Mark Ellis was part of a group of six Queensland police officers who in 1994 dumped three children in the bush at Pinkenba.
Pauline Hanson has endorsed a kidnapper as her One Nation candidate for the newly created Queensland seat of Macalister in Brisbane’s south. Mark Ellis, a former Queensland police officer, runs Gatecrash Security which provides services such as party and function security, corporate security, VIP bodyguards, private investigation, tour management and artist protection.
In the winter of 1994, Mr Ellis was involved with five other officers in an incident which became known as the “Pinkenba Six” case. In the early hours of May 10, three indigenous boys were picked up in Fortitude Valley by Ellis and his colleagues and taken to bushland in Pinkenba, fourteen kilometres away.
On Friday Mr Ellis confirmed to 9 News Queensland’s Rob Morrison that he was involved but the twenty-three year old incident shouldn’t now be an issue.
“I did it, I own it, I take full responsibility for it. I wouldn’t do it again. I’ve learnt a lot from it but the circumstances at that time were very different to today,” he said.
The boys said they were told to take their clothes off but refused. They were threatened with having their fingers cut off and had their shoes confiscated. They were told to walk home.
The officers admitted to charges of the deprivation of liberty but a magistrate later dismissed the case because the boys had willingly gone with them. The officers were returned from suspension to full duty. The case sparked outcry and protest on the streets of Brisbane.
“In reality, it’s nothing more than a slap on the wrists,” Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Ian Dearden said in 1996.
Yesterday, Mr Ellis was unapologetic on Facebook thanking his supporters and labeling those who were still angry about the incident as “trolls”.
“To the 2 or 3 angry keyboard warrior trolls that got very upset that I made an error of judgement 23 years ago, I commend you on living perfect lives! Congratulations!” he posted.
Mr Ellis said he was currently away camping and had very little internet or phone coverage.
In a Facebook statement, Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad condemned Ms Hanson’s endorsement of Mr Ellis.
Ms Hanson has so far not responded to the revelations.