Andrew Stephen RUSSELL

  

                                                                 As part of their ongoing investigations, police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen a white Hyundai Excel (mid nineties model) in the area of Slim Street on the evening of 2 June 2009.

Name: RUSSELL Andrew Stephen Sex: Male
Year of Birth: 1985    

 
At Time of Disappearance
Age: 23 Height (cm): 170.0 Build: Thin
Hair Colour: Brown Eye Colour: Brown Complexion: Sallow
Nationality:   Racial Appearance: Other    

 
Circumstances
Andrew was last seen in the Kelso area on 20 June 2009

 

Police appeal for assistance in locating  missing man - Bathurst

2009-06-24 12:29:21

 
Bathurst Police (NSW) are seeking the assistance of the public in locating a 23-year-old man missing from Bathurst earlier this month. Andrew Russell was reported missing to police on 21 June, 2009 to Bathurst police. He is described as being of thin build and about 175 to 180cm tall, Aboriginal appearance with brown shoulder length hair and dark eyes. His skin is jaundiced due to a health problem and it is not known what he was last wearing. His family and police hold concerns for his welfare as he suffers from a medical condition. Police are appealing for anyone with information about this man's whereabouts or have seen anyone matching his description over the past three weeks, to contact Bathurst Police Station on 63328699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police renew appeal for help in locating missing man - Bathurst
2009-07-22 14:22:16


 
Bathurst Police have renewed their appeal for public assistance in locating a 23-year-old man missing from Bathurst in June.
 
Detective Sergeant Joel Fawkner said Bathurst Detectives have broadened their investigations and are looking at whether Andrew Russell may have met with foul play.
 
'There has been no positive sighting of Mr Russell in five weeks, which is out of character for him and police and his family hold grave concerns for his safety,' Det Sgt Fawkner said.
 
'We urge anyone who has seen Mr Russell or has information to contact Bathurst Police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.'
 
Mr Russell was reported missing to Bathurst Police on 20 June. He is described as being of thin build and about 175 to 180cm, Aboriginal/Torres Strait Island appearance with brown, shoulder length hair and dark eyes. Andrew's skin is jaundice due to a health problem.
 
He was last seen in a newsagency on William Street, Bathurst on 2 June and was wearing a white Nike nylon jacket with red sleeves and black grey and white stripes around the chest, blue jeans and white sneakers.
 
Anyone with information about Mr Russell's disappearance or his whereabouts is urged to contact Bathurst Police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
 
Calls can be made anonymously and any information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
 

 

Appeal to find #missing man – #Bathurst

by NSW Police Force on Friday, 24 February 2012 at 14:24 ·
 
Police are renewing their appeal in the search for a man missing from the Central West since 2009.

 Mr Andrew Russell was last seen at an address in Bathurst between 6pm and 8.30pm on 2 June, 2009.

 Police hold grave concerns for Mr Russell’s welfare, as he suffers from a medical condition and has not accessed his bank account or contacted family since he disappeared.

 Acting on information received from the public, officers have recently conducted a search of bushland between Bathurst and Mudgee for the missing man.

 Police believe there are member’s of the local community that may have information that could assist in the search for Mr Russell.

 Anyone who sees Mr Russell or has any information on his current whereabouts is urged to contact Bathurst Detectives or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

 


 

Appeal to find #missing man – #Bathurst

by NSW Police Force on Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 10:46 ·
 
Police from Chifley Local Area Command (LAC) are renewing their appeal in their search for a man missing from the Central West since 2009.

 Mr Andrew Russell was last seen at an address in Bathurst between 6pm and 8.30pm on 2 June 2009. At the time he was aged 23.

 Strike Force Renshaw has been formed to investigate the disappearance of Mr Russell.

 Police hold grave concerns for Mr Russell’s welfare, as he suffers from a medical condition and has not accessed his bank account or contacted family since he disappeared.

 As part of their ongoing investigations, police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen a white Hyundai Excel (mid nineties model) in the area of Slim Street on the evening of 2 June 2009.

 Police believe there are members of the local community that may have information that could assist in the search for Mr Russell.

 Mr Russell is described as thin build, about 175 to 180 cm tall, of Aboriginal appearance with dark brown shoulder length hair and dark eyes. He was suffering from a liver condition at the time of his disappearance which caused jaundice.

Anyone who has seen Mr Russell or has any information on his current whereabouts is urged to contact Bathurst Detectives or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence. A reward of up to $1000 is payable for information which leads to an arrest.


