Janine VAUGHAN

   

Janine's brother Adam, above left and above right Kylie Curnuck and Jenny Vaughan (Janine's Mum)  Photo: Edwina Pickles

 

 

 

Janine VAUGHAN
DOB: 07/01/1970
HAIR: Blond BUILD:164cm tall Thin EYES: Green
CIRCUMSTANCES:Janine was last seen around 4am on Friday, 7 December 2001 in Keppel Street, Bathurst. At this time she was seen to enter the front passenger seat of a bright red coloured four door medium size sedan similar to a Mitsubishi Magna of a Toyota Camry. Janine has not been seen or heard from since and fears are held for her safety and welfare.
 
Reported missing to: Bathurst Police Station.

MY FRIEND JANINE.

Always ready for a laugh is Janine.
She is always honest, and ever so keen,
To give me advice,though I don't often ask...
Work to Janine is no great task.

Always willing to lend a hand,
For her rights - Janine stands tall.
In front of anyone - Janine would stand,
Just in case they happen to fall.

So very happy - go - lucky is she.....
Janine will always be a friend to me.

Written by Noreen Slater.
7th April, 2008.
Dedicated to JANINE VAUGHAN.

 

Monday, 8 December 2003

Homicide detectives have released a home video of missing Bathurst woman who has now been missing for two years. Janine Vaughan, 31, was last seen getting into a red car in the city's CBD after a night out with friends. Detective Inspector from the Homicide Squad State Crime Command, Paul Jacobs, says Ms Vaughan is now presumed to be dead. He says it is hoped the video will draw out exactly what happened. "It's a video depicting a family christening at which Janine was the godmother and it was about two weeks before she disappeared," he said. "We're hoping that the environment in which she is depicted may prompt someone into coming forward who may not otherwise have done so previously."

Search For More Clues In Janine Vaughan Disappearance
1/06/2002

Police will search a number of areas around Bathurst this weekend for further clues that might solve the disappearance of Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan. About 4am on 7 December 2001, 31-year-old Janine Vaughan was walking in Keppel Street, Bathurst near Machattie Park, about 40 metres ahead of a group of friends. A bright red four door sedan, mid to late 1990's model, of a similar size and shape to a Mitsubishi Magna or Toyota Camry, did a 'U' turn pulled up along side of her. Janine entered that vehicle and she has not be seen or heard of since.
Strike Force Toko Commander, Detective Inspector Paul Jacob said the inquiry into Janine's disappearance has been a difficult and emotional time for Janine's family and the investigators. "This weekend police will conduct a search of a number of areas around Bathurst, starting with McPhillamy Park at Mount Panorama this morning," Detective Inspector Jacob said. "We are searching these areas as a result of information that has come to the attention of the strike force during our inquiries so far. The searches are important as it will allow us the opportunity to potentially refine a number of lines of inquiry." Police from Chifley Local Area Command, Western Region Operation Support Group, Police Dog Unit, Police Diving Unit, Strike Force Toko and the Western Region SES will be involved in the search. Janine's uncle, Jeff Vaughan, said all his family wanted was some information that would allow police to find out what happened to Janine. "All we ask is that people, who might have been in Bathurst last December, to think back and if they saw anything out of the ordinary to contact police," Jeff said. "As people who love Janine, all we want is some form of closure to this heartbreaking time in our lives."
Janine's friend Rebecca Medhurst, said Janine is well liked around the Bathurst community and all her friends are devastated her disappearance has not been solved. "If it was physically possible for Janine to have contacted us, we know she would have done it. While, we as Janine's friends are hurting so much at the moment, we know this is even harder for her close knit family," Rebecca said. "We just need to hear something, anything from anyone to help us through this time in our lives."

Anyone with information on Janine Vaughan's disappearance is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. All information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

By Kate Cox
June 2 2002
The Sun-Herald

Life in Bathurst hasn't been the same since popular resident Janine Vaughan vanished six months ago. The 31-year-old menswear shop manager was last seen early on December 7 getting into a car after leaving the Metro Tavern nightclub. Friends and family say she would never accept a ride from someone she didn't know. That assertion has the residents of the normally laid-back community questioning one another. "Everyone knew her through work or through her wide range of friends," said her best friend, Rebecca Medhurst, who has lived in the central west town for all of her 26 years.

"I know she wouldn't have gotten into the car with a stranger, which means I probably know them as well, through her or a mutual friend, and that makes it so much worse, to think that it's someone connected with me. I think that someone out there must know more than they're letting on." Police yesterday conducted a massive search of Mount Panorama, using dog squads, divers and 60 State Emergency Service workers. Standing by for information were Ms Medhurst, Ms Vaughan's uncle Jeff and mother Jenny.
Blonde, petite, immaculately presented and always smiling, Ms Vaughan was the eldest of four children raised in Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley, by Jenny and Ian Vaughan. She moved to Bathurst three years ago, following her then boyfriend. That relationship didn't work out, but she remained, developing a close network of friends and a good job. At the time she disappeared, she was renewing an interest in abstract drawing and wanted to buy a house in town. "Janine was a great friend," said Ms Medhurst, who worked next door. The two spoke every day. Ms Vaughan came to all of her best friend's pre-natal classes, practising massage and breathing techniques and planning the birth of her daughter, Paris, now aged six months. "She used to get so excited when Paris would kick, anyone would think it was her baby as well," Ms Medhurst said, speaking to the media for the first time. "She was really disappointed that she had to miss the birth because of complications, as we'd been working towards it for so long. She was my rock." The women were meant to go on a Christmas shopping trip to Orange the day after she disappeared. Ms Medhurst said: "She was so fun-loving and outgoing, always there to lend a hand for anyone that needed it and always putting herself last. She was a social person, she liked going out to meet people, she liked to drink." Security cameras show Ms Vaughan walking and conversing outside the nightclub at 4am. Detective Inspector Paul Jacobs said earlier suspicions of a repeat offender - after several women reported being attacked in Bathurst around the same time, as well as the disappearance of Jessica Small, 15, from Bathurst five years ago - had largely been discounted. The police have interviewed more than 1,000 people and taken hundreds of official statements, and yesterday searched 30ha of bush and four dams including one on the Charles Sturt University campus. Her uncle Jeff has had to leave his hospital car parking job because he has difficulty concentrating for more than 30minutes. "We're all just going through the motions, trying to keep going," he said.


Search for Janine Vaughan resumes
May 26, 2007 - 10:09AM - SMH

Police will mount a massive ground search in areas around the central NSW city of Bathurst tomorrow in a bid to find a woman missing for six years.

Janine Vaughan, a 31-year-old menswear shop manager went missing on December 7, 2001, when she was seen getting into a car minutes after leaving a Bathurst hotel.

Police are remaining tight-lipped about the search and have created a special taskforce, Strikeforce Mountbatten, which includes specialist sniffer dogs trained to hunt for human remains.

Rural Press today reported the search will concentrate on areas around the famed motor racing circuit, Mount Panorama, which is also a popular lookout and picnic spot.

At the back of the circuit is the city's rubbish dump which may impede any search.

A police spokesman told Rural Press the search was as a result of new information supplied to police via Crime Stoppers and other sources over the last six months.

Chief Superintendent Mark Holahan is leading Strikeforce Mountbatten and he will arrive in Bathurst late tonight ahead of the start of a search at first light tomorrow morning.

The search has been an epic story which resulted in a Police Integrity Commission investigation into the initial search for Ms Vaughan and any role a local policeman, Brad Hosemans might have had in her disappearance.

Mr Hosemans, now out of the force, has always denied any involvement in Ms Vaughan's disappearance.

There have been multiple searches over the six years and police have scoured Mount Panorama for Ms Vaughan before.

AAP

New searches for missing Janine
Philip Cornford - SMH
May 25, 2007

NSW POLICE will use a cadaver dog to search "a number of locations" in Bathurst tomorrow for the body of Janine Vaughan, a 31-year-old divorcee who disappeared after a night out drinking with friends more than five years ago.

"It's likely Janine Vaughan was murdered and someone in Bathurst knows who killed her or has information which will lead police to her killer," Chief Superintendent Mark Holahan, commander of operations, told the Herald yesterday. "We want them to come forward."

Only one woman among the town's 37,000 people has reported seeing Ms Vaughan since she vanished, believed murdered, after she got into a late-model red sedan at 4am on Friday, December 7, 2001.

