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'Known Person' Killed Sydney Toddler

The case of a Sydney toddler who was brutally murdered almost 40 years ago has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions by the NSW coroner.
Three-year-old Simon Brook disappeared from his home on May 18, 1968.
His badly mutilated body was found the next day in bushes near his home at Glebe, in Sydney's inner-west.
The child had been suffocated with balls of rolled-up newspaper which were forced down his throat.
NSW Coroner John Abernethy today terminated an inquest into Simon's death after just one day, and referred the case to the DPP.
Mr Abernethy said he believed there was a "reasonable prospect ... that a jury would convict a known person in relation to the offence".
Notorious child killer Derek Percy, who is serving an indefinite jail term in Victoria for the 1969 murder of a 12-year-old Victorian girl, appeared before the inquest at the coroner's order.
The 57-year-old, one of Victoria's longest-serving prisoners, was found not guilty of the girl's murder on the grounds of mental illness, but was jailed at the governor's pleasure.
A Victoria Police cold case unit recently re-examined Percy's suspected crimes and NSW investigators now believe Percy who was living in Sydney at the time killed Simon.
Counsel assisting the coroner Peter Zahra, SC, said there were "striking similarities" between the cases.
Mr Abernethy agreed, calling the two killings "substantially and relevantly similar".
"The circumstances in which they occurred are, again, substantially similar," he said.
Detective Sergeant Adam Barwick, who is in charge of the investigation into Simon's slaying, today said: "It's my opinion that Derek Ernest Percy is responsible for the murder of Simon Brook."
But defence counsel Nathan Steel said there was "no direct evidence at all linking Mr Percy with the murder".
"There's also no physical forensic evidence linking him to the crime scene," Mr Steel said.
Outside the court, Simon's father Donald Brook said he was grateful to the police and the judicial system for pursuing Simon's killer.
"If it is possible to find out who did this and make quite sure it's not possible for this person to do the same thing again ... then that will be very much in the public interest," Professor Brook said.
He said the fact the coroner was referring the matter to the DPP should give people "confidence in the system".

http://www.dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story/0,20281,17557673-5001028,00.html (13-12-2005)
Adam Gartrell

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Killer On Stand

Victoria's longest serving prisoner is expected to give evidence today at an inquiry into the 1968 murder of a NSW toddler.
Child killer Derek Percy,57, was flown to Sydney last Friday for the inquest into murder victim, Simon Brooks,3.
Percy is serving an indefinite jail term in Victoria over the murder of Yvonne Tuohy, 12, at Western Port Beach in 1969.
He was jailed after been found not guilty on the grounds on insanity.
A year earlier, Simon Brook was found suffocated and mutilated near his family's home in Glebe in Sydney's inner west.
An investigation by the Victorian Police cold case unit led to Percy being ordered to appear before Sydney's Glebe Coroner's Court for the Brook inquest.
He has been investigated by Police three jurisdictions over a total of eight child killings and disappearances, including the vanishing of the three Beaumont children fron an Adelaide beach in 1966.
Police believe Percy was in each of the cities when the children were killed.
A spokesman for Victoria's Correctional Services Commisioner Kelvin Anderson said he could not comment on the security and travel arrangments for Percy's trip north.

Herald Sun (13-12-2005)
Mark Buttler

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