Dr William Russell Massingham Pridgeon (centre)  leaving the Brisbane Magistrates Court in Brisbane, Friday, April 5. Dr Pridgeon is is facing charges for his alleged role in an abduction ring network that helped mothers kidnap their children.
Dr William Russell Massingham Pridgeon (centre) leaving the Brisbane Magistrates Court in Brisbane, Friday, April 5. Dr Pridgeon is is facing charges for his alleged role in an abduction ring network that helped mothers kidnap their children. DARREN ENGLAND

Accused child snatcher hits out at police

A GRAFTON doctor alleged to be the mastermind of a child-stealing ring has claimed his case is not about child stealing, but about child protection.

Making a speech outside Brisbane Magistrates Court last Friday, Dr William Russell Pridgeon said he and the man co-accused of running the child-stealing ring were "desperately trying to protect children" from sexual abuse.

Dr Pridgeon and Patrick Finbar McGarry O'Dea are accused of running an elaborate child-snatching ring that helped to steal and hide children from one parent on behalf of the other, and claimed the men were sexually abusing the children. Police state those allegations were baseless.

"This case is not about child stealing, it's about child protection," Dr Pridgeon told media and a band of supporters after his most recent court appearance.

During the speech, Dr Pridgeon accused police of being involved in a cover-up of child abuse, and claimed Queensland Police "have shamed Australia".

The case against Dr Pridgeon has been adjourned for another four weeks after a successful application from the prosecution to be granted more time to gather forensic information from Dr Pridgeon and Mr O'Dea's computers.



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