Ms Vaughan's mother, Jennie, and her sister, Kylie, who live in Muswellbrook, will go to Bathurst for the search, which Strike Force Mountbatten expects to continue on Monday and Tuesday.

Mr Holahan refused to say how many locations would be searched "in and around Bathurst" but said some areas were "connected with a number of persons of interest".

"There is enough evidence to indicate it is worth looking in these areas," he said.

"There are a significant number of persons of interest and none of them can be eliminated until we've got a body and a person in the dock charged with murder," Mr Holahan said.

One of the persons of interest is the former detective sergeant Brad Hosemans, 45, nephew of Assistant Police Commissioner Graeme Morgan. Witnesses said Mr Hosemans had expressed interest in Ms Vaughan.

Mr Hosemans has denied any association with Ms Vaughan, meeting her or talking to her. He gave evidence that his only involvement was leading the investigation into her disappearance until it was taken over by homicide detectives from Sydney a week later.

A woman gave evidence at a closed Police Integrity Commission inquiry last year that on the Friday or Saturday morning after Ms Vaughan disappeared she saw her riding in a car driven by Mr Hosemans.

She said Ms Vaughan looked very distressed. Her hands were tied by what looked like baling twine and her hair was standing on end.

It is understood no one has corroborated her evidence.

Mr Hosemans told police he was in Newcastle the day Ms Vaughan disappeared but admitted he had made an error after police obtained mobile phone records that showed he was in the Bathurst area the day before.

Mr Hosemans was dismissed from the police in 2003 after a magistrate dismissed charges that he had flashed his penis to a barmaid in 2001 but described him as a unreliable witness.

A Police Integrity Commission inquiry into the original investigation of Ms Vaughan's disappearance has yet to give its findings.

New suspects as search begins
By Vincent Morello and Peter Veness Article from: Agence France-Presse May 26, 2007 07:07pm

POLICE are investigating several people including new suspects over a woman's disappearance in the central NSW city of Bathurst as a team led by a sniffer dog prepares to search for her remains tomorrow.

Janine Vaughan, a 31-year-old menswear shop manager, went missing on December 7, 2001, after she was seen getting into a car minutes after leaving a hotel in Bathurst, 200km west of Sydney.

A cadaver-sniffer dog will lead a team of about 15 police rescue and forensic personnel through a number of designated areas on the Bathurst outskirts, police spokeswoman Daniela Ongaro said.

The dog can detect human remains that are over 20 years old and buried up to four metres deep.

The search will be slow going but will double in size when a second dog from Queensland arrives on Monday to lead another team.

"It's a bit pointless having dozens and dozens of people (searching) if the dog can't get across all of those areas,'' Ms Ongaro said.

Searches for Ms Vaughan's remains in previous years have focused around the famed motor racing circuit, Mount Panorama, which is also a popular lookout and picnic spot.

Ms Ongaro said that area has been ruled out despite media reports indicating tomorrow's search would happen there again but would not reveal where the it would commence.

"This is a new search area that's been identified from fresh information received through CrimeStoppers and other sources (in the past six months),'' she said.

The new information has led to ongoing police investigations of new suspects and the review of previous suspects, Ms Ongaro said.

"We have a significant number of people of interest,'' she said.

Chief Superintendent Mark Holahan (Holahan) is leading Strikeforce Mountbatten and he will arrive in Bathurst late tonight ahead of the search to start at first light tomorrow morning.

There will be a media briefing at 0715 (AEST) and a press conference with Chief Supt Holahan and Ms Vaughan's sister Kylie and mother Jenny at 1030 (AEST) - both at Bathurst Police Station.

The investigation has been an epic affair that included a Police Integrity Commission inquiry into the initial search for Ms Vaughan and any role a local policeman, Brad Hosemans, may have had in her disappearance.

Mr Hosemans, who is no longer with the police force, has always denied any involvement in Ms Vaughan's disappearance.

The search will last "a number of days'' depending on the dogs' daily stamina, the difficulty of the terrain and the weather, Ms Ongaro said.

There have been multiple searches over the six years, and police have scoured Mount Panorama for Ms Vaughan before.

Strike Force Mountbatten commences search for Janine Vaughan - Bathurst
27 May 2007

A cadaver dog on loan from Queensland Police is assisting a search operation launched today for missing Bathurst woman, Janine Vaughan, who disappeared in December 2001.

In the coming days NSW Police Rescue Squad will co-ordinate and lead a number of searches of various locations in and around Bathurst, in the state’s Central West.

Today’s search will focus on an area bordering the Macquarie River, located at Gormans Hill, about one kilometre from the town centre.

Strike Force Mountbatten detectives say the search at Gormans Hill follows information from a witness who saw a man and a red car in the vicinity of that area in the hours after Janine disappeared.
Probe over woman missing five years
June 05, 2006 - The Australian

NEW information has come to light about the disappearance of a woman in Bathurst woman almost five years ago, a Police Integrity Commission (PIC) hearing has been told.
The PIC, sitting in the central western NSW town of Orange, is investigating the disappearance and apparent murder of Janine Mary Vaughan on December 7, 2001, after she accepted a lift outside a hotel in nearby Bathurst at 4am that day.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Mark Buscombe, today said the inquiry would examine the conduct of Taskforce Toko, led by Detective Inspector Paul Jacob, which investigated Ms Vaughan's disappearance.

Mr Buscombe said that Ms Vaughan had been enjoying a night out with friends at two Bathurst hotels and was later seen getting into a red car.

"The car drove off and Ms Vaughan has not been seen or heard of since," Mr Buscombe told the hearing.

Ms Vaughan was the manager of a local menswear store and police were notified by friends after she did not open the outlet.

"To date, what happened to Ms Vaughan remains unresolved," Mr Buscombe said.

"Since the announcement of the hearing, considerable new information has come to light which it (police) continue to assess," Mr Buscombe said.

The hearing, before Commissioner Terry Griffin, continues.

Hosemans may have returned - Central Western Daily
Monday, 5 June 2006

FORMER police detective Brad Hosemans had initially told police he was staying at his mother's house near Newcastle when Janine Vaughan disappeared four-and-a-half years ago.
Yesterday he admitted he may have been in Bathurst on December 7, 2001, the morning Janine vanished.

The revelation came during Mr Hosemans' first appearance at the Police Integrity Commission's (PIC's) public hearing in Orange yesterday.

In December 2002, 12 months after Ms Vaughan disappeared, the then Detective Sergeant made a statement to head of Operation TOKO, Detective Inspector Paul Jacobs that he was staying with his mother between December 3 and December 7.

Det Sgt Hosemans made the statement to Det Insp Jacobs' after allegations of a relationship between Hosemans and Ms Vaughan emerged.

In a highly protected document between the Crime Agency and Hosemans, drafted in December 2002, Det Sgt Hosemans had to answer allegations he'd had been in contact with Janine Vaughan in the months prior to his disappearance, allegations Hosemans' has always denied.

In the statement Hosemans said he left his mother's house on December 7, but yesterday said he couldn't say with certainty if it was in fact December 6 or December 7 when he returned home to Bathurst.

The anomaly arose after Hosemans admitted he'd relied on a bank statement, which placed him in Wyong on December 7, (where he refuelled his 4WD before returning home) when making the statement three years ago.

However, just this week, when sorting through documents in preparation for the PIC public hearing Mr Hosemans said he found the EFTPOS receipt from when he purchased the fuel, dated December 6.

The purchase had appeared on his bank statement dated the following day, December 7.

Council assisting the commissioner Mark Buscombe grilled Hosemans on the error, saying at the time it essentially gave him an alibi.

"It indicated you were not present at the place where the crime took place, you said, in a statement you were not in Bathurst on the evening of December 6, 2001," Mr Buscombe said.

Mr Hosemans responded saying he'd only just discovered the EFTPOS receipt, and didn't know it had existed until this week, when he was sorting through documents, which he'd kept for taxation purposes.

Mr Hosemans said he'd relied on his bank statement when making his statement to Insp Jacobs, assuming its accuracy.

"I utilised documents I had to assist me in recalling my whereabouts at the time.

"I didn't even know I had the [EFTPOS] receipt until this week, when I found it in a box," he said.

Mr Hosemans' is expected to re-appear before the hearing today.

Ex detective 'pursued woman'
By Janet Fyfe-Yeomans - The Advertiser
06jun06

AN ex-detective who investigated the disappearance of Bathurst NSW woman Janine Vaughan admitted yesterday that he may have been mistaken about his own alibi for the night she went missing.

