42. Same name, same number
I went to check the Electoral Roll at the State Library in Adelaide to find out which of the initials D. were that of Derick Sands. No one under that name was listed; neither in the 2000 book, nor in the very latest 2004 edition. If the man worked under, or the newspapers used a fictitious name, they ought to have mentioned this fact.
The other possibility was that the mysterious, young photographer was not an Australian citizen. This possibility I dismissed after my wife Isobel gave me a piece of information. She had seen a report on a TV program, which showed the passport of Derick Sands with the entry – “Spouse of politician”. TV or not, I saw straight away this was nonsense. My wife was adamant that’s what she saw reported on television and she believed it.
Australian passports are issued for 10 years. How could it be, just because someone happens to be sleeping with an MP at the time they apply for a passport, they get special treatment for the next 10 years? I have asked a politician’s wife about this. She said that no favours are granted to spouses of MP’s and nothing is entered anywhere on her passport.
Absurd media reports like that made me more determined to dig a little deeper. On May 26th 04 I tried to visit Mr. Sands at his workplace, the Messenger Press Newspaper in Port Adelaide. I was told that he was not in, but if I left my phone number, he would phone me back. I was not interested in a return phone call. Any male voice could phone me as Derick Sands and tell me a story. I wanted truth, preferably from the horse’s mouth and face to face.
A strange link of events led me again to Port Adelaide on Wednesday, June 2nd 04. By chance I was listening to 5 AA’s talkback program at 3.42 am. The first sound I heard was that of a Cuckoo clock. Was this a wake-up call for me? Then the radio host A.R. chatted with a regular night caller, named Grumpy. Grumpy had reached legendary status amongst nighttime listeners on that station. That morning he was phoning from outside a popular bakery in an Adelaide beachside suburb. A.R. asked Grumpy to go into the bakery and order a pastie, a chocolate donut and a chocolate milk.
Strange behaviour like that made my antenna go up. I thought to myself: I will be taking a trip to Port Adelaide again later that day. I first visited the Messenger Press for a second time. This time I asked to speak to the Editor, Des Ryan. My son and his son had been school friends. I knew this would not be enough leverage.
Next I asked to speak to the Human Resources Manager. Newspapers had reported that Sands had celebrated his 31st birthday on the trip with Mrs. T on 24/8/00 in Paris. If work records would proof that the man indeed was not in Australia at the time, I would have been happy and drop my enquires. I cannot remember if I used my bit of information (that the man is not listed in the SA Electoral Rolls) as a reason for my query. It made no difference. I was not getting far in my quest for answers.
The bakery was only a few minutes drive away. I ordered just what A.R. asked Grumpy to buy early that morning, but they had run out of chocolate donuts. While I ate a pastie and drank my chocolate milk, I read the newspaper and I thought about my next move.
Later in the afternoon I organized some fun with the radio station that had lured me to the bakery near the beach. Our Cuckoo hadn’t cuckooed (or whatever a cuckoo’s sound is called) in years. It needed some voice-practice. I found an excuse to phone 5 AA talkback and ask a question on a religious theme, which had been discussed a few days earlier. To give the staff at the station something to smile about I had set the Cuckoo clock to go off just after the start of the on-air phone call. Maybe somebody at the other end of the phone needed waking up?
There was a branch of the CIB, the Criminal Investigation Bureau, in Port Adelaide. Why not talk to them about my suspicion? Perhaps they will join in my search and check, where this man was on his birthday in 2000?
I parked my green Suzuki right outside the Port Adelaide Police Station. My request at the front desk was simple: “Could I speak to a detective please?” A male and a female officer came downstairs promptly and took me into a small interview room. I could offer not much information, except that the man in the centre of the ‘MP travel rort affair’ was not enrolled in South Australia’s Electoral roll. I told them of my hunch that Mrs. T may have been forced to go along with the story.
They both listened intently. I had a strong feeling that they knew I was the whistleblower, who asks all the hard questions. The male detective’s name I read as ‘A L&T’. They told me what I really knew myself - they needed further proof, before any investigation could take place.
I asked them, if I had a right to view the work records of Derick Sands at the Messenger Press under the Freedom of Information Act? They replied, I would need a good reason and it would cost money. I had neither, no good reason nor much money.
“Would it be worth me going to the Anti-corruption branch of the SA Police and give them my bit of information?” I probed further. The male detective said I would be wasting my time.
Deep down I knew that I was onto something. But police investigations call for facts, cold hard data to build a case on. A spiritual revelation, a hunch and pure speculation was all I had to offer. My only hard fact was that a Derick Sands was not enrolled as a voter in South Australia. Otherwise I had nothing.
On the way back home I once again dropped into the Messenger Press and simply left my business card with the receptionist: “I would appreciate a call from Mr. Sands when he is available”, I said.
One listing in the Adelaide phone book was a D. Sands of 17 S…. St. A’ ton. On Saturday afternoon June 12th 04 I drove to the suburb in Adelaide’s Northwest, only a few minutes from the Messenger Press. A person living nearby answered my knock on the door. He confirmed that this was the resident of the photographer I was looking for. Again I was surprised that this young man also did not know his neighbour had been involved in a scandal that made headlines all over Australia and beyond.
