Man charged with Gisborne murder after reporting to local police station

Published by the Herald Sun on April 15, 2019

A man has been charged with murder after it was revealed he had reported to the local police station to surrender — only to find it shut.

The 55-year-old Gisborne man was on Monday night charged with one count of murder after the body of a 61-year-old man was discovered at a property in Rodney St, Gisborne on Sunday.

Police Association Victoria secretary, Wayne Gatt, today said it was “only a fluke” that the local sergeant on duty was inside the station when the man reported there about 5.30pm on Sunday.

The sergeant made an arrest soon after being alerted to the man’s presence.

The station was closed at the time, as Gisborne is not a 24-hour police station,” a force spokeswoman said.

“A Gisborne sergeant, who was in the station at the time, arrested the 55-year-old man while other units assisted and attended the Rodney Street address.”

But Mr Gatt said Gisborne needed a 24-hour station.

“Our members tell us the station is closed as much as it is open. Asking members to deal with potentially violent offenders on their own is unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Gatt said Gisborne needed a 24-hour station and called for more officers to be deployed to the Macedon Ranges area.

A neighbour said the deceased man had suffered from physical and mental ill health for years, and was volatile.

In recent months, he had been ­involved in multiple fights, and he was known to police.

“An argument ensued last night (Sunday),” the man told the Herald Sun.

Neighbour Dale Takle said he suspected something was not right on Thursday night, when he noticed that newspapers were piling up. He said police had told him the killing happened some time between Thursday and Sunday.

“If it happened Thursday, I’d have been here,” Mr Takle said. “I’ve been home all week, but I didn’t notice anything.

“Last night there was a lot of activity here. All night they (police) were in and out,” Mr Takle said.

Police remained at the scene yesterday.

Local resident Marion Button was awakened early on Monday morning by flashing police lights. When she peeked out through her curtains she saw police questioning a man.

“In the wee hours of the morning I saw the lights.

“Police were talking to a fellow,” she said. “They marched him up the drive.”

A wildlife rescue worker came to collect a large white bird from the unit about 8am.

Local resident Marion Button was woken up early on Monday morning by flashing police lights outside her window.

“In the wee hours of the morning I saw the lights,” she told the Herald Sun.

“Police were talking to a fellow,” she said. “They marched him up the drive.”

The Rodney St resident has lived in the area for many years and said nothing like this had happened before.

“I always thought Gisborne was a very safe place,” she said. “It’s awful.

“Now there are a lot of units, you get people from different areas coming through.”

The body was found about 6.30pm and has yet to be identified.

Trauma cleaners arrived at the unit in Gisborne this morning.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.