The Police Integrity Commission heard that Brad Hosemans, 44, had told homicide investigators in a statement that he had been staying with his mother in Newcastle and did not return to Bathurst until late on Friday December 7, 2001.

Ms Vaughan, 31, was last seen getting into a red car about 4am (AEDT) that day after drinking at the Metro Tavern, now the Fat Cow, in Bathurst.

Mr Hosemans, who now runs a cafe in the town but at the time was a detective sergeant, told the PIC that in recent days he had found a petrol receipt that showed he may have been back in Bathurst on December 6.

The PIC, conducting public hearings in Orange, also heard that a number of witnesses, including Ms Vaughan's mother Jennifer, her sister Kylie, three friends and a workmate, had told homicide detectives that in the days before her disappearance, she was pursued by Mr Hosemans.

He had allegedly been walking past Ed Harry's menswear store where she worked, waving and winking at her, and had telephoned her.

She had once met him at Bathurst police station and said she was flattered by his attention and thought he was "drop dead gorgeous".

She had told her sister that she had recognised him because he had recently been in the media.

Six weeks before Ms Vaughan disappeared, Mr Hosemans had been charged with aggravated sexual assault and obscene exposure following a night at the local golf club. He was subsequently acquitted of the charges.

In a further twist, Mr Hosemans was the local officer in charge of the investigation into Ms Vaughan's disappearance before the homicide officers were called in from Sydney on December 16 under the command of Detective Inspector Paul Jacob and Operation Toko was formed.

Insp Jacob told the PIC that he did not find out until much later in the investigation about Mr Hoseman's alleged connections to Ms Vaughan, nor that he had been put on restricted duties pending the outcome of the sex charges against him.

Insp Jacob said he would also have been concerned that one of his investigating officers' names appeared in police statements.

Mr Hosemans, who gave his evidence unwillingly which means it cannot be used against him in criminal or most civil proceedings, is likely to be recalled to the witness box when the hearing continues today.
 

Missing woman 'rejected officer's advances'
June 5, 2006 - 7:46PM - SMH

A detective who led the investigation into the disappearance of a Bathurst woman had asked her out on several dates but was repeatedly rebuffed, the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has been told.

Former police detective Brad Hosemans, 44, today told the PIC, sitting in Orange, in the state's central west, that he had been in Bathurst the morning Janine Vaughan was last seen.

Mr Hosemans led the initial investigation into her disappearance even though he was facing unrelated aggravated indecent assault charges at the time. He was subsequently acquitted of those charges but was later sacked.

The PIC is examining the investigation into Ms Vaughan's disappearance after she accepted a lift in a red car outside a Bathurst nightclub about 4am on December 7, 2001.

The investigation was eventually taken over by one of the state's top officers, Detective Inspector Paul Jacob, who has recently been in the headlines for returning accused murderer Gordon Wood to Australia.

Wood, who is accused of killing his model girlfriend Carolyn Byrne 11 years ago, was extradited from London in May.

Insp Jacob began giving evidence in the unrelated case this afternoon.

"Did you overlook Hosemans as a suspect?" Counsel Assisting the Inquiry, Mark Buscombe asked.

"Had it hit my radar, I may have taken a different course," Det Insp Jacob replied.

Det Insp Jacob eventually wrote to Mr Hosemans to ask about claims he had a relationship with Ms Vaughan before her disappearance.

The inquiry was told Mr Hosemans replied that he wasn't in Bathurst on the night she disappeared.

However, Mr Hosemans told the inquiry today that was probably not true.

He said he had subsequently found a petrol receipt indicating he was in Bathurst on December 6, 2001.

He said the discrepancy was not an attempt to build an alibi.

"It was an attempt to provide my details of where I was," he said.

The inquiry was told police received a number of reports of Mr Hosemans having a romantic interest in Ms Vaughan, who ran a menswear store.

Mr Hosemans' former colleague, Detective Sergeant Jason Dickinson, said during their investigation, Ms Vaughan's friends had said "one of the local police officers was showing an interest in her, going past her shop and giving her a wink".

Commissioner Terry Griffin also heard evidence Ms Vaughan had repeatedly rejected Mr Hosemans' advances before she disappeared.

"Ms Vaughan told (a friend) that he (Mr Hosemans) was ringing her up at night, walking past the store, asking her out, but she said no?" Mr Buscombe asked of Homicide Detective Inspector Andrew Waterman, who was involved in the case.

Detective Inspector Mark Gallagher told the inquiry that, because of the charges against Mr Hosemans, he was effectively "confined to barracks" during the initial investigation into Ms Vaughan's disappearance.

"Who was directing detectives at this stage?" Mr Buscombe asked.

"Mr Hosemans would have assisted assigning detectives in their work," Det Insp Gallagher said.

The inquiry resumes tomorrow.

Romance was on missing woman's mind
Stephen Gibbs - SMH
June 6, 2006

A COUNTRY copper smiles - perhaps even winks - at a young woman through her shop window. The woman tells her mum later he is drop-dead gorgeous.

When Janine Vaughan vanished from a Bathurst street early one morning 4½ years ago, Detective Sergeant Brad Hosemans and his colleagues simply got on with their job.

This series of events - with a few complications - has stalled the investigation into Ms Vaughan's disappearance and dragged some of the state's most respected detectives to Orange this week for a costly Police Integrity Commission inquest.

When Ms Vaughan disappeared in 2001, Mr Hosemans was simultaneously a well-known detective and the deputy mayor of Bathurst.

He managed the investigation into her possible abduction while facing unrelated charges of aggravated indecent assault over an incident at the local golf club, which he subsequently beat. He left the police force in 2003.

The commission says its inquiry will investigate the circumstances surrounding Janine Mary Vaughan's disappearance and the conduct of police involved.

Counsel assisting the commission, Mark Buscombe, said yesterday it was important to stress at the hearing's outset that this was not a coronial inquest, or a substitute for one, and by the end of the day, at least that was clear.

Mr Buscombe said the hearing would be about "aspects of the policing investigation". Since the commission announced its investigation, "considerable new information" had been forthcoming, which will presumably be revealed this week.

Mr Hosemans, who now runs a fish-and-chip shop, gave evidence, followed by seven policemen, including senior detectives from the sex crimes and homicide squads.

Ms Vaughan had just left the Metro Tavern when she was last seen getting into a red car in Keppel Street, Bathurst, about 4am on Friday, December 7, 2001. When interviewed a year later, Mr Hosemans told investigators he spent that week with his mother in the Hunter Valley, returning on December 7.

Yesterday Mr Hosemans conceded he might have been back in Bathurst a day earlier, having last week found a receipt for petrol bought at Wyong on December 6.

Strike Force Toko, under the command of Detective Inspector Paul Jacob, had investigated the disappearance, and half a dozen assaults on women in the area. All remain unsolved.

In January 2002, Ms Vaughan's mother, Jennifer Vaughan, told the strike force she did not recall her daughter talking about any men except "a guy she had seen in Bathurst and who she described as drop-dead gorgeous".

Her daughter had found out this man was Brad Hosemans.

Mr Hosemans had smiled at Ms Vaughan from outside her shop, and winked, her best friend said.

No police who gave evidence were surprised by those statements and none had known a missing persons case managed by a detective facing charges of indecent assault in the past.

The hearing continues.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006. 10:01am (AEST) - ABC
Police admit mistakes in Vaughan case

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) inquiry into the disappearance of Bathurst shop manager Janine Vaughan, 31, resumes in Orange in western New South Wales today.

Police have admitted they made mistakes in the investigation into the suspected murder.

Detective Inspector Paul Jacob was brought into the investigation five years ago because police feared Ms Vaughan's disappearance was linked to a spate of attacks on women in the town.

Inspector Jacob told the hearing yesterday he was satisfied that a number of attacks in central west in 2001 were not related.

However, Inspector Jacob said he made an error in allowing Bathurst Detective Sergeant Brad Hosemans to stay on the case.

At the time, Detective Sergeant Hosemans was facing indecent assault charges - which were later dismissed and for a time he was considered a suspect in the murder.

He says he is affronted at suggestions he was involved in her disappearance.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006. 3:40pm (AEST)
Officer admits suspected murder probe flaws - ABC

The head of a task force investigating the suspected murder of a woman in Bathurst, in western New South Wales, has admitted he missed crucial evidence linking a local police officer to her disappearance.

Detective Inspector Paul Jacob has spent a second day in the witness box at the Police Integrity Commission hearing in Orange.

