-Mail in November 2010 revealed Colless, now aged 36, had his prison term extended by two years for molesting two girls, aged three and seven, between March 1, 2007 and February 29, 2008.
That means Colless will now not be eligible for parole until mid-2024.
Details of the offences about the two girls and where they were committed cannot be revealed to ensure the victims are not identified.


www.couriermail.com.au (14-8-2012)
Tony Keim
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/state-pays-for-bikeway-rapist-luke-james-colless-crimes/story-fndo1yus-1226450400791?nk=cc9f72a60feb0d054798e0f10a81f337


MAKO/Files Online.. Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders.. FREE Public Service..



Sixth victim of bikeway serial rapist Luke James Colless victim gets criminal compensation

The cost to Queensland taxpayers for the horrific crimes of Brisbane's sadistic serial rapist Luke James Colless continues to grow with the awarding of $21,750 in compensation to another of his victims.
It is the sixth of Colless's 11 victims to be awarded criminal compensation - bringing the total so far to $122,250.
Brisbane District Court judge Marshall Irwin, in a written 32-page judgment that became available yesterday, awarded compensation to a woman, now aged 56, who was sexually assaulted while out jogging in Brisbane Forest Park, in the western suburbs, about 4.45pm on March 2, 2007.
Judge Irwin, in a decision delivered last month, said the woman bid Colless a friendly "good day" as she was exercising along a "narrow section of walking track."
He said Colless grabbed the woman by the hand, pulled her to the ground and onto gravel, then pinned her down, put his hand over her mouth and nose, making it impossible for her to breathe.
"She fought back struggling violently against (Colless) with the result that he removed his hand. This enabled her to start screaming," Judge Irwin said.
"(Colless) threatened to kill her if she didn't stop ... (and) then punched her three times to the right side of the head.
"During the struggle an earring was ripped from her ear ... (and) she feared for her life."
Colless pleaded guilty in August 2009 to one count of assaulting the woman with intent to rape her and actually causing her bodily harm.
Judge Irwin awarded the victim $11,250 in compensation for mental or nervous shock, $7500 for the adverse impact of sexual offences and $3000 for bruising and lacerations sustained in the attack.
Judge Irwin said: "The applicant (victim) along with other victims was attacked generally at a time when they were exercising and enjoying their environment by walking jogging and bike riding in public places where they had every right to feel safe and secure."
In addition to compensation, the State Government has so far paid $50,000 in rewards for the capture of Colless.
As Colless has no assets, all payments are expected to be made from a state fund.
Colless, a church-going father of four, made national headlines in August 2009 last year after admitting to attacks on 11 women, aged between 18 and 52, across Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
On August 28, 2009, Judge Irwin sentenced him to 25 years' jail, but that sentence was reduced by the Court of Appeal to 16 years.
The Court of Appeal's reasoning was that the sentencing judge failed to properly take into account all mitigating circumstances.
The Courier-Mail in November revealed Colless, now aged 33, had his prison term extended by two years for molesting two girls, aged three and seven, between March 1, 2007 and February 29, 2008.
That means Colless will now not be eligible for parole until mid-2024.
Details of the offences on the two girls and where they were committed cannot be revealed to ensure the victims are not identified.


The Courier-mail (15-3-2011)
Tony Keim
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/sixth-victim-of-bikeway-serial-rapist-luke-james-colless-victim-gets-criminal-compensation/story-e6freoof-1226021909702


Bikeway rapist gets 4 more years for molesting two girls aged 3 and 7

A serial bikeway rapist who terrorised southeast Queensland for more than two years has been sentenced to a further four years' jail after admitting to molesting two young girls.
Luke James Colless, 33, will now not be eligible for parole until mid-2024 after Brisbane District Court Judge Marshall Irwin sentenced him on two counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with the girls.
Judge Irwin was told Colless committed the offences on the children, aged three and seven, between March 1, 2007, and February 29, 2008.
Details of the offences and where they were committed cannot be revealed to ensure the victims are not identified.
Judge Irwin ordered the four-year sentence be added to the 16-year sentence Colless is already serving for terrorising and sexually preying on 11 women.
Colless, a church-going father of four, made national headlines in August last year after admitting to attacks on 11 women, aged between 18 and 52, across Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The landscape gardener's double life was laid bare when he pleaded guilty to five counts of rape, five counts of assault with intent to rape, six counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault causing bodily harm
between April 2006 and July 2008.
The court was told he would stake out a spot in a park or bikepath and change into jogging clothes.
Once he had identified his target, he would stalk them, grab them around the mouth and sexually assault them.
On August 28 last year, Judge Irwin sentenced him to 25 years' jail, but that sentence was reduced by the Court of Appeal to 16 years.
The Court of Appeal's reasoning was that the sentencing judge failed to properly take into account all mitigating circumstances.
Prosecutor Todd Fuller, on October 15, said Colless's assaults on the two girls "overlapped with his serial-rape offences".
He said the attacks came to light only days before Colless was to be sentenced for the bikeway rapes.
Judge Irwin last year spent almost two hours documenting in detail the attacks and the trauma suffered by each of Colless's victims.
"You are a serial rapist who violently attacked and terrorised a large group of women," he said
"These were cowardly attacks that showed a callous disregard for the dignity and welfare of the women involved. They were violated and degraded."
Taxpayers have so far paid $100,500 in compensation to five of Colless's victims and $50,000 in rewards for information leading to his capture.


The Courier Mail (12-11-2010)
Tony Keim
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/bikeway-rapist-gets-4-more-years-for-molesting-two-girls-aged-3-and-7/story-e6freon6-1225952307403


Nine Years Cut From bikeway Rapist's Sentence

Brisbane's bikeway rapist has had nine years slashed from his sentence on appeal.
Father of four Luke James Colless , 34, was jailed for 25 years in the Brisbane District Court in August last year for a string of attacks along Brisbane bikeways.
Between April 2006 and July 2008, Colless attacked 11 women, "violently raping" five with his fingers, sentencing Judge Marshall Irwin said.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of rape, five counts of assault with intent to commit rape, six counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.
Last week, he appealed against his sentence, with his lawyer Carl Heaton arguing in the Court of Appeal that 25 years was "excessive".
Mr Heaton argued that Judge Irwin had not balanced the "objective circumstances of the offending" with the "significant and compelling mitigating factors in (Colless') favour".
He said Colless' offending was less serious than other comparable cases relied on by the crown, and that too much weight was placed on the degree of violence Colless used to subdue some of his victims.
Mr Heaton argued that in his client's favour was his extremely early plea of guilty, his remorse and his own admissions to police. The lawyer said these factors should have led the judge to arrive at a sentence of around 15 to 16 years.
Today, the Court of Appeal upheld Mr Heaton's arguments and substituted a 16-year sentence in place of the 25 years handed down last year. This means that instead of being eligible for parole after serving 15 years, Colless will be able to apply for release after serving a little less than 13 years in custody.
He will be required to undertake a sexual offender course before being granted his freedom.
In making the decision to cut his sentence, the three judges of the Court of Appeal noted the "substantial mitigating circumstances of the case", ruling Judge Irwin failed to make "adequate allowance" for them.

