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Magistrate fights off intruders as crime wave continues – Council writes to Premier

Officers of the local court have not been spared in this recent crime wave. The visiting Magistrate, Theresa Hamilton, is one of the latest victims. PHOTO TWH

Visiting Local Court Magistrate, Theresa Hamilton was attacked in her Bourke motel room late on Sunday 6th February after three would-be thieves kicked a motel door in as she slept. The 66-year-old magistrate fought off her would-be muggers on two occasions.

About 11.40pm on Sunday 6 February 2022, three unknown males forced entry to the Darling River Motel room on Mitchell Street, Bourke.

The group demanded cash and cars keys from Ms Hamilton – before one male wrestled her to the ground in an attempt to steal her handbag.

The group left empty handed before returning a short time later and again attempted to take the handbag. After failing a second time, the group left empty handed.

Bourke Police officers are investigating these offences and are appealing to the community for information.

The owner of the Darling River Motel, Costa Goumas, has contacted The Western Herald complaining bitterly about the regularity of room invasions at his motel.

Mr Goumas said that government and business clients were ringing to cancel bookings at the motel, due to the current crime wave in Bourke.

‘I am losing business every day because of this situation,” Mr Goumas said. “And I have lost three managers in the last 3 months because people feel unsafe working in Bourke.”

“My motel suffers break and enter issues every week, including the case of the doctor who had his money and car keys stolen from the motel, and his car stolen and burnt out,” he said.

‘This just shouldn’t happen – we pay our rates and our taxes – and we do not have any protection from the lawlessness of these young people”.

Last week, Bourke Mayor, Councillor Barry Hollman wrote to the NSW Premier, Dominique Perrottet, asking for urgent assistance to address the crime issues in Bourke.

The letter detailed the many instances of serious youth crime during January and February – at least 24 separate offences and counting.

Councillor Hollman told Mr Perrottet that Bourke needed the state government’s ‘brightest minds to assist in developing effective programs to improve the lives of local indigenous youths.’

“It is of concern that vulnerable people in our community are being targeted and have been menaced by perpetrators using knives behind a covered or disguised face,” he said.

Shire General Manager, Mark Riley, told 2WEB, that although the recent crimes were confronting, the perpetrators – indigenous youths – were looking at very sad lives in the future if these crimes continued.

Mr Riley said that criminal activities in January included attacks on vulnerable and aged people, many break and enter offences, and cars being stolen and burnt out.

“There would be a lot of worry in the community about just sleeping at night, and it shouldn’t be like that,” Mr Riley said.

“So, council has asked the NSW Premier for straight talk and clear action on this issue.”

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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