Detective Inspector Jacob says former Bathurst Detective Sergeant Brad Hosemans was considered a person of interest in the suspected murder of 31-year-old Janine Vaughan.

He has told the hearing that after reviewing all the evidence, Sergeant Hosemans was no longer considered a suspect.

Inspector Jacob was asked about some notes he took just four months after the woman's disappearance.

The notes read: "Flowers and chocolates in weeks leading up to disappearance. Brad seen. Statement-takers left out issue with Brad."

Detective Inspector Jacob says he missed the note because he was overworked.

But he admitted it should have stuck out like a bolt from the blue.


Wednesday, June 7, 2006. 11:14am (AEST)
PIC hearing told missing woman harassed by policeman - ABC

Former friends of a missing woman from Bathurst, in central western New South Wales, have told the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) she complained of harassment from a police officer in the months leading to her disappearance.

Just weeks before shop manager Janine Vaughan, 31, disappeared, she had a conversation with her boss Serena D'souza.

She told the PIC, Janine Vaughan had started to go out with a local police officer who was also on the council, but it had not worked out and he was harassing her.

Ms D'souza said she told Bathurst police of the link, but they left it out of her official statement.

Another close friend wept in the witness box as she told the PIC Janine Vaughan also told her she was being harassed.

The friend identified the man as former Bathurst detective sergeant and deputy Mayor Brad Hosemans.

Mr Hosemans has denied even meeting Ms Vaughan.

The PIC investigation into the way senior police handled the investigation into her suspected murder continues today.

We were harder on police suspect, inquiry told
Stephen Gibbs - SMH
June 7, 2006

A DETECTIVE who became a person of interest to police investigating the disappearance of a Bathurst woman was treated differently because he was an officer, a corruption inquiry has heard.

Sergeant Brad Hosemans was subjected to more rigorous scrutiny than if he had not been a policeman, Detective Inspector Paul Jacob, the officer in charge of the investigation, told the Police Integrity Commission yesterday.

Mr Hosemans was never seriously considered a suspect in the presumed abduction and murder of Janine Vaughan 4½ years ago because there was never evidence to suggest he was involved.

"It's simply because he was a police officer I went those extra yards with him," Detective Inspector Jacob said in evidence.

The commission has been trying to show investigators ran dead on Mr Hosemans as a potential suspect in their inquiries, ignoring information that, in the months before Ms Vaughan's disappearance, he had shown an interest in her.

It has also tried suggesting that Mr Hosemans was afforded protection because he is related to the assistant commissioner Graeme Morgan, who heads the State Crime Command.

However, counsel assisting the commission, Mark Buscombe, has for two days produced a mass of documents created by Strike Force Toko that recorded even the most trivial statements made to police about Mr Hosemans.

The investigation into Ms Vaughan's presumed murder is expected to go to the coroner.

Detective Inspector Jacob, whose peers considered him above reproach, told the commission Mr Hosemans had become a person of interest to Strike Force Toko about six months after Ms Vaughan, 31, disappeared.

Locals told police that Mr Hosemans, who was single, had been asking about the store manager's availability before she disappeared.

Before her presumed abduction Mr Hosemans was accused of indecently assaulting a woman at Bathurst Golf Club and was on restricted duties.

Those charges were dismissed by a magistrate who was scathing of Mr Hosemans's credibility.

"It was that material that made Mr Hosemans a person of interest to Strike Force Toko," Detective Inspector Jacob said, "not anything else."

In a January 2003 progress report on Toko, Inspector Jacob concluded: "There is no evidence of any impropriety, corrupt or criminal behaviour by Detective Sergeant Hosemans."

The hearing continues.

Detective grilled over alibi evidence
From: AAP By David Dixon
June 06, 2006

A TOP New South Wales detective has been accused of deliberately misleading the NSW Ombudsman over his doubts about the alibi of an officer investigating the disappearance of a Bathurst woman.

Detective Inspector Paul Jacob is one of the state's most senior detectives, known for leading major investigations such as that into the death of model Carolyn Byrne 11 years ago.
He made headlines last month when he delivered Ms Byrne's former boyfriend, Gordon Wood, to a Sydney court to face a murder charge.

Today, at a Police Integrity Commission (PIC) hearing in the central-west NSW town of Orange, Det Insp Jacob's handling of a missing persons case was put under the microscope.

He was asked about a report to the assistant commissioner of police, and whether he intentionally omitted phone records casting doubt on the alibi of former Bathurst detective Brad Hosemans, who had a romantic interest in the missing woman, Janine Vaughan.

Mr Hosemans, who initially led the investigation into the 31-year-old's disappearance, had claimed he wasn't in Bathurst when Ms Vaughan was last seen accepting a lift outside a Bathurst nightclub early on December 7, 2001.

But Mr Hosemans yesterday admitted to the PIC he probably was in Bathurst that morning.
Det Insp Jacob said he had dropped Mr Hosemans as a person of interest in the investigation before he was fully appraised of the former officer's background.

Mr Hosemans had been facing aggravated indecent assault charges at the time he was investigating the Vaughan case.

He was subsequently acquitted, but the magistrate hearing that matter described him as someone who couldn't be trusted.

The PIC was today told that in late 2005, after an inquiry from the NSW Ombudsman over the case, Det Insp Jacob wrote a report in which he said mobile phone records placing Mr Hosemans en route to Bathurst on December 6, 2001, were "potentially unreliable".

He had also not inquired as to the accuracy of an EFTPOS receipt Mr Hosemans provided that indicated he was in Newcastle on December 7, 2001.

"This document that you prepared for the ombudsman was misleading," counsel assisting the inquiry, Mark Buscombe, alleged.

"I reject that," Det Insp Jacob answered.

"I put it to you that it was deliberately misleading," Mr Buscombe countered, prompting Det Insp Jacob to reply: "Absolutely not."

Mr Buscombe earlier accused Det Insp Jacob of not emphasising the significance of Mr Hosemans' phone records in a report to then-Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Frank Kuiters.

Det Insp Jacob said it was his judgment that Mr Hosemans was to no longer be a "person of interest" in the Vaughan disappearance.

"That material that made Mr Hosemans a person of interest, I reviewed that material and found it to be questionable," he said.

Mr Hosemans would have been cleared of any suspicion earlier if he had not been a police officer, Det Insp Jacob said.

Friends and colleagues of Ms Vaughan testified that she told them she was being bothered by a police officer, one naming Mr Hosemans as a man she was having "some difficulties" with and who kept asking her out on dates.

The inquiry continues tomorrow.

Missing woman seen tied up in detective's car
August 24, 2006 - SMH

JANINE VAUGHAN, a Bathurst woman who disappeared almost five years ago, was seen tied up in the car of Brad Hosemans, a former NSW police officer, shortly after she went missing, the Police Integrity Commission has been told.

In evidence given in a private hearing yesterday, a 47-year-old female witness, known as RA1, said Ms Vaughan was trying to get her attention.

"As I approached the car I saw a very distressed woman sitting in the front seat and trying to get my attention and appearing to wave when I realised her hands were tied together," she said. "Her hair was as if it was standing on its end." She said the man driving the car had a "clean cut look" and "looked shocked", a transcript of the proceedings released by the commission read.

"I knew this person to be Brad Hosemans, as he was a policeman in Bathurst, and I knew his sister in Bathurst," the witness said.

"At this time I was slowing down and approaching the street and about to turn into it, and I was able to see Brad Hosemans and Janine Vaughan quite clearly."

Until today, the last reported sighting of Ms Vaughan, a store manager, was as she accepted a lift outside a Bathurst nightclub early on December 7, 2001.

The commission is examining the way police handled the investigation when Mr Hosemans was a person of interest in Ms Vaughan's disappearance.

Mr Hosemans, who has always denied any involvement in the disappearance, led the Vaughan case for several days before Detective Inspector Paul Jacob took over.

The witness said the last time she had seen the car it was travelling south towards Eglinton, near Bathurst.

The woman, who had lived in the Bathurst area for 20 years, said she believed Mr Hosemans' family had a rural property in the Eglinton area.

"I wondered what was happening, but as I knew Brad Hosemans as a policeman, who should be trustworthy, who should be a pillar of society, I thought nothing of it, and I got on with my day as I had a busy life," she said.

The woman said she had not been disturbed by the sight of Mr Hosemans and Ms Vaughan in the car until she saw a photograph of the missing woman in the Western Advocate newspaper on Friday, April 7 this year.

She went to see a solicitor on Monday, April 10, the commission was told.