AAP (23-2-2010)
Christine Flatley


Bikeway rapist victims seek compensation

Two women are seeking criminal compensation from Brisbane's bikeway rapist.
Luke James Colless, 32, was jailed for 25 years in August last year for a string of violent assaults on women on Brisbane bikeways between April 2006 and July 2008.
The attacks were investigated under Operation Echo Shine, involving almost 500 police officers tracking down 4,600 lines of inquiry.
The breakthrough came when two witnesses - who have since shared in a $50,000 reward - took down the registration of Colless's vehicle and reported it to police after a Kangaroo Point attack.
Colless pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to five counts of rape, five counts of assault with intent to commit rape, six counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm during attacks on 11 women aged between 18 and 52.
Two of the women, who cannot be identified, this week lodged claims for criminal compensation in the Brisbane District Court registry.
They could each be eligible to receive up to $75,000.
The matters will be heard on a date to be fixed.

www.brisbanetimes.com.au (13-1-2010)


Bikeway Attacks Reward Paid

Police have confirmed the $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Echo Shine bikeway rapist will be split between two men.
Irishman Kieran O'Neill and Brisbane's Peter Slater were both working for the Brisbane City Council at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs on July 16, 2008 when the screams of a woman were heard coming from the base of the cliffs.
When a man was seen running in the opposite direction, Mr O'Neill followed him and recorded his car registration details.
Mr Slater also recorded the number, writing it on the floor of the work van.
Mr O'Neill then went to the aid of the woman who had just been sexually assaulted while jogging on the bikepath.
When police arrived, he gave them the registration details but later expressed concern to his workmates that perhaps he took down the number incorrectly.
Another worker, Jim Boyd, then contacted a detective he knew and gave them the registration number written on the van.
The information led to the arrest of Luke Colless, a father of four, who had no criminal history and was not among the 760 men interviewed by police in relation to the bikeway attacks.
He is now serving 25 years jail after pleading guilty to attacks on 11 women.
Assistant Commissioner Ross Barnett said Mr Boyd had declined a share of the reward despite his contribution to the process.
"Police worked off statements by the people involved and following up with further interviews as necessary to ensure those who assisted police to bring the offender to justice were appropriately recognised," Mr Barnett said.
"It became clear during this process that the two men who received the reward contributed equally to the identification and arrest of the offender in this case and should be congratulated for their quick-thinking and civic minded actions."
Police had previously only acknowledged the contribution of Mr O'Neill, an Irish tourist who has since returned home to Crumlin.
Earlier this month, he criticised his former council workmate for seeking half of the reward, claiming he had "stood back and done nothing".
Today Mr O'Neill said he was grateful for the reward money but disappointed with the decision to split it equally. "I can't believe it. I just feel gutted. Not by the amount but that he gets anything," Mr O'Neill said.
"It will be bad luck money for him anyhow."
He said the police had asked for his bank account details so the money could be transferred.
"It's good. It's much needed. I only have part-time work at the moment and desperately need a car," he said.
"It's all just come as a bit of a shock that I'll have to get over."
Mr Barnett said Mr O'Neill's claims Mr Slater was undeserving of the reward were unsubstantiated and misleading.
"The service has no interest or bias in this matter and is confident that this decision fairly and appropriately recognises the actions of the men involved in bringing this offender to justice."

Courier Mail (24-12-2009)
Robyn Ironside




Victim's Screams Snared Alleged Attacker

The latest victim of Brisbane's notorious bikeway sex assaults has revealed how her accused attacker was finally brought undone by a cry for help.
At least two men have long eluded police despite a brazen and often violent series of rapes and sex attacks on women in public places throughout 2006 and 2007.
But last Wednesday a man was arrested after a daylight attack on a 27-year-old woman jogging at the base of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
Yesterday the woman, who cannot be named, told The Courier-Mail how she screamed for help as he forced her to the ground and put his hand over her mouth.
A walker coming up disturbed the attacker, who just "walked away like nothing had happened", the woman said.
"That guy didn't know what to do. I'm screaming 'he's attacked me, he's attacked me'. A surveyor at the top of the cliffs heard me screaming and walked down to the top of the stairs," she said.
"He thought it was weird someone was walking away from a woman screaming for help and he was smart enough to get his car rego. Then he came down the stairs looking for me, to see if I was all right."
The car registration details helped Dutton Park police track down the alleged attacker, who the victim identified from a line-up of 12 photographs.
A 31-year-old married father of four was charged with one count of rape and appeared in court last Thursday. Detectives suspected him of having committed previous offences.
They contacted the Echo Shine taskforce, set up to investigate 42 bikepath attacks on women in 2006 and 2007.
Yesterday, the same man was charged with 29 offences relating to nine of the bikeway attacks and another sexual assault on the Gold Coast in January.
Taskforce chief Detective Inspector Bob Hytch said it was a "significant breakthrough" for the Echo Shine team.
"To say that the investigation team is buoyant would be an understatement," he said.
The man, from Arana Hills, in Brisbane's northwest, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court yesterday on 29 charges of rape, sexual assault and deprivation of liberty. He looked sheepishly into the public gallery and acknowledged three female supporters.
Sporting a watchhouse-issue tracksuit, the accused man appeared distressed as the court heard charges against him.
Defence lawyer David Cameron told the court his client had "co-operated fully" with the police, and did not wish to make a bail application.
He was remanded in custody until September 22.
Det-Insp Hytch said the arrest would not end the scaled-back Echo Shine taskforce, still investigating 33 attacks.
"There should be some lessening of the fear but the message is, people still need to be vigilant out there," he said.
Last Wednesday's victim said she felt empowered by the arrest and the subsequent additional charges.
"The only way they were going to catch him was for him to do it again," she said.
"I feel quite lucky. It could've been so much worse."
She praised the council worker who came to her aid.
"It's because of him this guy's behind bars," she said.
The State Government was yesterday considering whether the council worker who took down the registration details was eligible for a $50,000 reward on offer for information leading to an arrest in the Echo Shine case.

