NCA NewsWire
NCA NewsWire

Man accused of snatching toddler was ‘hearing voices’

The man who police allege took a toddler from his cot at Darra on the weekend while the boy's family was sleeping has been refused bail this morning.

Olando Emile Aleki of Salisbury appeared in Richlands Magistrates Court today where he applied for bail.

But magistrate Aaron Simpson refused the application, saying Aleki told police he had heard voices and was an undiagnosed schizophrenic.

"He told police he was schizophrenic and was hearing voices," Mr Simpson said.

"He entered someone's residence wearing a mask and gloves about 4am.''

Police at scene of Kidnapped child at Darra. Pic Annette Dew
Police at scene of Kidnapped child at Darra. Pic Annette Dew

"Why would I have good faith in him," Mr Simpson asked Aleki's lawyer, Tahlia Boettcher. "He's committed a very high level of offending. It requires me to trust he would co-operate.

"The allegations are pretty serious. He snuck into a residence and has taken a child who is not yet two from his cot while the other occupants in the house are sleeping."

Mr Simpson told the court that despite Aleki's disguise he was identified from CCTV as entering the house and found with the boy at his Salisbury boarding house.

"You have not given any reason for taking the child, which is very puzzling and therefore concerning," Mr Simpson told Aleki, an Australian permanent resident originally from New Zealand.

Police at the boy’s house. Picture: Annette Dew
Police at the boy’s house. Picture: Annette Dew

Mr Simpson said the defence evidence was Aleki's symptoms, and therefore his risk to the community, could be managed by medication.

However Mr Simpson said he could not trust Aleki would comply.

Ms Boettcher told the court her client had no criminal history in Australia or New Zealand and had a good work history including currently as a warehouse worker at Woolworths in Larapinta.

She said he had agreed to stay with his mother in Redbank Plains, would not visit Darra and would surrender his passport.

But Mr Simpson refused bail and adjourned the matter to March 29 when Alex will appear for mention via video link.

Outside court, the boy's grandfather, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the boy was currently in a good condition.

"(The boy) had a good sleep last night. He's playing and hasn't talked about (the alleged incident)," he said.

Originally published as Man accused of snatching toddler was 'hearing voices'