 

Rubbish tip search for man missing since 2009

Updated March 16, 2012 09:02:38 - ABC

A tip off has led police to search a rubbish tip near Bathurst, in central-western New South Wales, for local man who has been missing for almost three years.

Police believe Andrew Russell, who was 23 years old when last seen on the 2nd of June 2009, has met with foul play.

He has not used his bank accounts or contacted his family since that time.

Detectives are trying to identify the occupants of a late 1990s model white Hyundai Excel, which was seen on Slim Street that night.

Chifley Local Area Command Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick says police need more information.

"It is very clear to police, that there are people in the local area who have crucial details about what happened to Mr Russell," he said.

Mr Russell's father Bruce Herbert has pleaded for the individuals who know what happened to his son to come forward.

"Somebody in Bathurst knows something," he said.

"I want someone to speak up. We need closure. All I need is to bury my son."

Meanwhile, police have re-issued CCTV footage of Mr Russell leaving a news agency on Williams street the night he was last seen - in the hope of moving the case along.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact them via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Man asks public to tell him where son is

THE father of a missing man has asked people to "have a heart" and tell him what happened so he can find and bury him.

Andrew Russell was 23 when he went missing in Bathurst 2009.

One of the last confirmed sightings of him was revealed today when police made public CCTV footage of Andrew leaving a newsagency on William Street in Bathurst on June 2.

Andrew hasn't accessed his bank account or contacted family since then and police believe he has met with foul play.

A waste management site near the central western NSW town was searched yesterday, following a tip-off from the public.

His father Bruce Herbert has appealed to anyone with information about his son to come forward.

"Someone knows something about my son," he said.

"I want them to have a heart and speak up because I need closure and I want to bury my son.

"Somebody in Bathurst knows something, speak up and don't be a coward."

Previous searches for evidence between Bathurst and Mudgee have failed to unearth clues.

Chifley Local Area Command Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick, says police suspect members of the community have vital information about Andrew's disappearance.

"It is very clear to police, that there are people in the local area who have crucial details about what happened to Mr Russell," he said in a statement.

The detective said a key aspect of the case was recovering the person or people who were inside a late 1990s model white Hyundai Excel, spotted on Slim Street the night Mr Russell disappeared.

Andrew was last seen in Slim Street around 8pm (AEDT).

"CCTV from the newsagent shows Mr Russell wearing a white Nike nylon jacket with red sleeves, blue jeans and white sneakers," Insp Grassick said.

"Hopefully by re-releasing the CCTV it might help jog someone's memory."

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Andrew Russell is urged to contact Bathurst Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

Andrew Russell murder accused committed to trial

 - Western Advocate

A MAN accused of murdering missing Bathurst man Andrew Russell [pictured] will stand trial on the charge. 

 

Tony Simmons, 27, was committed to trial shortly before lunchtime yesterday following a hearing before magistrate Bruce Williams which began in Bathurst Local Court on Monday.

Mr Williams is expected to hand down his decision regarding Simmons’ co-accused, Kieran Moore, this morning.

Non-publication orders exist in relation to witnesses who gave evidence during the committal hearing. The court was also closed for some parts of the three-day hearing.

Simmons will now appear in the Sydney Supreme Court on May 2, charged with murder.

On Tuesday the court heard from a witness who said Moore had allegedly confessed to them that “he and Tony had something to do with it [Andrew Russell’s killing]”.

That witness was cross-examined by both John Stratton (appearing for Moore) and Matt Lorkin (representing Simmons).

During cross-examination, the witness admitted to the court that while they couldn’t recall Moore’s exact words, their interpretation of what Moore had said was they “had killed him [Andrew Russell]”.

The witness told the court Moore had said something to the effect that “me and Tony had something to do with it” and, at the time of making the alleged admission, was upset, crying and appeared traumatised.

The witness also told the court that when they brought it up with Simmons he laughed it off and said “Kieran is losing his mind”.

As they sat in the dock on Tuesday, both men – who remained handcuffed during the proceedings, despite a request by Moore’s barrister that they be uncuffed – could be seen laughing as the first witness gave evidence. 

Among those who were in the court listening at the time were Andrew Russell’s parents, Bruce Herbert and Suzanne Wallace, and members of the Simmons and Moore families.

 

Alleged killer Tony Simmons said he dumped body of Bathurst man Andrew Russell down mine, court told

By court reporter Jamelle Wells

Posted - March 26 2015 - ABC

A man accused of murdering another man in country New South Wales told people he dumped the body down a mine shaft, a court has heard.

Bathurst man Andrew Russell was 23 when he was last seen near the city in the state's Central West in 2009.