Courier Mail (23-7-2008)
Robyn Ironside/ Jasmin Lill


Man, 31, Questioned Over Brisbane Bikeway Sex Attacks

A man being held by police in relation to more than 40 sexual attacks on women in Brisbane was arrested after an alleged daylight assault on a jogger.
Police confirmed last night detectives had questioned a 31-year-old man from Arana Hills in Brisbane's northwest in relation to 42 sex assaults across the city's northside bike paths since January 2006.
The man was taken to the city watchhouse yesterday afternoon and was being held in custody in relation to another sex attack at Kangaroo Point last week.
Police said it was "a matter of course" that every man accused of a sexual attack was referred to the Echo Shine taskforce for investigation.
But it is believed DNA tests have linked this man to the spate of bikeway and park attacks involving 42 victims throughout 2006 and 2007.
The Echo Shine taskforce was scaled down three months ago, after interviewing more than 700 persons of interest and ofefring a $50,000 reward.
DNA samples were taken from victims of the sex attacks and will be compared with DNA taken from the suspect police have in custody.
Queensland police threw themselves into the case as outcry grew over the brazen nature of the attacks on the women, some of whom were violently dragged into bushes before being assaulted.
Police have previously said they believed at least two men were responsible for the attacks which ranged from opportunistic groping to more violent sexual assaults.
In July last year the women of Brisbane gave a collective cheer as one bikeway user fought back when attacked.
The 41-year-old former self-defence instructor and daughter of a boxer "whacked" a man who pulled a knife on her in busy Kalinga Park at Clayfield.
As a result of media coverage and an increased police presence on bike paths, the number of offences declined.
But it was only in April that police scaled back the operation after closing in on two suspects they believed might have been responsible for at least 28 offences between them.
The 31-year-old man arrested by police over the Kangaroo Point attack spent last night in the city watchhouse and is expected to face court today.

Courier Mail (22-7-2008)
David Earley, Margaret Wenham



Bikeway Attack Investigations Ongoing

POLICE say they will continue to investigate a spate of sex attacks on Brisbane bikeways despite today's arrest of a man accused of nine of the assaults.
A 31-year-old Arana Hills man, who cannot be named, today faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on 29 charges, including four of rape, five of assault with intent to commit rape and nine of deprivation of liberty.
Documents tendered to the court show the charges relate to 10 offences stretching from April 28, 2006, to January 30 this year.
Nine of the offences - at Ferny Hills, Paddington, The Gap, Stafford, Indooroopilly, McDowall and Ashgrove - were investigated as part of Operation Echo Shine, which looked into 42 sex attacks on Brisbane bikeways in 2005 and 2006.
The latest alleged offence occurred at Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast.
The man did not apply for bail and was not required to enter a plea.
The matter will next be heard in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 22, when he will not be required to appear.
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch today told reporters the man was charged this morning after being arrested over a daytime sexual assault of a woman as she ran along the base of Brisbane's Kangaroo Point cliffs last week.
Information from a council worker led to the man's arrest, before police identified similarities to offences being investigated by Echo Shine, he said.
Insp Hytch said other bikeway attacks by a man on a pushbike were still under investigation.
"And there's 18 offences in that category where (the attacker's) gone up and inappropriately touched females walking on the tracks," he said.
But that man had not struck since November 2006, Insp Hytch said.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today encouraged women to continue to use the bikeways.
"I would say to all women out there that being out and about is a very important part of enjoying this wonderful city and keeping fit and healthy, and I would encourage people to be out there doing that, but always take the necessary precautions," she said.
Police said it had not yet been determined whether the council worker might receive the $50,000 reward offered as part of Echo Shine.

AAP (22-7-2008)
Jessica Marszalek


Police Scale Down Search for 'Bike Path' Attackers

QUEENSLAND police have scaled back an operation investigating sexual attacks on women using Brisbane's bike paths, but say they are closing in on the suspects.
And they have narrowed the hunt down to two men they believe may have been responsible for at least 28 offences between them.
Operation Echo Shine was launched in August 2006 after a number of assaults on women across the city.
The operation drew on the work of seven full-time detectives and investigated 43 separate offences, the last of which occurred on March 2 last year at Ferny Hills, in Brisbane's north.
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch today announced the operation's main operations room will be closed and the investigation handed over to metropolitan north regional crime coordinator, Detective Superintendent John Curtin.
"We're not closing down the investigation or the operation itself, it will remain operating," Insp Hytch told reporters today.
Reward offered
Media coverage of the attacks and an increased police presence on bike paths had resulted in a decline in the number of offences being committed, he said.
"We have now reached a stage where the information coming in from the public has virtually stopped and we've run out the information that we have on hand," Insp Hytch said.
In the course of the investigation, police had narrowed their suspects to two men, Insp Hytch said.
One man is believed to be responsible for at least 18 offences where he groped women as they passed by, while the other is allegedly responsible for at least 10 incidents in which he knocked his victim over and sexually assaulted them.
Asked whether police were any closer to identifying the two suspects, Supt John Curtin answered: "No doubt we are, that's pretty clear."
Insp Hytch said 900 people had been ruled out as suspects by the operation in the largest DNA sampling procedure ever conducted by Queensland police.
As a result of the operation police have arrested 11 people who have been charged with 23 offences unrelated to the bike path attacks, ranging from sexual assault and rape to robbery.
Insp Hytch said it was important women using Brisbane's bike paths remain vigilant, and recommended women exercise with a friend and always carry a mobile phone

AAP (11-4-2008)
Drew Cratchley


Attacks Cover-Up Denied

POLICE have denied their decision to exclude any pre-2006 Brisbane bikeway sexual attacks from their current operation is an attempt to pretend the attacks have not been going on longer.
Operation Echo Shine lead investigator Bob Hytch yesterday ruled out including any assaults before January 13 last year the first of 38 confirmed cases even if they could be linked to the men his team were hunting.
"It certainly doesn't mean we ignore these offences but we've got to be practical and focus on the offenders we have identified more recently," Detective Inspector Hytch said.
The Courier-Mail revealed last week that a police operation at the time had failed to catch a "jogging groper" who assaulted at least 10 women in the Red Hill area within three months during 2002.
Operation Echo Shine investigators did not link that operation, code-named Birdwatch, to the current probe mainly because the man was not on a bicycle as in recent attacks in the area.
Moreover, a composite picture of the man issued at the time does not match any current ones which police have released.
But Insp Hytch said yesterday: "I haven't ruled him out. I'm just saying there is no evidence to link him.
"There have been groping offences around Brisbane ever since I began in the service (27 years ago)."
He confirmed that he had now spoken to Courier-Mail journalist Christine Middap, who told readers last week about how she was assaulted by a man on a bike in the Red Hill area just after Birdwatch.
"We've certainly examined the information about Christine's complaint, but there is no evidence to link them," he said.
Insp Hytch said Operation Echo Shine had been set up to investigate offences committed from early 2006 through to the present, "and those are its parameters . . . we must remain focused".
Crime Stoppers has received about 600 phone calls since a $50,000 reward for information was posted on January 7.
Calls peaked on Sunday after The Courier-Mail's Walk Without Fear rally, where almost 1000 people united in condemnation of the attacks in an inner Brisbane park.
Insp Hytch would not confirm or deny whether police had been videoing people at the rally in the hope of identifying one of the suspects.
Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.

