Wednesday 17 August 2011

Madeleine Pulver suspect arrested in USA

The lawyer for Madeleine Pulver bomb hoax suspect Paul Douglas Peters says he will fight the charges

 Peters leaves a Kentucky court

Accussed  Paul "Doug" Peters will fight charges that he broke into the home of Sydney schoolgirl Madeleine Pulver and attached a fake bomb around her throat.

Mr Peters' US lawyer, Scott Cox, confirmed after a brief hearing in the US District Court in Louisville, Kentucky, that his client was preparing for a battle.

"He will contest the charges," Mr Cox told reporters.

Mr Peters, 5  had his legs and wrists shackled when he was led into the court by three burly US marshals.

Asked if she was sleeping better at night, she said: "I suppose." Details have begun to emerge about the life of Mr Peters, who was educated at elite Sydney school The Scots College, graduated from law school and had an international financial business.

He did not appear shaken by Monday's arrest at gunpoint by a US SWAT team at his ex-wife's home outside of Louisville.

Dressed in the same upmarket clothes he was arrested in, a pink business shirt with the sleeves rolled up and light-coloured shorts, Mr Peters arrived at court from his first night in Kentucky's Oldham County Jail. His ex-wife, Debra Peters, and their three daughters, were not doing so well. "His wife is handling it poorly," Mr Cox said of Ms Peters, who attended court but refused to talk to reporters.

Judge Dave Whalin set an extradition hearing for October 14.

Mr Peters did not apply for bail, although the judge said the Australian may have an opportunity to seek release at a later time. NSW Police detective superintendent Luke Moore, who was in court, told reporters it could take "some weeks" to apply for Mr Peters' extradition. The Australian government has 60 days to make the formal request for extradition.

Chilling new details in an indictment were released about the bizarre bomb hoax that captured headlines around the world. Documents tendered to the court confirm NSW police believe Mr Peters had a link to the Pulver family. "The police have obtained information that Paul Douglas Peters was formerly employed by a company with which the victim's family has links," the indictment states.

Police allege Mr Peters broke into 18-year-old Madeleine's family home in Mosman on Sydney's lower North Shore on August 3 and strapped a fake bomb to her neck.

The indictment tells how Mr Peters allegedly surprised Ms Pulver as she studied in her bedroom.

"At about 2.15pm, she saw a man carrying a black aluminum baseball bat and wearing a striped, multiple-coloured balaclava over his head, walk into her room," the indictment states.

Mr Peters allegedly told her: "Sit down and no-one needs to get hurt."

He forced a "black box against her throat and looped a device similar to a bike chain, which was also attached to the box, around her neck", it is alleged.

The device also included a lanyard and a 4-gigabyte USB stick.

NSW Police allege Mr Peters bought a USB storage device and purple lanyard with his Commonwealth Bank Mastercard from an Officeworks store in West Gosford on July 4. Police also allege they have CCTV footage of Peters buying a black baseball bat from the Rebel Sports Store at Erina Fair Shopping Centre on July 16.

A note placed around the teenager's neck allegedly stated: "Powerful new technology plastic explosives are located inside the small black combination case delivered to you. The case is booby trapped. It can ONLY be opened safely, if you follow instructions and comply with its terms and conditions."

NSW Police, according to the indictment, were led to Mr Peters by a Gmail email address left at the Pulver's residence.

Mr Peters allegedly accessed the email account several times at two locations on the NSW central coast, Kincumber library and a video store at Avoca, according to surveillance footage obtained by police.

"Both locations had open access to the internet and relied on an honesty system to pay for a person's internet usage," the indictment states.

leaving in a Range Rover and, after a search by the Roads and Traffic Authority, it was discovered Mr Peters lived at Copacabana, a town located near the library and video store.

"The police inspected the driver's licence photograph attached to the licence number and formed the opinion Paul Douglas Peters is the same man who entered the library and the same man who entered the Avoca Video Store," the indictment reads.

Mr Peters allegedly bought a one-way ticket to fly on August 8 from Sydney to Kentucky, via, Chicago. His ex-wife has a home outside of Louisville.

Mr Peters faces charges of: kidnapping; aggravated break and enter with intent to commit a serious indictable offence; and demand property with intent to steal.

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