New twist as police investigate the suspected murder of a NSW toddler at a rural property near Oberon in 1987

A 71-year-old man already charged with the alleged murder of a two-year-old girl in rural NSW has faced a raft of new sex abuse charges.

Police say the toddler died at a country estate near Oberon in 1987 after allegedly suffering what a senior detective described as “abhorrent violence”.

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In October 2019, detectives launched Strike Force Bertrand after receiving information that the girl had been fatally assaulted by a woman she knew, and a man helped get rid of the body at a rural estate.

After more than three decades, police last year arrested a 70-year-old man at a Porters Retreat property and charged him with the murder of the girl, who was allegedly beaten to death with plastic tubing and dumped on the property.

The property was the headquarters of the Ministry of God sect, Homicide Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said in May.

The child’s mother, whose name cannot be released for legal reasons, was charged with murder and extradited from New Zealand in May after being arrested in November.

She remains in court, as does the 71-year-old man accused of helping her dispose of the body.

The toddler died in 1987 on a country estate in Oberon. Recognition: NSW Police
A man in his 70s was arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station. Recognition: NSW Police

NSW Police said on Thursday the man had since been charged with 11 other offences, including aggravated indecent assault on a victim under 16, aggravated sexual assault on a victim under 16 and two counts of sexual assault in which it was known that no consent had been given.

Police will accuse the man of sexually and physically assaulting four people between 1987 and 2000, including a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, and two women, aged between 20 and 33.

He was granted conditional bail to appear in Bathurst Magistrates Court on October 12.

The investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information, including former Ministry of God members at Porters Retreat, is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at

– With AAP

Driver narrowly missed falling tree.

Driver narrowly missed falling tree. New twist as police investigate the suspected murder of a NSW toddler at a rural property near Oberon in 1987

James Brien

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