The Courier Mail (18-1-2007)
Patrick Lion



Public Demand Progress

POLICE hunting the bikeway attackers terrorising Brisbane women are feeling more public pressure as days pass without an arrest.
As Operation Echo Shine investigators yesterday continued to sift through the 581 phone calls to Crime Stoppers since a $50,000 reward was posted on January 7, lead investigator Detective Inspector Bob Hytch called on the public for patience.
"There is a certainly an air of expectation within the community and that was evident at the rally on Sunday," he said.
"We expect (when an arrest will happen) is an obvious and logical question that people would ask more as we progress."
Det-Insp Hytch said no deadline had been put on the operation's increased team of 50 staff but it would continue until the offenders were arrested.
His team was yesterday doorknocking houses in Red Hill, the suburb where a teenage girl was assaulted in Woolcock Park behind her home last Tuesday.
It is also a hotspot among many of the 38 confirmed park and bikeway attacks since last January.
The developments came as police defended a two-month delay in releasing video footage of a man who sexually assaulted a woman at a Brisbane railway station.
The woman, 18, was attacked in a stairwell of the Northgate station early on November 18 last year.
The attack was caught on security camera but Insp John Hegarty said it was inconvenient for investigators to release the footage before yesterday.
"It's convenient at this point in time from an operational perspective (to release the film)," he said.
It was the fourth northside attack to emerge within the past 48 hours.
Another woman, 18, was assaulted at the same station on Tuesday, another was sexually assaulted at Kallangur on Monday and one attacked at Brighton yesterday morning.
Echo Shine investigators have ruled out any links between those attacks and their operation.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers.

The Courier Mail (17-1-2007)
Patrick Lion/ Neil Hickey

A person has since been arrested/ charged over attack on 18yr old girl at Northgate station, Brisbane in Nov 2006. Read More




Police Search For Bikeway Attackers Intensifies

BRISBANE'S bikeway attackers are being hunted by the largest police taskforce since Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe disappeared three years ago.
More than 50 officers have been assigned to the case, involving 38 attacks on northside bikeways and walking tracks in the past year.
Investigation head Bob Hytch said police would continue the inquiry, codenamed Echo Shine, for as long as it took to find the culprits.
"This is a hard, hard type of investigation," Detective Inspector Hytch said.
"There have been no breakthroughs and there are no specific lines of inquiry."
He said only the disappearance of Daniel, 13, and the 1987 murder of Sian Kingi, 12, in Noosa National Park had generated similar responses.
Since the State Government announced a $50,000 reward 10 days ago, Crime Stoppers has received 510 calls from people proffering information.
Some callers have named suspects, whom police hope to investigate further this week.
"There have been a lot of names supplied, but we have to do our research and homework before we approach them," Insp Hytch said.
He said 44 calls were received after Sunday's Walk Without Fear rally, organised by The Courier-Mail.
"Hopefully we will make our own luck this week," Insp Hytch said.

Courier Mail (16-1-2007)
Richard Finnila



Sex Attacker Strikes At Kallangur

ANOTHER Brisbane woman has fallen victim to an outdoor sex attacker as she walked through parkland alone at Kallangur.
The 22-year-old Kallangur woman was sexually assaulted around 4.10 pm yesterday.
The attacker approached her as she walked through parkland at the end of Balstrup Road, known as Freshwater Reserve.
The man then sexually assaulted her before fleeing on foot through the reserve in the direction of Lily Road.
The offender has been described as Caucasian, in his mid 30s, 185 centimetres tall with ash coloured hair.
He was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, black stonewash jeans and a belt with a silver buckle featuring a cows head.
His face was obscured by a homemade mask believed to be made from a t-shirt with holes cut in it.
Police have not linked this attack with those on Brisbane's northside associated with Operation Echo Shine.
* Overnight police arrested a 19-year-old man brandishing an axe after he began hacking a caravan in a caravan park on Aquarium Avenue, Hemmant. The axe attack occurred about 8.30pm last night.
In Mackay a 34-year-old man armed with a knife has been charged with breaching a domestic violence order after he barricaded himself inside a unit. Police negotiated with the man and he came out of the unit without incident about 1.50am.

Courier Mail (16-1-2007)



Women Band Together To Warn Off Predators

IT was an impressive show of defiance and a warning to Brisbane's bikeway predators.
With signs bearing police identikit pictures of the alleged attackers and declaring: "You will be caught", Brisbane mum Phillipa Tzilois, her sister and her niece joined The Courier-Mail's Walk Without Fear rally yesterday.
"We all go walking and it makes it very difficult when there's someone out there making it a bit scary," Ms Tzilois said. "This is really affecting our lifestyle."
Although three of the 38 reported attacks on women in Brisbane parks and bikeways in the past year took place near her Kelvin Grove home, Ms Tzilois is refusing to abandon her afternoon walk along Enoggera Creek.
Instead, like others who stood together at yesterday's rally, she is adopting a strength in numbers approach.
"I've buddied up with a girl who lives around the corner. I used to see her around, but I noticed she'd stopped walking, so we go walking together now. It's really great and you get a new friend."
Ms Tzilois thinks a kind of unofficial neighbourhood watch is developing as women band together to keep each other safe.
That's exactly what regular walkers Kelli Shoesmith, Renee Templeton and Rachel Storer are doing in Kedron.
"Renee is my neighbour and we sort of got to know each other and decided we should start walking together," Ms Shoesmith said. "It's better to do it together."
But Ms Shoesmith has made some concessions - now preferring to take her walks along busy streets and even catching an earlier train home to arrive before dark.
But she won't be giving up her exercise and was impressed with the defiant attitude of the hundreds of women who turned out yesterday.
For New Farm's Anna Marsden, yesterday's rally was an inspiration.
She and her friends have been exercising separately, but are now thinking of starting an unofficial walking club.
"You know how people have book clubs with friends, we should probably be getting all of our friends together to go for a walk," she said.

The Courier Mail (15-1-2007)
Melanie Christiansen



Hundreds Walk Without Fear

PEOPLE power flexed its muscles yesterday in a show of defiance that sent a message to Brisbane's bikeway sex fiends: You won't ruin our lifestyle.
About 800 people gathered at McCaskie Park in Kelvin Grove for The Courier-Mail's Walk Without Fear rally, determined to show support for the police effort to catch the men responsible for at least 38 attacks on women on the bikeways and paths of the city's northern suburbs.
Among the speakers at the rally was Acting Premier Anna Bligh, who urged people to continue using the paths and to be vigilant for each other.
"The most important thing we can do is keep using our pathways. Do it with commonsense, do it with the hints the police have about safety, but there is safety in numbers," she said.
At least two victims of the attacks attended yesterday's rally. One of them told of how she fought off her assailant and she urged women to learn self-defence.

The Courier Mail (14-1-2007)


Man Charged With Brisbane Attacks

A 21-YEAR-old man has been charged over three sexual assaults on Brisbane's bayside.
It is alleged he began targeting women on Capalaba streets on December 7 when a 35-year-old woman was groped on her bottom and breasts as she walked along Wentworth Drive.
On December 21, a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on Kennedy Drive.
A 31-year-old woman was groped on Wentworth Drive three days later.
The Capalaba man is in custody to appear in Cleveland Magistrates Court today charged with three counts of sexual assault.