"I know I should provide this information, but I am very afraid for my family's safety and my own safety as I have seen the person in question in the town area and feel that as soon as this information gets out he will put two and two together," she said.

Mr Hosemans had consistently claimed he was in Newcastle when Ms Vaughan went missing, but when the commission sat in Orange earlier this year, he said he may have been in Bathurst.


She was last seen shortly before 4am on 7 December 2001 getting into a red car in Keppel Street, Bathurst, after leaving a nearby nightclub.

Today’s search operation is being launched by Strike Force Mountbatten which was established in October 2006 to resume the investigation into the disappearance and presumed murder of Ms Vaughan.

Chief Superintendent Mark Holahan said during the past six months Mountbatten detectives have received fresh information from a number of sources including Crime Stoppers.

“As a result of the new information we have launched a search operation which will be conducted in Bathurst over the coming days,” Chief Superintendent Holahan said.

“We have a number of persons of interest that we are looking at and until we make an arrest we cannot discount anyone from this investigation.

“This is a frustrating investigation and until we find a crime scene we will continue to methodically work our way through the evidence,” he said.

Chief Supt Holahan said detectives firmly believe members of the Bathurst community have information that could solve the mystery of Janine’s disappearance.

“Someone in this town is harbouring a secret. It is likely Janine was murdered and someone in this town either knows the killer or has information that could lead police to the killer.


“It is time for people to come forward and disclose what they know. The smallest piece of information could be the vital link that could solve this investigation.”

Janine’s mother Jenny, sister Kylie and brother, Adam, who attended today’s press conference in Bathurst, said the family had renewed hope Janine would be found.

“This has been an enormously painful experience simply not knowing what happened to our beloved Janine,” Jenny said.

“Never a day has gone by without some thought of what happened to her or where she may be,” she said.

“We will never give up hope of finding Janine and I would beg of anyone who has any information to come forward and end our family’s suffering,” Kylie said.

Anyone with information that might assist investigators is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be given anonymously and all information is treated confidentially.

Search for Janine Vaughan-Bathurst
28 May 2007

Strike Force Mountbatten police this morning resumed the search for the remains of missing woman Janine Vaughan.

For the second day Police Rescue Squad officers will be assisted in their search by a cadaver dog.

At 9am today they commenced scouring bushland near a creek at Yetholme, about three kilometres south of Bathurst.

A second cadaver dog, also on loan from Queensland Police, is expected to arrive in Sydney this morning and will join the join the search operation after midday.

Yesterday officers searched an area at Gormans Hill near the Macquarie River but did not locate any further evidence.

Chief Superintendent Mark Holahan said like the Vaughan family, investigators remain hopeful.

"We have received information which we believe is credible enough to warrant a search of a number of areas in and around Bathurst," Ch Supt Holahan said.

"We are very hopeful that we are on the right track to find Janine."

Police urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously and all information is regarded as confidential.

Update on discovery of bones — Strike Force Mountbatten
29 May 2007

Forensic analysis of bones discovered buried at a site near Bathurst yesterday afternoon indicate they are more than likely those of an animal.

Suspicion was raised after the bones were initially found wrapped in a tarpaulin a short distance from the Macquarie River, at Gormans Hill, about 3pm.

Police forensics officers consulted with experts in Sydney this morning. Further excavation of the site revealed a number of bones, which now appear to be from an animal.

Pathology experts have requested the bones be transported to Sydney’s Glebe morgue where they will undergo a final examination.

Meanwhile, the search operation being carried out by Strike Force Mountbatten continues, with further searches underway.

The Queensland Police cadaver dogs will continue to assist with the search operation.

The family of Janine Vaughan have been kept fully informed.

Police hope code of silence breaking in Vaughan case

Posted Wed May 30, 2007 7:13am AEST - ABC

The police chief leading the search operation to find the remains of missing woman Janine Vaughan in Bathurst, in central western New South Wales, says the code of silence regarding her disappearance and presumed murder may be breaking.

The search for Ms Vaughan's remains suffered a setback yesterday when bones discovered near the Macquarie River were identified to be more than likely those of an animal.

Since the renewed operation began on the weekend, police have taken numerous calls from the public who have information in relation to the case.

Chief Superintendent Mark Holahan says most of the information received has confirmed what they know, and the sites they are currently searching with the help of cadaver dogs.

"I honestly believe that a lot of people have sat at home over the last five-and-a-half years and thought that the police would know that information, or 'I don't need to go forward' and they're sitting there now saying, 'if only I had told them at the time perhaps they could have done this'," he said.

"I think that's become the impetus, that they don't want to have that 'if only' thought in their mind and I think that's encouraging people to come forward."

$100K reward offered in Vaughan case

December 8th 2008 - ABC

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information about the disappearance of a Bathurst woman in central western New South Wales.

Janine Vaughan vanished seven years ago and police believe she met with foul play.

Police Minister Tony Kelly says the 31-year-old was last seen entering a red vehicle in Keppel Street, Bathurst, on December 7, 2001.

The State Government has now announced a reward in the case.

"Police are interested in any information that will lead to the discovery of Ms Vaughan's whereabouts or the disclosure of the tragic circumstances of her disappearance," he said.

"Ms Vaughan's family deserves the closure of knowing what has happened to their daughter."

Mr Kelly said investigators hope the significant reward will encourage someone in the community to come forward with something that they might know, even after seven years.

"Of course memories fade, but we hope that this significant reward will encourage someone to remember something that might assist the police with their investigation," he said.

"Anyone with information, however insignificant, should contact police."

The Member for Bathurst, Gerard Martin, welcomed the Government's offer of a reward and encouraged anybody with information to come forward.

"It may not seem like much, but if anybody has any piece of information, however small, it could prove to be the vital link police need to find out what happened to Janine Vaughan," he said.

An inquest will be held into the disappearance of Ms Vaughan next June

Inquest to probe woman's nightclub disappearance

Posted 1 hour 52 minutes ago - June 22nd 2009 - ABC
 

The family of a woman who disappeared from outside a nightclub in 2001 say they are hoping to finally get some answers at a coronial inquest, which begins today.

31-year-old Janine Vaughan was last seen by her friends getting into a red car after a night out in Bathurst, in the New South Wales central west.

Police have been unable to find any trace of her since.

Strikeforce Mountbatten was formed to investigate the case in 2006, while the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) looked at how the original investigation was handled.

The PIC found that the Detective Inspector in charge of the case, Paul Jacobs, failed to properly investigate claims that a local policeman, Brad Hosemans, had an association with Ms Vaughan.

It also found that there was no reliable evidence linking Brad Hosemans to her disappearance.

This week, several members of Ms Vaughan's family have travelled to Bathurst, from the Upper Hunter Valley, to appear as witnesses at the inquest before Coroner Mary Jerram.

Her sister Kylie Curnuck says there is a sense of urgency to know what happened, as her mother is terminally ill.

"We're sort of going in there with mixed emotions as to what's going to come out of this," she said.

"We know that it's not going to be the result that we want but we want some answers."

Ms Curnuck says she wants the person responsible to come forward.

"We've lived through the other side of the eight years of not knowing where she is...this person, he or she, knows where Janine is and what happened that night."

Coroner to re-trace missing woman's last steps

Posted 5 hours 32 minutes ago - June 22nd 2009 - ABC
 

The Coroner and witnesses in the inquest into a woman's disappearance eight years ago will retrace her final steps tonight.

Thirty-one-year-old Janine Vaughan was last seen outside a nightclub at Bathurst, in central western New South Wales, in December 2001.

At 7pm AEST, her last known movements will be re-traced - with the lighting in the streets and nearby park being dimmed to recreate what it would have looked like the night she went missing.

The inquest has been shown CCTV footage of Janine Vaughan leaving a hotel on the night she disappeared.

It has also heard that she was last seen walking along Keppel Street, Bathurst, before getting in to a red car.

The inquest has found no link between her disappearance and a former police officer who worked on the case.

Former Detective Sergeant Brad Hosemans has been listed as a person of interest Janine Vaughan's disappearance.

The inquest has heard statements from her family, claiming the 31-year-old told them she had seen him walk past the shop where she worked and at times waved to her.

Giving evidence, Detective Inspector Peter Houlihan also told the inquest some witnesses recall Janine Vaughan had expressed concerns about Mr Hosemans' actions towards her.

These concerns are alleged to have been written in a diary which has never been found.

Brad Hosemans has denied knowing or having any connection with Janine Vaughan.