The old house, No. 17 S…Street, used to be a corner store with a residence at the rear. The room facing the street, where the shop used to be was empty. I could have walked right in, because the door was slightly ajar. I looked through a window and according to my diary, I noticed a large plastic bag with four letters shown ‘poll’.
(Would you believe – only as I write this, does it hit me – poll is another word for election! I knew it was a clue, but had so far only read it as P-all).
I walked to the residential entrance and knocked on the door. There was no answer. The letterbox had not been emptied, so I assumed nobody would be home. I could see the letters sticking out of the letterbox. Indeed there was mail for Derick Sands from Transport SA, but addressed to place in Croydon Park. I deciphered it as ‘N lie on the cross’. A further fact emerged. Another letter to a male with the initials M.R.F. was sitting in the letterbox, waiting to be opened.
My visit on the way home to the house at Croydon Park proved a false lead. The couple in the almost new house did not know Derick Sands or had heard of the man. Underneath I could sense a little apprehension in their response. By a car’s registration plate opposite the house, which was No. 10, I figured that somehow, somebody was setting a trail for me to follow.
One final piece of the puzzle, which does not yet fit into the picture, is the fact that the man with the initials MRF, according to the electoral roll, shared the house in 2000 with two other people, a male and a female by the same surname. The 2004 electoral roll listed him as living solely at this address with D. Sands.
If indeed an investigation by the Federal Police is under way in this matter, it has been kept very quiet. A good way to silence whistle blowers is to assure them that the police have it all under control. This may be one hundred percent true. But this does not mean they are investigating to uncover the truth.
When I first asked serious questions in the Liddy case, I was told exactly that: An investigation is under way, don’t be concerned. Why then have I heard nothing of a police investigation? Why have some questions raised on this website never been answered or at least addressed?
It seemed that when doubt arouse in me about my whistle blowing, God always came up with some pure magic, which encourage me to go on. I knew that I had a certain amount of help from supporting, invisible, human hands. But when it all came together by HIS mighty, invisible hand, it encouraged my faith greatly. The following God-incident was one of those. It had absolutely no human influence:
The black & white photograph in Chapter 33 shows a car crash. I doubted that it took place the way it was reported. I decided to make an appointment with a high profile, influential figure and used this crash as pretext. In reality I planned to blow the whistle about Mr. Sands not being enrolled in SA’s electoral roll and my doubts about it all. I did feel silly at times – doubting everything.
The day I had the appointment with the gentleman concerned I had ½ hour to spare. To fill in the time I planned to visit the Glenelg Museum. For this reason I chose to park the car in an area, where I could walk to both places, without having to move it. As I turned into the street, before parking my Suzuki, I read the street sign. It was S…Street, the identical street name to the residence in A’ ton, where D. Sands lived.
Only after returning to my vehicle about an hour later, did I notice the peculiarity. I had parked, by sheer fluke, in a ‘1 hour park’ right outside No. 17 S…Street, the same address as that of D. Sands, only the suburb was different. How many more gems like that would it take for other people to see God is in it all? I had stopped long ago, believing in the notion of co-incidence, despite still using the word occasionally. My mission was to search for truth, anywhere I can find it, even on television.
The ABC’s ‘Four Corners’, an investigating TV program, reported in August 04 on the justice system in the US. If felt shocked to hear that about 95 % of all criminal cases were dealt with as ‘plea bargains’. It was all for the sake of expediency. If justice was carried out, had no bearing on the cases in question. One person defended this process by saying that the system would collapse through sheer overload, if all cases went to trial.
If I understood it correctly and this was so, when bureaucracy stands in the way of justice, then we need to look at bureaucracy, not how keep everyone happy by handing down plea bargains. This is second-hand justice.
I hoped that what happened to Mrs. T was not plea-bargaining for convenience’s sake. In chapter 17 of ‘More in number’ I told of exactly the same scenario - I had sensed that my family doctor pleaded guilty to something he did not do, in order to be spared a harsher sentence. Way back then, three or four years ago, I also asked the hard questions to safe a doctor’s reputation. Now the stakes are much higher.
If Mrs. T was indeed framed and entered willingly or unwillingly into an unofficial bargaining process, I am worried about our democracy in Australia. This affair may not affect which Party governs after the polls on October 9th. I am still concerned, when untruths are reported in the media as fact, especially those which can’t be checked and/or cause enormous damage. Lies, especially spread by the media and/or sanctioned by politicians, are the greatest threat to our freedom.
God help us, if we build our foundation and anything else, but truths. Or let me rephrase that. God will not help us, unless we build our foundation on nothing but the truth.
The truth is that God gave HIS only son, Jesus. He willingly died a heroic death on that awful cross, so that you can live safely forever. You may think I am advocating a ‘theocracy’. If you read your bible carefully, you will find that this is exactly what the world is moving toward. Let’s not forget – it is after all HIS world.
It amazes me that the media takes so seriously the websites of suspected terrorists. Some even show atrocities, which I find intimidating. It is playing into the hands of the enemy, helping their cause in frightening the West. Often later their reports are exposed as fake.
Why is the call for truth, for a change in direction, for repentance from sin, not being broadcast? To overcome the terror that awaits us, we must take a strong, united stand against evil. We must turn back towards God and take HIM as serious as football. If you think about it, we ought to take HIM more serious than football.
We must also pray for HIS divine intervention, expressed in the prayer he taught us to pray: “Deliver us from evil”. Let’s believe HIM. HE will do it.