AAP (12-1-2007)


Police Charge Accused Multiple Sex Attacker

POLICE have charged a 21-year-old man over three outdoor sexual assaults of women after he was recognised late yesterday by one of his alleged victims.
In what appears a significant breakthrough in the investigation of sex attacks against women, the man was arrested and charged after one of his alleged victims recognised him outside a business in Capalaba.
The man however has been charged only over three attacks in Brisbane's southside, and not attacks against women on Brisbane's inner northern suburban bikeways.
Police this morning said they had charged the 21-year-old with three counts of sexual assault relating to separate incidents last month.
About 12.30pm on December 7, a 35-year-old woman was walking along Wentworth Drive, Capalaba when a man approached her from behind and grabbed her on the buttocks and breast.
About 2.30pm on December 21, a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a man on Kennedy Drive, Capalaba.
And in the third incident, a 31-year-old woman walked past a man using a phone box on Wentworth Drive about 5pm on December 24, at the same location as the first offence.
The man approached the woman from behind and grabbed her on the buttocks before leaving the scene.
Bail had been opposed and the man will appear in Cleveland Magistrates Court today.

The Courier Mail (12-1-2007)


Assault Pattern Repeats

THE official investigation into the spate of Brisbane bikeway and park female sexual attacks widened last night to include two new cases.
Taskforce Operation Echo Shine will this morning look into the northside assaults, taking the total since January 13 last year to at least 38.
They include a woman, 27, on a bicycle who was groped by a man on a bike in February or March last year on the riverside bikeway near Ann St in the city.
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch said the women came forward after hearing of the case in the media this week.
"The man has come up on her right-hand side and has grabbed her on the breast," he said.
Another woman, 31, walking along Glenrosa Rd in Red Hill on January 13 was groped by a man on a bicycle wearing distinctive red hibiscus-patterned board shorts.
The woman saw the same man riding his bike on the same street last month and provided a more detailed description to police, which included acne scars on his cheeks, a foam bicycle helmet and sunglasses.
"It's not the first time those shorts have come up," Insp Hytch said. "In at least one other attack those same shorts have been described."
That January 13 attack came a fortnight before five women were groped in the space of 90 minutes on January 27 between Ashgrove and Kelvin Grove by a man on a bicycle. One of those was, again, on Glenrosa Rd. The pattern was the initial seed for Echo Shine.
Insp Hytch said patrol strategies had focused around Glenrosa Rd which borders Woolcock Park, where a girl, 16, was groped by a man on foot on Tuesday afternoon.
"He started talking to me," the victim told Channel 9 last night.
"He said, 'What are you doing here, pretty?' And then he licked my face on my cheek. I was telling him to let go and get off me but he was just laughing."
Insp Hytch said at the time he believed that attacker was a local.
"It's certainly of a particular geographical interest to us now we have confirmed a further attack in the area, but it was certainly on our agenda beforehand," Insp Hytch said.
Crime Stoppers took a bumper 50 calls yesterday, taking the total to 333 since the $50,000 reward was posted.
Police are trying to locate a woman who contacted the call centre claiming she was a victim of an assault from a man on a bike on Herston bike path last July.
The woman gave limited details, which has made it difficult to track her down and include the assault as part of Echo Shine.
A police spokeswoman said investigators were confident they would speak to her today.

The Courier Mail (11-1-2007)
Patrick Lion


Rally The numbers

ACTING Premier Anna Bligh has urged walkers, runners and cyclists to return to Brisbane's paths and bikeways declaring there was safety in numbers.
Ms Bligh, a regular runner herself, said while it was important to take precautions, offenders could be deterred if more people used the parks and paths because there would be more potential eyewitnesses.
"While I can understand that people are increasingly reluctant to use the parkways, the reality is we're safer, the more people are out there," Ms Bligh said.
"The best precaution is to have more people using them . . . being eyewitnesses."
Ms Bligh will lead The Courier-Mail's Walk Without Fear rally at McCaskie Park, on the corner of Kelvin Grove Rd and Blamey St, at 10am on Sunday.
She will be joined by personalities from Channel 9 and radio station B105 as well as politicians, community leaders and police who are hunting the attackers.
The community rally will give Brisbane residents the chance to stand together to condemn the attacks on women and reclaim the parks and bikeways for the public.
There will also be self-defence demonstrations at the rally and advice on protection from possible attack.
Ms Bligh said while she regularly ran with a group during the week, on the weekends she usually ran alone. "Like many other people, I have to carefully decide what route I take."

The Courier Mail (11-1-2007)
Rosemary Odgers


Brazen Sex Attacker Strikes Near Victim's Home

A brazen sex attacker terrorising Brisbane women has struck again, assaulting a teenage girl 40m from her home.
The girl, 16, was playing with her daschund near her Red Hill house just after 2pm (AEDT) yesterday when a man emerged from Ithaca Creek scrub and grabbed her from behind. The dog attacked the man, who kicked it and then fled through the bush.
It was the 36th park or bikeway attack in the past year.
The younger brother of yesterday's victim said last night that he and his sister regularly played with their dog at the site of the attack.
"It's disgusting how men are trying to rape these young women and this is so close to our home," he said.
His sister was traumatised but unhurt and provided Taskforce Operation Echo Shine investigators with details of her attacker. Police linked the incident with previous attacks.
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch said the offender smelt of cigarettes and alcohol, a similar description of past predators.
The man is believed to live locally, be aged 35 to 40, 175cm, with mousy brown hair and some facial hair. He was wearing a turquoise flannelette shirt, dark tracksuit pants and thongs.
"We are certainly looking at some similarities between this and the other attacks," Insp Hytch said. "This has been an attack of opportunity and it appears the offender might have been in the scrub for some time."
Police called in sniffer dogs and doorknocked residents.

The Courier Mail (10-1-2007)
Patrick Lion


Victim 'Too Afraid To Tell'

A BRISBANE mother was sexually assaulted on a notorious northside bikeway last year while pushing her child's pram but was too ashamed to report it to police.
The Courier-Mail can today reveal details of this unreported sexual assault on a Kedron Brook bike path near Stafford City Shopping Centre where another woman, 19, was raped on July 7.
Taskforce Operation Echo Shine detectives have previously said there have been at least 36 attacks, suggesting they believe more victims have been terrorised without coming forward.
Crime Stoppers has already fielded one call from a woman who claims she was assaulted by a man on a bicycle at Herston in July.
And now an Alderley woman has told how a concerned friend warned her in September to stop using the path with her child after an attack, believed to have occurred in August.
A young mother was pushing a pram along the path when a man approached her from behind, a method police have linked with other attacks.
As the assault began, the mother pushed the pram away into bushes to protect her child.
"It was told to me because I got on my high horse and said I would still walk my baby along there," the woman, who did not wish to be named, said.
"It's terrible because this woman is embarrassed and ashamed to report it to police."
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch, who would not comment on the Stafford assault, urged the public to report anything suspicious.
"Some people may get touched or groped and might not consider it noteworthy to report to police but they should be telling us anything they know," he said.
Queensland University of Technology criminologist Tricia Fox said sexual assault victims were often scared of the male-dominated court system, where their integrity was questioned by defence lawyers who forced them to relive intimate details.
"We won't have accurate figures or information of attacks in our community unless people come forward," Dr Fox said.

