A man will face court today charged over the alleged murder of teenager Arthur Haines at Redfern in 1998.
About 10.30pm on Thursday 9 April 1998, emergency services responded to reports of a fire at a house on Walker Street, Waterloo.
Arthur Haines, aged 13, who was sleeping over at his friend’s house, became trapped on the top floor of the burning home.
The teenager managed to escape the blaze and was taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with severe burns. He died 11 weeks later.
A subsequent forensic examination of the home found the fire had been deliberately lit.
Despite exhaustive inquiries, the matter remained unsolved, and was referred to detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad for re-investigation under Strike Force Belemba II in January 2020.
Following extensive inquiries and numerous public appeals for information, strike force detectives applied for and were granted an arrest warrant for a 55-year-old man, who was believed to be interstate.
Strike force investigators liaised with detectives from the Queensland Police Service’s Homicide Cold Case Investigation Team, who conducted further inquiries and arrested the man on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane CBD about 11.45am on Wednesday (17 August 2022).
NSW Police detectives applied for and were granted the man’s extradition to NSW at Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday 18 August 2022).
The man was escorted by Homicide Squad detectives to Sydney Airport earlier today (Friday 19 August 2022), before being taken to Surry Hills Police Station.
He has been charged with murder and six counts of destroy/damage property with intent to endanger life.
The man was refused bail and is due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court today.
Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, thanked the public for their assistance throughout the investigation and said police had always remained hopeful of an arrest.
“Each time investigators appealed for information into Arthur’s death they were provided with new leads and opportunities that were then rigorously pursued,” Det Supt Doherty said.
“Detectives travelled across Australia to interview witnesses and conduct other activity which has ultimately led them to the arrest of the man allegedly responsible.
“Arthur’s mum Julie never doubted that police would resolve this case and I sincerely hope this man’s arrest helps reconcile the immeasurable pain she would feel from outliving her child,” Det Supt Doherty said.