His body has never been found.

Prosecutor Pat Barrett told the Supreme Court in Sydney police initially treated Mr Russell as a missing person after his father reported he was unable to contact him.

But they later charged Tony James Simmons, 27, from the Bathurst suburb of Windradyne, with his murder.

The court heard that in March 2009, just months before he disappeared, Mr Russell was assaulted by Simmons so police had sought an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).

It heard Mr Russell was on medication for a serious liver condition caused by hepatitis and was often hospitalised.

"None of his friends or acquaintances or relatives have seen him since the 2nd of June 2009," Mr Barrett said.

The court also heard Mr Russell's bank account has not been touched since then.

The prosecutor said Simmons told others he pushed Mr Russell off a cliff in the nearby town of Sofala and dumped his body down a mine shaft.

Defence barrister Phil Young SC said his client was innocent.

"There is no forensic evidence available to the Crown in this case," Mr Young said

Six weeks have been set aside for the trial before Justice Peter Hamill.

Extensive police searches, including of a mine shaft at Wattle Flat and a waste management site, failed to find Mr Russell's body.

Fight hospitalised missing Bathurst man Andrew Russell


 

MISSING Bathurst man Andrew Russell was hospitalised for several days following a fight with the man accused of later murdering him, the Supreme Court has heard.

Mr Russell’s step-sister Kiara Jane White yesterday described the fight during a Supreme Court hearing at Bathurst Court House.

Ms White told the court that in March 2009 she had witnessed murder accused Tony Simmons, 27, and Mr Russell “full on arguing” at Mr Russell’s home in Kelso. Simmons and his girlfriend Jodi Biles were living there at the time. 

“Tony was punching into Andrew. His nose was bleeding and there was blood running down his face,” Ms White told the court.

Defence barrister Phil Young SC questioned Ms White about a signed entry in a police notebook in which she had stated Andrew Russell had been sitting in front of the house shouting out to Jodi Biles, who was across the road at the time.

In the statement, Ms White said Ms Biles had asked her to stay until Simmons got home because she didn’t feel safe. Ms White said 10-15 minutes later Simmons came home and “got a bit aggro”.

She said Simmons said he had to go out and told Mr Russell to leave his wife alone.

According to Ms White, Simmons told her step-brother: “If you touch anyone, you’re dead.”

Ms White said she couldn’t remember giving any of the information contained in the notebook.

“It’s my signature so I must have,” she said. 

Wayne Douglas Burns gave evidence that he had last seen Mr Russell at his sister Kelly’s house on June 2, 2009 when he came to borrow a DVD. 

Mr Burns said Mr Russell had indicated he was going to get some Chinese and left. Mr Burns left a short time later. 

Earlier, the court had been told no-one had seen Mr Russell since that date and his bank account had also not been touched.

Simmons’ uncle, Trevor Peters, also appeared as a witness before the court.

The court was told that in August 2011, Mr Peters was spoken to at Penrith police station about a call he received from Simmons on June 3 at 9.12am. Mr Peters denied receiving the call. 

Simmons’ former next door neighbour Jacob Flood was also called to the stand.

He was asked if Simmons had shown him some photos on a mobile. “He probably did but that was a long time ago,” Mr Flood replied.

Crown barrister Pat Barrett handed Mr Flood a copy of the statement he gave to police in July 2013. In his statement, Mr Flood admitted being shown a photo of Andrew Russell’s face and what appeared to be injuries.

Sharon Evans, formerly known as Sharon Kelly, also said she was shown a photo on a phone.

She added that Simmons told her it was Mr Russell and that they’d bashed him.

“But you didn’t recognise him?” Mr Barrett asked. “No,” she replied.

The final witness in yesterday’s line-up was Jacob John Peters, who said he only had a vague recollection of events around the time Mr Russell disappeared because Mr Peters was using drugs.

He admitted being at the house when the fight between Simmons and Mr Russell broke out.

However, he said he could only vaguely remember the incident and he could not 100 per cent remember being interviewed by police in 2012. 

The Supreme Court will sit in Bathurst for the final time today before the hearing resumes in Sydney tomorrow.

Bathurst police started investigating suspected murder victim Andrew Russell's disappearance three years after he went missing

By Chloe Hart

Posted 

Police in western New South Wales say for three years they had no indication murdered man Andrew Russell had met with foul play.

Detective Joel Faulkner has been investigating Mr Russell's disappearance from Bathurst in June 2009.

Yesterday he told a murder trial that police preparing a brief for the coroner in 2012 were only treating it as a missing persons.