Family appeal

As the inquest got underway, members of Janine Vaughan's family renewed calls for whoever is responsible for her disappearance, to come forward.

Outside the court, Janine's brother Adam Vaughan appealed for anyone with information to directly contact the family.

"Send a letter, make a phone call or come and see us it's that easy. Really we just want her home," he said.

The inquest has been set down for three weeks.

Nightclub staff heard man brag about killing

Posted 7 hours 46 minutes ago  - June 24th 2009 - ABC
 

An inquest has been told that a man was overheard in a nightclub claiming he had killed someone, just weeks after the disappearance of Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan.

The 31-year-old vanished after getting into a small red car in Bathurst city centre on December 7 2001.

A former security guard at Bathurst's Metro Tavern, Barry Gale, said a patron at the club had been heard talking about how he had recently killed someone.

Mr Gale has told the inquest that he and the other staff were not sure if the story was true, but when they reported it to police, he said they did not want to know about it.

When asked by the counsel assisting the coroner if he knew the name of the man, Mr Gale replied "no, not at the time, but I do know."

Woman stalked

Earlier the inquest heard that a woman was stalked by a man in a car similar to the one Janine Vaughan was last seen getting into.

Lynette Borland has told the inquest that she had been walking through Bathurst CBD early on December 7 2001, when a little red car began following her.

Giving evidence, Ms Borland said she knew she was in trouble and that this person was up to something.

She told the inquest she cannot remember the make or model of the vehicle, but she gave a brief description of the driver.

The inquest has also heard that Ms Vaughan lost her handbag the night she went missing.

Police urge Vaughan caller to phone back

Posted Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:45am AEST

Detectives investigating the disappearance of former Muswellbrook woman Janine Vaughan have been contacted by an anonymous man.

Ms Vaughan, 31, vanished in Bathurst nearly eight years ago.

Officers from Strikeforce Mountbatten will be back in Bathurst today.

They are using their visit to appeal to an anonymous caller who contacted their Sydney office to ring again.

The man spoke to investigators three weeks ago and he and his female friend are being urged to call back to discuss the information disclosed.

Ms Vaughan has not been seen since getting into a small, red car in the city centre in 2001.

The inquest into her disappearance is due to resume at the Bathurst court in September.

Janine Vaughan inquest continues

Posted Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:15am AEST - ABC

A coronial inquest into the disappearance and suspected death of Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan resumes today.

Ms Vaughan, 31, vanished after getting into a small red car after a night out in central Bathurst, in central western New South Wales, in December 2001.

The inquest last sat in June where it heard from a woman who said she was stalked by a man in a car similar to that Ms Vaughan was last seen getting into.

A former nightclub security guard also told the inquest in the weeks after her disappearance he overheard a man claiming he had killed someone.

Following those hearings, an anonymous caller contacted detectives from Strikeforce Mountbatten who returned to Bathurst in July for further investigations.

The inquest resumes today in the Bathurst Courthouse before state coroner Mary Jerram, and is set down for two weeks.

 

Inquest into disappearance of Muswellbrook woman still no closer to truth

15/09/2009 4:00:00 AM

 

"DONT be scared of me . . . I wont hurt you" was one of a series of notes left on Janine Vaughan's car 18 months before she disappeared.

The note was one of three shown to Coroner Mary Jerram yesterday as the inquest into Ms Vaughan's disappearance in 2001 reopened at Bathurst Court House.

Ms Vaughan's former partner Phillip Evans told the court Janine was apparently stalked by a person who left notes, flowers and lingerie on her car while Mr Evans was working in Sydney.

Ms Vaughan and Mr Evans had been in a relationship for five years before they broke up in mid-2000.

They had met in Muswellbrook and dated before Mr Evans moved to Bathurst. Ms Vaughan moved there to be with him.

It was while Mr Evans was working in Sydney that a series of events involving Ms Vaughan occurred.

Mr Evans recalled the first of three letters, a hand-written note left on the windscreen of her car.

"Don't be scared of me. I don't want to hurt you. I just want to get to know you. I will be in touch," it read.

Two other hand-written notes were later left on her car, he said.

He also recalled that a flower wrapped in foil and a piece of lingerie had been left. Mr Evans also said their house and shed had been broken into on two separate occasions.

Counsel assisting the Coroner, Chris Ronalds, asked Mr Evans if he he knew the identity of the person writing the notes.

"No. If I knew I would have grabbed him myself," he said.

"It's something I still struggle with. I wonder if it is someone I know."

Mr Evans said at the time the incidents were happening he wondered if Ms Vaughan had written the notes.

"I spoke to my family [to see] if they thought it was Janine trying to get more attention," he said.

"Looking back at it I was wrong to think that."

Mr Evans said he had no credible information on her disappearance.

But he did not believe that Ms Vaughan would have got into a car with a stranger.

"I don't believe she would have [got in] if she didn't know the driver. It's something that has always amazed me," he said. The Western Advocate

Vaughan inquest told blood-stained knife destroyed

Posted Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:35am AEST - ABC

The inquest into the disappearance of Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan has heard a blood-stained knife found in the Bathurst area was destroyed without further analysis.

The second week of the inquest before coroner Mary Jerram has resumed at the Bathurst Courthouse, in central western New South Wales, after it last sat in June.

Senior Sergeant Noel Paine has told the inquest that shortly after the 31-year-old, formerly of Muswellbrook, vanished in 2001, a knife was discovered in a nursing home driveway in nearby Kelso.

The inquest heard it had apparent blood stains, had hairs attached to it and was to be checked to see if was related to Ms Vaughan's disappearance.

When asked by counsel assisting the coroner, Chris Ronalds, what happened to the knife, Senior Sergeant Paine told the court he had later been informed it was never resubmitted for further analysis and destroyed.

Ms Vaughan was last seen getting into a small red car during a night out in the Bathurst city centre.

The police investigation into Ms Vaughan's disappearance will be scaled back next week regardless of the coroner's recommendations.

The head of Strikeforce Mountbatten, Detective Inspector Peter Houlahan, says several people have contacted officers in recent months with fresh information, but it has not provided any new leads.

He says police will still work on the case, but not full-time.

"There won't be a dedicated strikeforce continually working on ... the investigation as it is at this present time," he said.

"However, if information does come to light it will be fed onto us and we will exhaust those lines of enquiries again.

"Obviously there is some person out there who knows a little bit more, but whether that person is still in the local area, we don't know."

Closure

Meanwhile, Ms Vaughan's brother says the final week of the inquest into her disappearance is the hardest yet.

Adam Vaughan says it is difficult returning to the city and the family is looking for closure.

"I think it's a little bit more tough this time," he said.

"We know that it's going to be all over and we won't be coming back so hopefully something may come out while we [are] here, but everybody seems to keep together and ... this town holds a lot of secrets and we would hopefully like them to share them, but we don't really know."

Vaughan inquest hears doubt over alleged 'kill confession'

Posted Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:02pm AEST -ABC

An acquaintance and former girlfriend of a man who allegedly admitted killing missing Bathurst woman, Janine Vaughan, have told an inquest in central western New South Wales, they questioned whether he was telling the truth.

Coroner Mary Jerram has heard from 12 witnesses this week, including an acquaintance of Denis Briggs, who police initially identified as a person of interest.

Peter Barker met Mr Briggs about four months after the 31-year-old, formerly of Muswellbrook, vanished.

He told the inquest, when Mr Briggs confessed to stabbing Ms Vaughan to death, he told him he buried her body at an area known as White Rocks.

He said Mr Briggs' "eyes were fixed ... like he was reliving something".

But Mr Barker said he was not sure whether Mr Briggs was "making it up".

Mr Briggs later told him "he was only joking".

Julie Creave also testified. She said she knew her former partner had not taken his medication for bipolar disorder at the time he allegedly confessed to the killing and she did not always believe things he said when he did not take the medication.

Five more witnesses are due to give evidence on the eighth day of the coronial inquiry.

Detective Acting Inspector Guy Flaherty from Strikeforce Mountbatten is among four police officers who are due to testify today.

He will be providing an update of what has been happening as part of investigations since the inquest last sat in June.

The inquest continues in the Bathurst Courthouse.

'Persons of interest' face Vaughan inquest

Posted Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:22am AEST - ABC
 

Three men named as persons of interest in the case of missing Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan are due to give evidence at the inquest into her disappearance today.

Andrew Donald Grant Jones, Denis James Briggs and Bradley Hosemans are the final three witnesses to testify at the inquest in central western New South Wales.