The Courier Mail (10-1-2007)
Patrick Lion


Software Used In Hunt

LITTLE more than an hour after a sex fiend emerged from the Ithaca Creek scrub and ambushed a teenage girl on Tuesday, Steve Gollschewski was on evil's tail again.
There were no witnesses or evidence left in the overgrown grass bordering the Brisbane northwest suburbs of Red Hill and Ashgrove.
There was, however, behaviour: the approach and grab from behind, the comments he made as the scuffle ensued, the choice of an open area park location, the northside suburb, the time of day, that lingering smell of cigarette smoke and alcohol on his clothes.
Back at Queensland Police headquarters in the city, Detective Superintendent Gollschewski and his five-man intelligence unit were already punching characteristics of the attack into the Violent Crime Linkages Analysis System.
ViClas is behavioural analysis software used for linking violent crimes mainly sexual or homicides by asking more than 150 questions about each case.
"What we do is case linkage," Supt Gollschewski said.
Taskforce Operation Echo Shine is using ViClas to help direct resources such as patrols in the right direction.
"With Echo Shine what we've got is a number of offences in a geographical area with similar timeframes, so it certainly fits well for this operation," Supt Gollschewski said.
"It may even tell us which areas are now more vulnerable. For instance, if there was a police officer on every bike path in north Brisbane, does that mean bike paths in south Brisbane will become more vulnerable?"
It wasn't always done this way, of course. Investigators previously linked clues themselves but ViClas is quicker and more comprehensive, providing a national database of crimes dating back to 1998. Tuesday's attack was Queensland offence No.2048.
"We must remember, though, that this isn't a precise thing," he says.
But it works. A 2004 South Brisbane rape case was recently solved after the offender's method of assault and what he said to his victim was linked to a person charged for a sexual assault in 1997. What's more, DNA and fingerprints from the scenes backed ViCSlas up.
Got him.

The Courier Mail (10-1-2007)
Patrick Lion


No End To Park Evil

A brazen sex attacker terrorising Brisbane women has struck again, assaulting a teenage girl 40m from her home.
The girl, 16, was playing with her daschund near her Red Hill house just after 2pm yesterday when a man emerged from Ithaca Creek scrub and grabbed her from behind. The dog attacked the man, who kicked it and then fled through the bush.
It was the 36th park or bikeway attack in the past year.
Brisbane residents will be urged to unite in condemnation against the assaults at a major community event announced today by The Courier-Mail.
The newspaper will lead a public rally this Sunday in McCaskie Park in Kelvin Grove as part of our Walk Without Fear campaign. Acting Premier Anna Bligh will attend the march with personalities from Channel 9 and B105, which are also backing the campaign.
The mother of yesterday's victim told The Courier-Mail of her anger following the callous assault.
"She had a very big fright and I am still in shock," she said. "When you hear the warnings, you think it will never happen but it has."
The younger brother of yesterday's victim said last night that he and his sister regularly played with their dog at the site of the attack.
"It's disgusting how men are trying to rape these young women and this is so close to our home," he said.
His sister was traumatised but unhurt and provided Taskforce Operation Echo Shine investigators with details of her attacker. Police linked the incident with previous attacks.
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch said the offender smelt of cigarettes and alcohol, a similar description of past predators.
The man is believed to live locally, be aged 35 to 40, 175cm tall, with mousy brown hair and some facial hair. He was wearing a turquoise flannelette shirt, dark tracksuit pants and thongs.
"We are certainly looking at some similarities between this and the other attacks," Insp Hytch said. "This has been an attack of opportunity and it appears the offender might have been in the scrub for some time."
Police called in sniffer dogs and doorknocked residents.
sCrime Stoppers again fielded an unprecedented 30 calls yesterday including a caller claiming to be another victim. Detectives will interview the woman about the previously unreported July attack by a man on a bike at Herston.

The Courier Mail (9-1-2007)
Patrick Lion


Stay A Step Ahead Of Danger

PETA Taylor says she'd rather risk heat stroke by exercising in the middle of the day than encounter the sexual predators haunting Brisbane's northside bikeways.
The 26-year-old Mitchelton fitness buff said that when she exercised alone she changed her routine to avoid the danger hours of early morning and late afternoon.
"I do get a little bit concerned about it," Ms Taylor said.
"I never run late in the evening or early in the morning when I think they (the attackers) strike. I try to do it towards the middle of the day as crazy as that seems."
Ms Taylor, who still listens to her iPod while she exercises, prefers to run her usual route along the Kedron Brook bikeway one of the main areas of risk.
The two attacks at this popular recreation spot on June 20 and July 7 last year both came after 4pm.
Ms Taylor said she usually exercised with a girlfriend and her dog, but when they were not able to make it she went it alone.
She said she liked the bikeway because, apart from a few minor hills, it's fairly level and easy to mark track.
Ms Taylor said she refused to let the attackers scare her from jogging, but admitted the news that two offenders were at large was a concern.
"I've been a little bit more aware but it hasn't stopped me from doing what I want to do," she said.
"I just keep notice of where I am and I avoid heavy bushland areas and try to keep to more open surroundings but it hasn't stopped me at all."

The Courier Mail (9-1-2007)
Alex Murdoch


Taking A Stand On Security

Brisbane will unite in the face of fear on Sunday and defy the predators stalking women on the city's paths and bikeways.
The Courier-Mail today launches plans for a major community rally this weekend as part of our Walk Without Fear campaign.
It comes after yet another sex attack yesterday afternoon, on a 16-year-old girl who was assaulted near Ithaca Creek at Red Hill.
At least 36 women have been targeted on pathways in Brisbane's northside over the past 12 months.
Acting Premier Anna Bligh will lead the rally from 10am at McCaskie Park on the corner of Kelvin Grove Rd and Blamey St in Kelvin Grove. She will be joined by police who are hunting the attackers.
"I think it's a great idea," Ms Bligh said. "I'll be there to say loudly and clearly that our pathways belong to everyone."
Ms Bligh will invite her running club to join the rally and will today contact all 89 state MPs to urge them to step out in support of the campaign. The Courier-Mail will be joined at the rally by media partners Channel 9 and radio station B105 and Nine newsreader Jillian Whiting will MC the event.
Acting editor of The Courier-Mail Stephen Sealey said the newspaper had launched its Walk Without Fear campaign after the State Government revealed all leads in the assault cases had run cold.
"This issue has struck a real nerve in the community and we have organised the rally on Sunday to give Brisbane people the chance to take a stand together," Mr Sealey said.
Acting Police Commissioner Dick Conder will be among the senior police represented and Crime Stoppers will set up a booth in the park to take information from the public.
Sunday's rally will include self-defence demonstrations and safety advice for women.
Since The Courier-Mail launched its campaign and a $50,000 reward was posted, there has been 63 calls to Crime Stoppers with information about the attacks.