He said police had no body and no suspects.

The court heard the 23-year-old Indigenous man had chronic liver disease and required a transplant.

Detective Fawkner said suspicions of foul play arose because there were no records of Mr Russell attending hospital or a doctor for six months.

He said before the disappearance Mr Russell routinely withdrew all of his disability pension.

But the detective told the court the pension hadn't been accessed for months.

Before Mr Russell went missing he was admitted to hospital with severe head injuries after he was allegedly assaulted by the man charged with his murder, Tony Simmons.

Justice Peter Hamill was also told about the missing man's transient lifestyle.

He moved between a small group of friends and family.

His unstable upbringing meant he spent most of the time roaming the streets of Narrabri, Bathurst, Toowoomba and Brisbane.

Detective Fawkner also said he was often in trouble with the law and estranged from his brother after a fight.

The sting, the story in the Andrew Russell murder case


AFTER a judge-alone trial spanning 14 weeks and evidence from 53 witnesses, the Supreme Court of NSW last month found Tony Simmons not guilty of the murder of his one-time friend, Andrew Russell.

In handing down his verdict on May 20, Justice Peter Hamill said the evidence he heard during the trial caused him to have grave suspicions that Simmons killed Mr Russell. Justice Hamill’s published findings also revealed details of an elaborate police sting that led to Simmons’ arrest in the first place.

However, the timing of the events and the possibility Simmons was big-noting himself to undercover police officers caused Justice Hamill to have both substantial and reasonable doubt, and for these reasons he found Simmons not guilty of Mr Russell’s murder.

With the redacted verdict finally published this week, the Western Advocate looks at key features of the trial, and why Mr Russell’s parents feel let down by the judicial system.
 

A SUPREME Court judge’s “grave suspicions” that murder accused Tony Simmons had killed Bathurst man Andrew Russell were not enough to bring a guilty verdict in the case.

Simmons remains in jail after being found guilty of an assault on Mr Russell occasioning actual bodily harm, but the verdict in the murder trial means no-one has been convicted for Mr Russell’s death.

A co-accused, Kieran Moore, had charges of being an accessory after the fact discharged by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The judge-alone trial before Justice Peter Hamill spanned 14 weeks and heard evidence from 53 witnesses before concluding last month.

But the judge’s lengthy findings in the case have only been published this week, providing an insight into a world few in Bathurst have encountered.

In his findings, Justice Hamill said evidence presented at the trial gave him “grave suspicions that Simmons killed Mr Russell”, but a combination of the timing of events and the significant possibility that Simmons was “big-noting himself” when he boasted about the murder to undercover police caused substantial and reasonable doubt.

In the end, Justice Hamill could only find Simmons not guilty.

THE ‘ADMISSION’

DURING a sting conducted by undercover police, Simmons said he and co-accused Moore had abducted Mr Russell from the Evans Bridge that links Bathurst and Kelso on the night of June 2, 2009 and assaulted him before throwing him from a cliff.

He claimed they then retrieved Mr Russell’s body and dumped it down a mine shaft near Sofala.

When asked why, Simmons told the undercover officer that Mr Russell had “grabbed his [Simmons’] missus and spat on her”. 

“So one night we [Simmons and Moore] were going across the bridge and we seen the [expletive] walkin across,” Simmons said.

He said the pair abducted Mr Russell, “dragging him into the car and bashing him”.

One of the last reported sightings of Mr Russell was by a witness who told the trial he believed he saw him at around 10.50pm on June 2 at the intersection of Littlebourne Street and the Sydney Road – not far from the Evans Bridge. 

Justice Hamill conceded this evidence provided some support for the prosecution case and the Crown argued there was no coincidence.

Simmons told another undercover operative that he had to hold on to Mr Russell, who kept kicking the car door open. 

When asked what Moore was saying, Simmons said at the start he thought it was funny.

“He thought it was a game. But at the end he knew it was serious – you know, so did I,” he said. “It started as a game, but once I had him I was [expletive], couldn’t let him go, you know what I mean?”

THE STING

A COVERT police operation was carried out between September 18, 2012 and January 16, 2013.

It was a complex sting operation in which, on most occasions, the conversations between the undercover operative and Simm-ons were recorded by surveillance devices. It was in this context that Simmons made admissions, on three separate occasions, to Mr Russell’s murder.

To an undercover operative, Simmons said: “[expletives] always go missin’ around my area” and that after Mr Russell gave Simmons’ “missus shit”, he gave him a “touch up” and put him in hospital for a couple of weeks.

