Matej Radelic: Tradesman accused of cable-tying three Indigenous children in WA pleads not guilty

Katya Minns
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Matej Radelic, Broome cable tied children
Matej Radelic, Broome cable tied children Credit: Supplied

The tradesman accused of cable-tying three Indigenous children after finding them swimming in the pool of a vacant property in Broome has pleaded not guilty.

Matej Radelic, 45, appeared before Broome Magistrates Court on Monday charged with three counts of common assault in circumstances of aggravation or racial aggravation.

His lawyer Julie Barber requested that the matter go straight to trial on September 12, with his bail extended until then.

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It is alleged the tradesman bound three young children with cable ties in the driveway of a vacant property after finding them swimming in the home’s pool.

One of the children was able to escape and alerted adult family members, who went to the property and started live-streaming the remaining two children, who were still cable-tied, to Facebook.

The children could be seen sitting next to the garage crying as the man told the concerned family and members of the public to wait for the police.

Police confirmed in a statement they were called to the home on Conkerberry Road about 2.15pm on March 5 for a reported trespassing incident.

“Officers arrived a short time later and found two children — a six-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy — had been physically restrained,” they said.

“The officers called St John Ambulance to assess the children, who were reunited with family members soon afterwards.

“Police later identified and located a third child who had been detained — an eight-year-old boy who had fled the scene prior to police arrival.

On March 5, 45-year-old Mat Radelic was arrested in Cable Beach and charged with aggravated assault after restraining three children under the age of 10 with cable ties.
On March 5, 45-year-old Mat Radelic was arrested in Cable Beach and charged with aggravated assault after restraining three children under the age of 10 with cable ties. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

“The man, from Broome, was taken into custody, interviewed over the matter, and charged.

“It is alleged the force used to restrain the children was not proportionate in the circumstances.

“The man was granted bail and is due to appear in court at a later date.

“Police continue to work closely with the affected families and acknowledge the challenging circumstances surrounding this incident.

“Community members are encouraged to allow the court process to run its course.”

Police later described the incident as “confronting”.

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