Walk Without Fear Community Rally
10am, Sunday January 14
McCaskie Park
Crn Kelvin Grove Road and Blamey St
Kelvin Grove

The Courier Mail (9-1-2007)
Emma Chalmers


Women Exercise Caution

BRISBANE women are buying up big on exercise equipment and signing up for gym memberships after the spate of sex attacks over the past year.
Fitness-conscious Ashgrove resident Jillian Kingsford Smith forked out $3000 for a state-of-the-art treadmill to avoid having to "constantly check over her shoulder" every time she went for a jog.
Buying the treadmill was a small price to pay for her safety, she said.
"Sadly, it is just not safe for women to tread the pavement alone in the mornings any more," Ms Kingsford Smith said.
"My job makes it hard to get to a gym and I can't go running by myself any more, so buying a home gym was the best thing to do."
At Newmarket fitness equipment store Fitness Market, big ticket cardio items have been walking out the door as fearful women retreat to their own homes to work out.
Fitness Market sales manager Scott Fletcher said business activity had increased 15 per cent per month in the last quarter, with female customers saying their extreme fear of predators on walking tracks had driven them to buy up on at-home fitness devices.
"These people were exercising outside because it cost them nothing to do so, so they might just be buying a cheap exercise bike to move their exercise regime indoors as they are not comfortable with exercising outdoors any more with all of the attacks," Mr Fletcher said.
"Some of them will opt for our best semi-commercial treadmill and really commit to doing their running at home from now on.
"It's amazing how many women we get in here who tell us about how risky they feel it is to exercise outside at the moment."
Gymnasiums across the city are also experiencing a surge in memberships.
Healthworks Lifestyle Club sales and marketing manager Catherine White expects close to 100 new members to join up this month alone and Centenary Splash Leisure Centre sales manager D'Neale Clair said the gymnasium had already been busy with new members this month.
"Our gym trials have especially gone up in number a lot, with people just coming in to try the equipment we have got and to see if they like the gym," Ms Clair said.

The Courie Mail (9-1-2007)
Carin Pickworth


Cash Trap On Sex Attackers

Faced with 35 unsolved sex crimes against Brisbane women, the State Government was yesterday forced to offer an unprecedented $50,000 reward for information about the man, or men, responsible for the 12-month campaign of fear.
The extraordinary cash bounty for the capture and jailing of the predators follows an admission from Acting Premier Anna Bligh that all leads had "run cold".
Ms Bligh said she hoped the money would help flush out the "cowardly and gutless offenders".
She said the man, or men, responsible for the series of Brisbane northside attacks on female joggers and cyclists, including the rape of a 19-year-old woman at Kedron Brook behind the Stafford City Shopping Centre on July 7, had to be caught.
Some of the attacks which began last January have been extremely violent and senior police fear the attacker, or attackers, could inflict serious injury or even kill the next victim.
The reward indicates the desperation of the police hunt.
Usually, such money is offered only for the arrest and conviction of killers.
While murder hunts can see rewards ranging from $50,000 to $250,000, the usual lure aimed at solving sex crimes is only $1000.
Ms Bligh said she hoped the $50,000 bounty to come out of Government consolidated revenue would prompt someone to turn in the attackers.
If two offenders are convicted from public information, then up to $50,000 for each would be paid.
A police taskforce working on the operation, code-named Echo Shine, stepped up investigations on Friday by putting mounted police on the pathways.
Dozens of uniform and plainclothes police have been staking out the routes in recent months with some going undercover.
Alderley grandmother Gwen Newton said yesterday she saw a man fitting the "blond spiked-haired" comfit picture of the alleged rapist three weeks ago in the vicinity of the attack.
"I was with my husband and the man came around the corner of the bridge behind Everton Park State High School," said Mrs Newton, as she walked the bikeway yesterday morning.
"When we got home and saw the picture, we looked at one another and said, 'Oh my God, that's him'."
Mrs Newton reported the sighting yesterday as undercover police patrolled the area.
Ms Bligh, herself a fitness fanatic, said the five-figure sum showed how serious government and law enforcement officials were treating the investigation.
"Police have been putting a lot of resources into this and are determined to catch the offender, or offenders, but all leads have gone cold," she said.
"These assaults are now the number one priority for police in the Metropolitan North region.
"This is an unusual circumstance given the timeframe of the continuing assaults and their happening in a defined geographic location.
"Police advise there are likely to be several offenders and that their actions are likely to have triggered copycat offences."
She described it as a last-ditch bid to "reclaim Brisbane's northern suburbs and end this fear among women".
"Everyone deserves the right to enjoy public spaces free from fear and intimidation, and the Government wants to work in partnership with police to help restore community safety to these suburbs," she said.
Ms Bligh, who regularly uses Brisbane pathways to run and cycle, said she was "very fortunate" not to have experienced any threatening moments.
"It must be very frightening," she said. "These must be safe places and places where women feel safe to walk, run or cycle."
Ms Bligh said it was possible someone was protecting the identity of the attackers.
"Somebody must know something. With this reward, I hope it might trigger people to report information to police which will lead to these sick predators' arrest and conviction."
Acting Police Minister Andrew Fraser, whose electorate of Mt Coot-tha is one of the areas in which some of the sex assaults have occurred, said officers from three police districts were now working on the case.
"There is a real issue of public safety . . . police are very concerned that the level of violence could escalate," Mr Fraser said.
"This state of fear in the community is unacceptable. A lot of people are very wary about getting out and exercising. The offenders have to be caught as quickly as possible."
Member for Ashgrove Kate Jones, whose electorate also covers the routes, appealed to women joggers and cyclists to be aware of their surroundings if they were out alone.
She urged people to contact police if they saw anything suspicious.
The Echo Shine task force has identified two different styles of assault: some victims had been groped on bikeways by a passing cyclist, while others had been violently attacked by a man who crept up behind them.
The victims aged in their teens to their 50s were attacked in parks, on street paths, and along 260km of bikeways.

The Sunday Mail (6-1-2007)
Darrell Giles


Police 'Joggers' To Lure Attackers

Female police officers are posing as joggers in an attempt to capture sexual predators responsible for dozens of attacks on women exercising in Brisbane parks and on bike tracks.
The policewomen, who wear shorts and vests and carry iPods in an attempt to fool attackers into thinking their "victims" won't hear them coming, are taking part in a renewed effort to end a reign of terror on Brisbane's north side.
Police believe at least three predators are responsible for 35 assaults on women in northside parks and on bike paths in the past 12 months. Two men are thought to have been responsible for most of the attacks.
One of the attackers approaches women on foot and attacks them from behind.
In some cases, he has forced women to the ground before sexually assaulting them.
The other regular attacker, who rides a bicycle, gropes women before fleeing.
The attacks have included a rape at Ashgrove in April, an attempted rape at The Gap in June, and a rape at Stafford in July. Assaults have also occurred in Windsor, Paddington, Spring Hill, Nundah and Arana Hills.
In the latest attack, a woman was grabbed from behind as she crossed a footbridge behind the Ithaca TAFE College in Red Hill about 6.15pm on Wednesday.
Operation Echo Shine, a police campaign launched in August, was stepped up yesterday.
Assistant Commissioner Peter Barron said the operation had become the region's top priority and would be intensified.
A police spokesman said the women posing as joggers were highly trained in self-defence and would be in constant radio contact with officers nearby.
Uniformed police on foot, bicycles, trailbikes and horses are also taking part in the hunt.
Mr Barron did not tell women not to exercise alone.
"Women are quite entitled to use these bikeways. There are approximately 260km of them throughout Brisbane. All I say is use caution and common sense."
Kim Moon, a 33-year-old mother picnicking with her family at Alderley yesterday, said she refused to be intimidated.
"I walk here every day with my two-year-old daughter," she said. "You just can't let these horrible people stop you from carrying on your normal life.
"But I'm much more careful than I used to be. I never wear an iPod when I'm walking and I always make sure I'm aware of who's around me."