Each have been named by police as persons of interest in the investigation into the disappearance eight years ago of Ms Vaughan, formerly of Muswellbrook.

Since the inquest opened in June, coroner Mary Jerram has heard evidence from other witnesses about the men's alleged connection to the 31-year-old.

Mr Jones drove a red car, which has similar dimensions to the vehicle Ms Vaughan was last seen getting into, while Mr Briggs allegedly confessed to killing her before later denying it.

Mr Hosemans briefly dated Ms Vaughan before she went missing.

The inquest continues.

 

Janine Vaughan inquest: Hosemans denies contact

Posted Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:19pm AEST - ABC

A witness at the inquest into the disappearance of Janine Vaughan has denied having contact with the Bathurst woman before she vanished.

Bradley George Hosemans is the last person to testify at the inquest before Coroner Mary Jerram.

When asked by counsel assisting the coroner, Chris Ronalds, if he had picked up Janine Vaughan in a red car the night she went missing, her replied, no m'am, I did not.

He also denied knowing what happened to the 31-year-old after December 7 2001.

Mr Hosemans also told the inquest, that he never had any dates with Janine Vaughan, or sent her flowers.

Andrew Donald Grant Jones and Denis James Briggs each entered the witness box, but each on legal advice objected to giving evidence.

The inquest continues.

 

Janine Vaughan inquest wraps up

Posted Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:23am AEST - ABC

The inquest into the disappearance of Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan will close today.

State coroner Mary Jerram is due to hand down her findings and recommendations after hearing evidence from 36 witnesses since the inquest first sat at Bathurst courthouse, in central western New South Wales, in June.

No trace of the 31-year-old has ever been found, despite extensive police investigations.

Ms Vaughan was last seen getting into a small, red car during a night out with friends in Bathurst eight years ago.

Strikeforce Mountbatten, which is investigating the case, will be scaled back from today regardless of the coroner's recommendations.

Coroner admits no answers on cold case murder

Posted Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:06pm AEST - ABC
 

A coroner has ruled that Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan, who disappeared nearly eight years ago, was murdered by an unidentified person.

The 31-year-old has not been seen since getting into a small car during a night out with friends in the New South Wales central west town in December 2001.

Handing down her findings this morning, coroner Mary Jerram said that, based on her evidence before her, Ms Vaughan was murdered by a person or persons unknown and her body disposed in a way that it has never been found.

She also said there were flaws in the initial investigation into the woman's disappearance.

The coroner said that despite extensive investigations the trail has gone cold and she hopes someone will give way to the weight of their conscience and come forward.

The coroner offered her sympathy to Ms Vaughan's family, saying they have had to wait eight years for answers and sadly the inquest has not provided one.

Speaking outside the Bathurst court house, Janine Vaughan's brother Adam, says the family is still waiting for answers.

"[It's] very disappointing, we're not very satisfied," he said.

"We just feel that, had they done their job right in the first place, this may have been resolved a long time ago and we may have had a bit more closure, because we're walking away today with nothing."

Police say strikeforce Mount Batten will close, but officers will continue to pursue any new leads.

Detective Inspector Peter Houlahan says the outcome is very frustrating.

"We've exhausted all our lines of inquiry at this point in time and we're waiting on some new leads," he said.

"That's why the appeal is still current and that's why the reward is still sitting at $100,000."

Janine Vaughan's family hopes for closure from bones

Posted Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:54am AEDT - ABC

The sister of missing Bathurst woman, Janine Vaughan, says it'll be an anxious wait to find out if a skeleton discovered near Bathurst is the 31-year-old.

The human bones have been dug up on a property at Perthville and an anthropologist has been brought in to determine whether they're male or female.

Police say they're not ruling out the possibility the skeleton is Ms Vaughan, who vanished in Bathurst in 2001.

Janine's sister Kylie Curnuck says similar discoveries have been made before.

"It does take its toll when you sort of get phone calls.

"You know over the last nine years we've had a few different phone calls to say you know they've found different bones and you sort of have that waiting period of whether it is going to be Janine or not, " she said.

Ms Curnuck says she hopes the discovery of human bones provides closure for the victim's family.

She says while it'll be an anxious wait to find if the skeleton is Janine, the family's remaining cautious.

"No, you try and be as open minded really, because you just think well if it's not Janine, then somebody elses' case has been solved and they don't have to go through what we've been going through as well and it could be that this person has been there a lot longer than Janine," she said.

 

Bones not those missing Muswellbrook woman

Posted Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:40pm AEDT - ABC

Bones discovered in the state's central west are not those of missing Muswellbrook woman Janine Vaughan, with tests showing they belong to a male.

The bones were found at Perthville, near Bathurst on Wednesday when a property owner was digging in a paddock.

Police say an initial forensic examination suggests the bones are male.

Janine Vaughan went missing from Bathurst in 2001.

Police say they are still not sure how long the human remains found at Perthville had been buried.

PIC used skewed evidence in Janine Vaughan case

 
THEY rode in with all guns blazing thinking their officers could do what the state's top detectives in the homicide squad hadn't - solve the murder of Janine Vaughan.

But the Police Integrity Commission has been left with its tail between its legs after the latest damning report into its investigation found that it not only had the totally wrong culprit in its sights - former police officer and Bathurst deputy mayor Brad Hosemans - but also targeted Detective Inspector Paul Jacob without any justification.

The PIC Inspector Peter Moss QC has found that the PIC "abrogated its reponsibilities" to conduct a fair and impartial investigation and had engaged in a "reprehensible" course of conduct, skewing evidence to fit the conclusions it wanted to come to.Mr Moss upheld complaints by Inspector Jacob, one of the state's most respected detectives, that the PIC had been unfair and unjustified in recommending that he be dismissed from the police, a move Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione refused to carry out.

In his harshest criticism of the PIC so far, Mr Moss said his analysis of the commission's operation Rani inquiry into events surrounding Ms Vaughan's murder had uncovered a "situation so serious and so far removed from what is expected of a law enforcement body ... as to be well-nigh incomprehensible".

In his report tabled in parliament yesterday, Mr Moss said the PIC set out believing it could solve the murder of Ms Vaughan. The shop assistant, 31, was last seen getting into a car about 4am on December 7, 2001 after leaving a nightclub.

Mr Moss said the PIC report contained "entrenched and debilitating bias".

Mr Moss, who has already also upheld complaints made by Mr Hosemans against the PIC, said the PIC should remove its Rani report from its website.However in a report also tabled in parliament, the PIC rejected the criticism.

A spokesman for Premier Barry O'Farrell said he was considering the report.

 

Family still seeking truth

Date

Nick Ralston - SMH

Crime Reporter

Each time Kylie Curnuck and Adam Vaughan receive a tip-off about where their sister Janine could be buried, they drive to the spot, and start their own search. In some instances, they even start to dig.

Their mother, Jenny Vaughan, who has terminal cancer, sits anxiously in the car hoping that finally, after 11 years, they might finally learn what happened to Janine.

''Adam and Kylie have even dug up the ground with their bare little hands,'' Jenny Vaughan says.

''We've been everywhere, even on private properties. I sit up in the car while Adam and Kylie are searching. We go where people have told us. Whenever we go to Bathurst, we go to these places and look.''

It is a show of the dedication that Janine Vaughan's family has to finding out what happened to the 31-year-old after she vanished in the streets of Bathurst, in the state's central west, in December 2001. But it also demonstrates the lack of faith the family hold towards investigators trying to solve the case.

''Frustrated and angry'', the Vaughan family are for the first time speaking about what they believe has been a problem-plagued investigation.

''They say the best chance to solve a crime is very early. Well, a lot seemed to go wrong early on,'' Ms Curnuck said.

Jenny Vaughan added: ''As a family, we feel like we've failed too. I feel like I've failed because I haven't done as much as I could.''

Ms Vaughan's last known movements were caught on security footage at Bathurst's Metro Tavern nightclub. That night she drank and danced with friends until she left about 3.47am on a Friday.

There had been a charity golf day in town and, even though it was a week night, it had been a busy evening. Among those at the club were several local police. One patron is even heard on the security footage remarking that there were so many officers out on the town that you could ''get away with murder''.

Ms Vaughan lost her handbag that night but, as she left the club, she told two accompanying friends: ''I've gotta go. I'm getting more drink. Got to go to the Ox [Oxford Tavern].''

She walked no more than 40 metres ahead, when three witnesses watched as a small car drove past, turned around, then stopped next to Ms Vaughan. She got in and has not been heard from since.

