"Night stalker": Man accused of being SEQ sexual predator

Police investigating after a woman was allegedly assaulted in Southport, believed to be linked to the “night stalker”
Police investigating after a woman was allegedly assaulted in Southport, believed to be linked to the “night stalker” News Corp Australia

AN alleged sexual predator dubbed the "night stalker" has been arrested but the massive police operation set-up to catch him is far from over.

A 50-year-old Gold Coast man was arrested on Saturday morning and is expected to face several charges relating to four allegedly linked sexual assaults spanning from 2008 to 2016.

But police have confirmed there are still eight outstanding offences, some dating back to 2005, which they believe could be linked.

Operation Melya was established in February 2016 when police revealed there was a serial sex offender targeting women in their beds on the Gold Coast and in South Brisbane.

The offender became known as the "night stalker" with most attacks occurring in the dead of night, inside the victim's own home.

Detectives from the Gold Coast, Logan, Brisbane the State Crime Command and the Sex Offenders Squad continue to work the case from Surfers Paradise Police Headquarters.

A number of sexual offences spanning from 2008 to 2016 are believed to be linked.
A number of sexual offences spanning from 2008 to 2016 are believed to be linked. News Corp Australia

Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said there was still a lot of work to do and urged anyone who had been assaulted, but not reported it, to come forward urgently.

"A 50-year-old man has been taken into custody in relation to the four linked offences," he said.

"Detectives have also been conducting detailed investigations into eight further offences, which we believe could have been committed by same offender, these offences steam back to a period of about 2005.

"We understand due to the horrific and private nature of sexual violence, there may be victims out there in the community who have not reported offences to police, we urge these people to come forward."

Det Insp Thompson said the offending could have occurred at any time and it would particularly be victims who were attacked in their own homes.

The most recent reported attack occurred in March 2016 at Molendinar and it is an offence police believe is connected to the four where DNA was found.

The four attacks, that police will allege were committed by the Gold Coast man in custody, occurred at Coombabah in 2008, Springwood in 2015, Sunnybank in 2016 and Southport in 2016.

Gold Coast criminologist Wayne Petherick said serial offenders were often the "man next door".

"The arrest has been a long time coming," he said.

"I suspect we will start to know more as more details are released but I know police say they got him from DNA.

"This means they would have had to get a reference sample, so he would have been arrested in the meantime, and given one, or police had enough to suspect him and have taken a comparison.

"We tend to believe these guys (serial offenders) look different to the everyday person but the reality is he was probably just the guy that lived next door."

The 50-year-old man is expected to be charged with numerous offences overnight and is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court this morning.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

Topics:  crime police

News Corp Australia

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