Child protection police officer pleads not guilty to grooming charges of 15yo girl

On the first day of his District Court trial in Brisbane, 33-year-old Matthew Paul Hockley pleaded not guilty to two counts of child grooming and one count of using the internet to procure a child under 16.

During opening submissions, the prosecution told the court Mr Hockley was a serving senior constable at the Inala child protection and investigation unit in Brisbane’s south-west in 2019, when he interviewed the teenager in relation to an incident involving the sharing of explicit images of her and her ex-boyfriend.

Crown prosecutor Judy Geary said shortly after the interview, Mr Hockley had added the teenager on the social media application Snapchat, telling her who he was and adding that he wanted to “make sure she was being safe online” before sending her a photograph of himself.

The court heard the teenager had told her mother about the communication, who told her that it was “good” he had added her, and who later thanked the officer for “looking out” for her daughter.

Ms Geary said the prosecution would allege that over the course of several weeks, Mr Hockley sent a series of messages to the teenager that escalated from innocuous to a mostly sexual and inappropriate nature, and that the 15-year-old became “increasingly uncomfortable” with their communication.

On one occasion, Ms Geary told the court Mr Hockley, who would refer to the teenager as “cute” and “beautiful”, had sent her messages about “young girls” being sexually involved with “older men”.

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Police searching for 15yo boy missing after going for walk in Yarra Ranges

Victoria Police and SES workers are searching for a 15-year-old boy who is missing in the Yarra Ranges, east of Melbourne.

William Wall, 14, left his home at Launching Place at about 6:45am on Tuesday for his regular walk on the Warburton Trail.

He told his family he would be gone for about 15 minutes but has not returned home.

Police are worried about the boy, who has autism. They are concerned he may have become disoriented.

“It’s quite out of character for him,” Victoria Police Acting Senior Sergeant Jordan Kavanagh said.

“It’s quite a vast area, there’s a lot of difficult terrain.”

William Wall went for his daily walk on the Warburton Trail and never returned, police say.(Supplied: Victoria Police)

Acting Senior Sergeant Kavanagh said there had been a credible sighting of the boy near Warburton.

“The witness described an upset male matching the description [of the boy],” he said.

“He’s believed to have been sighted on a rail above Warburton, the aqueduct trail.”

He said SES, uniformed officers, the police helicopter and the boy’s family were assisting in the search.

“They’re quite upset, as you would be,” he said.

“They’re assisting us in all the ways they can and are out looking for him as well.”

William left his mobile phone at home, making the search more difficult, police said.

William was last seen wearing dark shoes, charcoal trackpants and a hooded jumper. He was also wearing a water backpack.

He is about 177cm tall, with a lean build and brown hair.

Police said anyone who saw the boy should approach him in a “calm manner”.

“If anyone does sight him, obviously call triple-0 or the local police station,” Acting Senior Sergeant Kavanagh said.

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15yo on life support following crash

A 15-YEAR-OLD has been placed on life support following an incident at Modanville, north of Lismore on Saturday afternoon.

A spokesman from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter said their chopper was called by Ambulance NSW to a rural property after reports that the 15-year-old girl had fallen heavily from a motorcycle.

Initial reports indicate that she was unconscious and had serious injuries.

Local ambulance paramedics arrived and started to treat the teenager before the helicopter and critical care team arrived.

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The spokesman said that due to the seriousness of her head injury the teenager was placed on life support by the medical team prior to being flown direct to Gold Coast University Hospital.

She was reported to be in a critical condition.

It is the fourth mission the helicopter has flown to the Gold Coast hospital in the past week after medical emergency pick-ups from Grafton Hospital on Thursday, and Lismore Base Hospital on Wednesday.

The helicopter was also required on Wednesday after a truck rolled over on the Summerland Way near Dairy Flat, near Woodenbong.

A 71yo male was treated for multiple injuries and flown in a serious condition.

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