A doctor accused of being part of a child-stealing network that helped mums abduct kids from their fathers has spoken outside court.
A doctor accused of being part of a child-stealing network that helped mums abduct kids from their fathers has spoken outside court.

GP accused of stealing kids speaks at court

A NSW doctor accused of being part of a child-stealing network has defiantly called the charges against him "absolute nonsense" after being committed to stand trial.

Dr William Russell Massingham Pridgeon is one of seven people accused of being connected to a syndicate which allegedly helped mothers abduct their children they claimed were being sexually abused by their fathers.

Dr Pridgeon, 67, from the NSW North Coast city of Grafton, is facing two charges of conspiring to defeat justice and three charges of child stealing.

Police allege Dr Pridgeon was one of the central men involved in the syndicate, alongside co-accused Patrick Finbar McGarry O'Dea.

Patrick Finbar McGarry O'Dea leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Patrick Finbar McGarry O'Dea leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

In addition to charges of child stealing and conspiring to defeat justice, Mr O'Dea is also accused of contravening a restriction on the publication of court proceedings, using a carriage service to harass, menace or cause offence and unlawful stalking.

All seven co-accused were committed to stand trial in the District Court, following a committal hearing on Tuesday.

Outside of court, Dr Pridgeon said the idea that children were stolen was "absolute nonsense" and he would fight the charges.

Dr Pridgeon (pictured) was defiant as he left court, saying he would fight the charges and called accusations that children were stolen “absolute nonsense”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Dr Pridgeon (pictured) was defiant as he left court, saying he would fight the charges and called accusations that children were stolen “absolute nonsense”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Magistrate Anthony Gett struck out separate no case submissions made by Dr Pridgeon and two other co-accused.

Tuesday's hearing took a sharp turn after one of the lawyers for the defendants, Serene Teffaha, was referred to the Legal Services Commission by Magistrate Gett over submissions he said may constitute a breach of the solicitors code of conduct.

Ms Teffaha, from Advocate Me, had submitted one of the children allegedly taken by the syndicate had been "let down" by the police and judiciary and the court was "enabling" his abuse.

"In my view Ms Teffaha … (those comments) may be prejudicial to or diminish the public confidence in the administration of justice," Magistrate Gett said.

"There may be a breach of your fundamental duty as a solicitor practising in the state of Queensland."

Magistrate Gett ordered a transcript be forwarded to the Commission for further investigation.

Originally published as GP accused of stealing kids speaks at court


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