Naden faces fresh charge

Police searching the Butlers Falls area south of Dubbo for the body of Lateesha Nolan on April 12. 	                Photo: Simon Chamberlain
Police searching the Butlers Falls area south of Dubbo for the body of Lateesha Nolan on April 12. Photo: Simon Chamberlain

THE search for Lateesha Nolan will not stop, her father Mick Peet said after hearing news Malcolm Naden had been charged with murder of the then 24-year-old.

"I've been waiting seven years for some form of justice for Lateesha and today is a giant step in that direction, so we're just pleased that something is being done," he said yesterday.

Mr Peet also hinted there was more known to the police, some of which they had passed on to him, but he was bound to keep this information in confidence.

Naden, who gained notoriety as a bush fugitive after more than six years spent on the run, was charged with the murder of his cousin Lateesha Nolan during a video court appearance at Central Local Court in Sydney yesterday.

Mr Peet said the police had told him the search for Lateesha would not stop and surveyors were to be used to try and chart the banks of the Macquarie River near Butlers Falls.

He said in the seven years since the disappearance and death of Lateesha the river had changed its course and by using surveyors those changes could be predicted and used as part of the search.

"It's been all the hard yards so far," Mr Peet said.

"First they captured him, now they've charged him; the next step is to find Lateesha."

Ms Nolan disappeared after dropping two of her children off at her grandparents' home in West Dubbo.

Mr Peet said Naden's move from the Goulburn SuperMax to Long Bay, where he was put on suicide watch, had initially concerned him because he thought there was an improved chance of escape.

Naden had previously been charged with the 2005 murder of Kristy Scholes and two counts of aggravated indecent assault on a 12-year-old girl.

He was also charged with the attempted murder of a police officer at Nowendoc on December 7, 2011.

The fresh charges come just months after Naden was captured on March 22 in a remote area near Gloucester in the Upper Hunter region, following an extensive police hunt.

Speaking outside court, NSW homicide squad commander Michael Willing said police believed they had enough evidence to lay the fresh charge.

“In relation to Lateesha’s body we will continue to investigate the matter and if there is sufficient evidence to locate it we will certainly follow it,” Detective Superintendent Willing said.

Naden, who appeared via audio-visual link from Long Bay prison with a shaved head, has yet to enter a plea.

His lawyer Mark Ierace, SC, said he was not well enough to do so.

“There is a concern as to his mental health,” Mr Ierace SC told the court, adding that Mr Naden was having difficulty with his medication.

The matter has been adjourned until October 16.


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