Death at in­fa­mous ad­dress

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a sus­pi­cious death at what lo­cals say is a no­to­ri­ous crime house.

Po­lice say Damien Loder Allen, 33, was found dead at a Hills­bor­ough Rd prop­erty by emer­gency ser­vices last Thurs­day evening af­ter a call from oth­ers at the ad­dress.

Po­lice spokes­woman Noreen He­garty says Mr Allen had suf­fered a head in­jury but that it was up to the coroner to re­port on the cause of death and an in­quest would be some months away.

She says the pathol­o­gist has ad­vised po­lice of the likely cause of death but she would not say what it was.

A fu­neral was held for the vic­tim yes­ter­day.

Peo­ple liv­ing in the street say the ad­dress is the for­mer home of no­to­ri­ous drug dealers Al­bert and Richard Rhodes.

In Fe­bru­ary Al­bert Rhodes be­came the first per­son in New Zealand sen­tenced to jail for life for man­u­fac­tur­ing metham­phetamine.

He had a string of con­vic­tions in New Zealand and was jailed sev­eral times in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing a year for im­prop­erly in­ter­fer­ing with the body of a man who died guard­ing his cannabis crop.

He owes the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment $20 mil­lion in a pe­cu­niary penalty or­der and was de­ported to New Zealand in 2004.

His brother Richard Rhodes was also sen­tenced to six and a half years in prison for his part in the drug ring, for which three other men were also sen­tenced.

The ti­tle of prop­erty shows it is co-owned by Al­bert Rhodes and two women.

Po­lice con­firmed they were fa­mil­iar with the ad­dress and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death was not their first visit to the prop­erty.

They say Mr Allen was not an im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­ber of those liv­ing at the ad­dress.

A woman liv­ing in the street says po­lice had used her prop­erty in the past to con­duct sur­veil­lance be­fore mak­ing ar­rests.

“It hasn’t af­fected me, I’ve never felt ner­vous liv­ing here.”

One cou­ple liv­ing in the street say the prop­erty has been a “ter­ri­ble house” for years.

They say sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily have lived there and it is known for drugs, fight­ing and drink­ing.

“So many peo­ple come and go.”

The man says the most re­cent prob­lems have been around loud par­ty­ing and bad lan­guage, but they didn’t hear any­thing un­usual last Thurs­day night.

The po­lice have been called to the ad­dress nu­mer­ous times over the years, they say, in what is oth­er­wise a quiet area.

“I don’t think we will ever be rid of it, it’s such a big fam­ily, one will go and more will come.”

The de­tec­tive in charge of the case did not re­turn calls seek­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. A cute group of dan­de­lion seeds proved to be a winning idea for a Green­lane cos­tume-maker at this year’s Mon­tana

Photo: MARTIN DE RUYTER

Make a wish: Tracy Koole’s piece Dan­de­lion Clock won the chil­dren’s cat­e­gory at the Mon­tana World of Wear­ableArt Awards.

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