The Australian (6-1-2007)
Kevin Meade


Another Woman Attacked On Bike Track

POLICE are investigating whether a suspected serial molester may have sexually assaulted a woman on Brisbane's northside.
The 38-year-old woman was walking her dog along a bike track on Chermside Hills Reserve at McDowell shortly before 6pm (AEST) yesterday, when a man knocked her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.
The woman went home and told a family friend who then called police.
She was taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital and has since been released.
Police said the woman described her attacker as a Caucasian male, about 180cm tall with fair hair.
He was wearing sunglasses, a blue cap, a navy blue T-shirt with white writing across the front and navy blue shorts with thick white trim running up the sides.
The incident has been referred to operation Echo Shine, set up to search for a suspected serial molester who has attacked a number of women on Brisbane bike tracks this year in different suburbs, mostly on the city's northside.
There have also been a number of other sexual assaults on women in suburban streets this year.
Police say the attacks may be the work of several assailants.
Detective Inspector Bob Hytch said the woman was uninjured but shaken by her ordeal.
"The assailant had punched the woman several times and she certainly fought back," he said.
Police had been unable to release a description of the assailant until they had interviewed and then released one man who was initially a suspect.

AAP (7-12-2006)


Cyclist May Be Serial Attacker

A cyclist who sexually assaulted a jogger on an inner-Brisbane bikeway could have been responsible for similar attacks on women in recent months, police said yesterday.
Detective Acting Inspector Peter Duncan said there were similarities between the assault of the 23-year-old woman at Windsor on Wednesday and other attacks against women on Brisbane's northside.
Insp Duncan said the attacker was a male cyclist, aged in his 20s.
The victim, who asked only to be identified as Jema, said yesterday she regularly jogged with a friend in the wake of the spate of sex attacks on women, until just recently when she too became a victim.
"I had just finished a jog and I heard a bike coming up behind me and a man grabbed my bum and had a grope," she said. "(When I realised I did not know him) I tried to catch up with him to get a good look at him."
Jema said she chased her assailant for about 200m up Noble St towards Newmarket Rd before he got away.
The attack follows two rapes and 20 sexual assaults on walking and bike tracks, and deserted streets on Brisbane's northside this year.
Jema described her attacker as being of "chunky" build with short mousy-brown hair. He was wearing dark grey boardshorts, a grey T-shirt and a backpack with orange trimmings.
In August, police announced a taskforce to investigate the attacks that have occurred in an area bordered by Arana Hills, Bracken Ridge, Milton and New Farm. Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if you have information.

AAP (27-10-2006)
Tony Keim


Sex Attacker Strikes On Bike Track

A woman jogger has allegedly been sexually assaulted when she took a break while jogging in Brisbane's far north, police have said.
The 21-year-old woman was jogging with two male friends when she stopped for a rest while her friends continued jogging along a bike track at Bald Hills in Brisbane's far north yesterday, police said.
The offender allegedly emerged from some bushes with his pants down and grabbed the woman, forcing her against the tree as he held one hand over her mouth, a police spokeswoman said.
The woman screamed when the offender moved his hand away from her mouth, attracting the attention of a man who was walking his dog nearby.
The man came to help her, prompting the offender to run away.
A police dog later found the 28-year-old alleged offender nearby.
He was charged with one count each of committing an indecent act and sexual assault and is to appear in the Sandgate Magistrates Court tomorrow.

AAP (15-10-2006)


Police Hoping For DNA Link In Rape Case

DNA evidence may provide the link to identifying a sexual predator who police believe has attacked at least two women.
Police yesterday confirmed it was likely the same offender who had attacked the women on north Brisbane bikeways this month.
But they have not ruled out a further three sexual attacks on the northside were committed by the same man.
Sources say there are significant similarities between a foiled attack at The Gap on Wednesday at 3.20pm and a rape at Stafford on July 7 at 4pm.
Both women were attacked during the day about the same time, they both passed the perpetrator before being grabbed from behind, and they were of similar age -- 23 and 19 respectively.
The most recent victim was able to escape her attacker after biting his hand and drawing blood.
The Stafford victim was pushed from her bike on the Kedron Brook bike track and her face was twisted and pushed into the grass as the man sexually assaulted her.
Police said they took DNA samples from the victim who bit her attacker and would compare it with a fingernail from another woman who was attacked at The Gap on June 10 at 4.15am.
During that assault, a 21-year-old woman was walking in Kilcolman St when her assailant placed his hand over her mouth, pushed her to the ground and indecently assaulted her.
Police have stepped up bike and foot patrols at northern bikeway and walking tracks and have warned women not to wear headphones while exercising.
Police have so far ruled out any recently released prisoners as the perpetrators behind the attacks and scientific officers have tested all the victims' clothing.
Police said women were safe to use northern bikeways but needed to be aware of their surroundings.
Detective Inspector Mark Ainsworth said women should walk with a friend, take a dog with them and have a mobile.
Bond University criminology professor Paul Wilson said the circumstances suggested the crimes were linked.
Dr Wilson said he was unable to profile the rapist because of the limited information available to him but believed there were similarities between the attacks.
He said police have their own profiling experts, who would look for similar attacks in the past and links with recently released prisoners who had a similar modus operandi.
On June 21, a 26-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while walking along the footpath on Baroona Rd, Milton.
On April 18, a female jogger, 36, was sexually assaulted on Davies Rd, Ashgrove at 6am. Any information to Crime Stoppers.

The Courier-Mail (22-7-2006)
Renee Viellaris


Cyclist Sexually assaulted on path

A 19-year-old woman was knocked from her bicycle and raped as she cycled along a bike track in Brisbane.
The woman was cycling along the Kedron Brook track near the rear of a Stafford shopping centre when she passed a man walking in the opposite direction, around 4pm (AEST) yesterday, police said.
The man pushed her from the bike and pressed her face towards the ground, severely twisting her head.
He sexually assaulted her before running west along the bike path towards Alderley.
The woman was found and helped by another bike rider and pedestrian.

AAP (8-7-2006)





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