“And then a couple of weeks after [he] got out of hospital he sort of went missing .. One day they’ll find, one day they’ll find him, but I doubt it,” Simmons said.

When the undercover operative questioned Simmons further, he said: “He went on a good holiday.” 

Simmons said he and Moore pushed Mr Russell off a cliff, before dropping him down a mine shaft near Sofala.

He went into detail about disposing of Mr Russell’s body and said the police had been looking for the body, but “they have no idea”.

When asked if Moore was “staunch”, Simmons replied: “He hasn’t said nothing yet, bro. And if he does it’s just his word against mine anyway.”

In another conversation, Simmons spoke about how he was “running on adrenaline” after Mr Russell was killed.

“I was thinking just get home, have a shower. After that I was right, you know what I mean. Like I didn’t even think about it anymore,” he said.

“Me mate comes over a couple of days later, he’s like [expletive], I haven’t slept.

“I said ‘why’ and he goes ‘I keep thinking about it’.

“I said ‘well, don’t think about it, bra. It’s done, you can’t change it’.”

THE ARREST

SIMMONS was arrested by police in a hotel room on January 16, 2013, immediately after a conversation with one of the undercover operatives.

Simmons expressed surprise at his arrest and said to the arresting officers: “I was only talking shit.”

He claimed to have known he was being set up from the start.

THE VERDICT

IN reaching his conclusion, Justice Hamill said while the evidence presented at the trial caused him to have “grave suspicions that Simmons had killed Mr Russell”, there remained “substantial and reasonable doubt”.

In his judgment summary, Justice Hamill noted that a number of witnesses were found to be unreliable. He also said the most significant body of evidence in the prosecution case came from recorded conversations between Simmons and the group of undercover police officers. 

Justice Hamill said there was no doubt Simmons made a series of admissions which amounted to a confession to murdering Mr Russell and dumping his body down a mine shaft.

But Justice Hamill said the real issue in the trial was whether the accused’s confession statements were reliable. Justice Hamill found they were not.

In particular, the confessions were shown to be false in a number of respects by clear and objective evidence.

Justice Hamill said the actions as described by Simmons would have involved him being out of Bathurst for many hours.

However, telephone records demonstrated that, in fact, he was in Bathurst at relevant times.

Simmons had also boasted about assaulting Mr Russell some weeks earlier.

Justice Hamill said his admissions in relation to that assault were clearly untrue.

“For instance, he told the undercover police that Mr Russell was in the intensive care for six weeks and he had several broken bones as a result of the assault,” Justice Hamill said.

“In reality, Mr Russell was treated in casualty and remained in hospital for no more than two nights. He had no broken bones at all.”

Justice Hamill said there were a number of other features of the accused’s admissions which were demonstrably false or, at least, gross exaggerations.

Justice Hamill found it was possible Simmons lied about his involvement to big-note himself with undercover operatives. 

He concluded that as clever and well-executed as the undercover operation was, it also had the capacity to induce a false and unreliable confession.

Bathurst man Andrew Russell not included on missing persons register

- Western Advocate

THE parents of Bathurst man Andrew Russell, who was last seen alive in June 2009, are frustrated that an opportunity has been lost this week to appeal for information about their son.

They had hoped his case would be included in media coverage of National Missing Persons Week, which concludes today.

They thought it might encourage someone to come forward with information about where the 23-year-old’s remains are buried.

Because a man, Tony Simmons, was charged and acquitted of Mr Russell’s murder, technically Mr Russell is not a missing person, and is subsequently not on a missing persons register.

This is despite the fact his remains have never been found.

His mother Sue Wallace said it was frustrating that Mr Russell’s case hadn’t received media attention during the week, even on a local level.

She said it was important to keep Mr Russell’s case in the public eye in the hope that someone who knows where his remains are may decide to come forward.

She and Mr Russell’s father Bruce Herbert have spent years appealing to the conscience of anyone who knows where Mr Russell’s remains are buried.

No one, so far, has come forward.

The couple say all they have ever wanted was to bring their son home, and they know there are people in Bathurst who know what happened to him.

They have again pleaded to anyone with information on the location of Mr Russell’s remains to contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Information can be given to police anonymously. 

The theme for National Missing Persons Week this year was to “follow your instinct”, which aimed to debunk a number of common misconceptions regarding missing persons.

Most importantly, police say that those who suspect a friend or family member has gone missing don’t have to wait 24 hours to take action.

Anyone with information on the Andrew Russell matter, or other missing Bathurst women Jessica Small or Janine Vaughan, are urged to contact Bathurst Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.