Fugitive sex killer had bag of uniforms, badges: police
Peter Bodkin and Nyk Carnsew |
Investigators don’t know how a fugitive who once killed a man he met for casual sex allegedly got hold of official police paraphernalia before dumping it at a train station.
Trent Jennings was arrested in Brisbane on Thursday, nearly two weeks after NSW Police launched a manhunt for the 38-year-old.
During the search, police found a bag at Hamilton railway station in Newcastle that contained NSW and federal police badges and uniforms.
The bag – allegedly left at the train station by Jennings – also contained NSW Ambulance paraphernalia, as well as handcuffs, gloves, a radio and prescription medication.
Detective Superintendent Joseph Doueihi on Tuesday said police did not know where Jennings got the items or what he intended to do with them.
“We will take whatever investigation is required to establish where those uniforms have come from,” he said.
Police officers are required to report stolen or missing uniforms.
Jennings allegedly dumped the bag after spotting police cars, which were involved in a routine operation near the train station at the time.
He had last been seen at a motel at The Entrance, on the NSW Central Coast, prior to his arrest.
He was extradited from Queensland to Sydney on Monday, when he was charged with eight offences, including weapons charges and six counts relating to the police material.
Jennings faced Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday and was refused bail to reappear on March 19.
He was previously ordered to spend an indefinite amount of time in a psychiatric hospital after stabbing 32-year-old Giuseppe Vitale to death in 2003.
The then-18-year-old met Mr Vitale online and the pair arranged to meet for casual sex before Jennings tied the older man up and stabbed him in the neck.
Jennings was in 2005 found not guilty of Mr Vitale’s murder on mental health grounds, and detained in a hospital.
Six years later, he made headlines again when he absconded from Morisset Hospital, near Newcastle, before going on the run in a stolen car belonging to another man he met online.
Jennings was handed a minimum 18-month prison sentence for the theft, which came after he tied the man up during a consensual bondage session at an inner-Sydney apartment.
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