Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Price on Naden’s head in dispute PATRICK BILLINGS 05 Oct, 2010 05:00 AM

Price on Naden’s head in dispute
05 Oct, 2010 05:00 AM
Calls for the bounty on the state’s most wanted man, Malcolm Naden, to increase have been met with mixed feelings by the mother of Naden’s cousin, Lateesha Nolan, who has not been seen since 2005.

Naden has been on the run for five years and police are seeking him in relation to the 24-year-old’s disappearance and the murder of his cousin’s partner, Kristy Scholes, also 24.

NSW Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacsher criticised police minister Michael Daley for the delay in nabbing Naden and wants the bounty on his head raised from $50,000 to $200,000.

However Ms Nolan’s mother, Joan Nolan, was worried such a lucrative reward for information leading to Naden’s capture may entice people to take the law into their own hands.

She said if harm came to Naden the family’s only “key” to discovering the whereabouts of their daughter would be lost.

Mrs Nolan was also concerned about a story in the Sun-Herald that quoted property owners who are believed to have been burgled by Naden in Barrington Tops.

Police reportedly found forensic evidence of his presence in the dense bush land and one resident said he “would not hesitate to shoot (Naden)” if he saw him.

“They might get scared and shoot him but (Lateesha’s) got family that’s pinned all its hopes on him having information,” Mrs Nolan said.

“He’s our only hope. We only know (the police) want to talk to him, we don’t know if he’s guilty.

Mrs Nolan’s daughter has not been seen since January 2005 while Ms Scholes was found strangled to death in Naden’s bedroom six months later.

Ms Nolan had lived with Naden in their grandparents’ house in West Dubbo.

Dubbo MP Dawn Fardell doubted a quadrupling of Naden’s bounty would be effective in breaking “the cone of silence” surrounding his whereabouts.

The 31-year-old had been protected in the past and people in the community had information on his whereabouts, she said.

While it was “sad for the families” Ms Fardell said Naden had been judged before appearing before a jury.

“I’m not saying he’s innocent but everyone deserves a trial,” she said.

Police said they had “not ruled out re-examining the current reward offered” for Naden. Anyone with details regarding Naden’s activities is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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