Ms Vaughan was reported missing when she failed to open the menswear store she managed inside a Bathurst shopping centre the next morning.

''It was raining, she had no money, she had no phone, no key to get into her house,'' Jenny Vaughan said. ''If it was just someone she knew from coming into the shop or who she knew from around town she would have got in. It wouldn't have been someone that she met that night.

''I think it's someone that she knew and she trusted them enough to get into the car.''

Two police strike forces, a Police Integrity Commission inquiry and a 10-day coronial inquest have failed to provide any clues as to who was driving that car or what happened next.

Initially, police sought a salmon-pink Hyundai but now believe the car involved was a red sedan.

Ms Vaughan's work diary, where she would have logged unusual dealings with customers, went missing and there were allegations that evidence given by witnesses and friends in the early stages of the investigation was left out of statements.

Then, to add to the family's scepticism, the officer who oversaw the police investigation in its early stage was named as a person of interest in Ms Vaughan's disappearance at the coronial inquest eight years later.

Brad Hosemans, a sergeant at Bathurst police station, was one of three men (along with a local pharmacist, Andrew Jones, and an aged care centre wardsman, Denis Briggs) named as persons of interest at the 2009 inquest.

At that coronial inquiry, Detective Inspector Peter Houlihan said witnesses recalled Ms Vaughan had expressed concerns about Mr Hosemans's actions towards her. These concerns were alleged to have been written in the lost diary.

Mr Hosemans was interviewed by police and officers drilled through a concrete floor at his Bathurst home as part of their investigation.

The police, the Police Integrity Commission and the coroner have all cleared Mr Hosemans of any involvement in Ms Vaughan's disappearance. He has always denied any wrongdoing. But the whole situation has left the family wary.

It is something the NSW Police Force is conscious of: Ms Vaughan's case is in the hands of Detective Inspector Guy Flaherty, an experienced investigator who is based at Professional Standards Command.

A police spokesman said he continued to receive information and that the investigation into Ms Vaughan's disappearance was ''very much active and ongoing''.

''The decision to appoint the detective inspector was taken to address concerns about the integrity of the original investigation that were later found to be unproven,'' the spokesman said.

Police have also offered a $100,000 reward for information about Ms Vaughan's case.

But her family has opted to push on with their own investigation. Through a third party, they have been taking statements from potential witnesses and carrying out searches.

''Someone says to us she's buried out here, so we go out there and we see a tiny triangle of blue tarp sticking out of the ground, '' Kylie Curnuck said. ''Your heart is about to come out your throat. You think, if something pops out, I don't want to see this but I have to do it.

''We need to do it.''

 

'Trusting police hasn't helped': missing Janine's family takes out newspaper ad in bid to solve case

Date

Nick Ralston - SMH

Crime Reporter

The family of a woman missing for 11 years and feared murdered say that anyone with information on her fate should contact them – even if they've previously spoken to the police.

A family member told Fairfax that placing their trust in the police "hasn't got us anywhere".

Janine Vaughan was last seen getting into a car in the central western town of Bathurst early one morning in December 2001.

The advert taken out by the family.

The advert taken out by the family.

Her family placed an advertisement in the town's local paper last weekend, asking anyone with information to get in touch.

"Even information previously given to police may be of assistance to the family in their search for Janine," the advertisement reads. The family's name appears to have been misspelt in the ad.

Ms Vaughan's sister, Kylie Curnuck, said the family had become frustrated by what they see as a lack of progress in the investigation, which at one stage was the subject of a Police Integrity Commission inquiry.

"We've got 11 years coming up and we still are not further ahead now than when we started," Ms Curnuck said.

"We want the public to come forward to us, tell us anything, it doesn't matter what it is, we will look into it."

The family said a number of people who lived in Bathurst at the time Ms Vaughan went missing have already got in touch with them after the advertisement appeared in last Saturday's edition of The Western Advocate.

"These people might feel safer coming to us than they would coming to police," Ms Curnuck said. "We have tried to trust the police for 11 years and that hasn't got us anywhere. I just want answers now."

Ms Vaughan's last known movements were caught on security footage at Bathurst's Metro Tavern nightclub. That night, she drank and danced with friends until she left about 3.47am.

Two police strike forces, the Police Integrity Commission inquiry and a coronial inquest have failed to provide any clues as to who was driving the car she got into, or what happened next.

The Vaughan family said there have been a number of flaws in the decade-long investigation. Initially, police sought a salmon-pink Hyundai but now believe the car involved was a red sedan.

Ms Vaughan's work diary, where she would have logged unusual dealings with customers at the menswear store she managed, went missing. There were also allegations that evidence given by witnesses and friends in the early stages of the investigation was left out of statements.

Then, to add to the family's scepticism, the officer who oversaw the police investigation in its early stage was named as a person of interest in Ms Vaughan's disappearance at the coronial inquest eight years later.

Brad Hosemans, a sergeant at Bathurst police station, was one of three men (along with local pharmacist Andrew Jones and an aged care centre wardsman, Denis Briggs) to be named as a person of interest at the 2009 inquest.

At that coronial inquiry, Detective Inspector Peter Houlihan said witnesses recalled Ms Vaughan had expressed concerns about Mr Hosemans's actions towards her. These concerns were alleged to have been noted in the lost diary.

Mr Hosemans was interviewed by police and officers drilled through a concrete floor at his Bathurst home as part of their investigation.

The police, the Police Integrity Commission and the coroner have all cleared Mr Hosemans of any involvement in Ms Vaughan's disappearance. He has always denied any wrongdoing.

Police declined to comment on the investigation when contacted.

Review for Janine case

THE investigation into missing Bathurst woman Janine Vaughan has been referred to the unsolved homicide team for a full review.

Ms Vaughan, who disappeared 11 years ago, was last seen accepting a lift with a stranger at the corner of George and Keppel streets after a night out with friends at The Tavern.

Her family, who were in Bathurst for the anniversary of the disappearance, told the Western Advocate last Friday that they were pushing for the case to be reopened, adding if that happened the outcome “would be huge”.

And 48 hours later, Detective Superintendent Mick Willing of the Sydney-based Homicide Unit confirmed the case would be reviewed.

Ms Vaughan’s brother Adam yesterday welcomed the news that homicide were taking over the investigation from the Professional Standards Unit, saying he hoped something would come out of the development.

Since Janine disappeared 11 years ago two strike forces and a Police Integrity Commission investigation, which looked at allegations of police corruption in the case failed to find out what really happened to the vivacious store manager.

In September 2009, after 10 days of evidence over two hearings, State Coroner Mary Jerram found Janine Vaughan had been murdered by a person or persons unknown and her body disposed of in such a means that is has not been found.

However, refusing to give up, the family initiated their own investigation and in the last two years have spent countless nights talking to people and trying to find out what really happened to her.

The decision by police to review the case was announced on Monday.

At the same time it emerged a woman had contacted the family about a handbag she found two-and-a-half years after Ms Vaughan disappeared.

The woman told the family the bag, which she found in a drain near The Scots School contained documents relating to Ms Vaughan inside the bag.

While there is now no trace of the bag - which, as Mr Vaughan said, had gone missing like Ms Vaughan’s diary - the news has given the family a new hope. 

“It’s massive,” Adam said of the development, adding it also raised many more questions.

“Was she alive longer than just that night [December 7, when she disappeared]?” he asked.

“And who put the bag there? Did she put it there to let someone know something had gone wrong?”

Mr Vaughan said the family had other explosive information, which could not be made public at this point.

He said the family was happy that homicide was taking over the case, but after their experience they were still wary.

Police review Janine Vaughan's disappearance

Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:42am AEDT - ABC

The mother of a woman who vanished in the central west more than a decade ago says she is relieved police have agreed to review the case.

The Unsolved Homicide Squad is investigating the disappearance of Janine Vaughan, who was last seen getting in a small red car in Bathurst in 2001.

An inquest in 2009 found she had been murdered by an unknown person or people.

Janine's mother, Jenny, says she hopes that this time the family will get some answers.

"Extremely happy, very happy, we feel more positive this time.

"We've gathered up a bit of information and people are coming forward, so we are extremely happy, very excited and hopefully something will come of it it this time."

She says now is the time for anyone who knows anything about the case to come forward.

"If anybody has got any information, please come forward, don't keep it to yourselves any longer, because it must be tearing your hearts out I think, it must be driving you crazy.

"I know how it's driving us crazy not knowing and whoever has done this needs to pay."