News

Bride bandit raid

UNDER INVESTIGATION: Derek Smith
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Derek Smith

A PHOTOGRAPHER accused of destroying peoples' weddings has been raided by officials looking for evidence of dodgy dealings.

The Office of Fair Trading executed a search warrant at an Eli Waters address yesterday morning, seizing photographic equipment, while police also seized a weapon from the address.

Earlier this week, the Chronicle revealed Derek Smith was living in Hervey Bay after allegedly running out on contracts on the Gold Coast, owing thousands to people who paid for wedding photos that were never delivered.

As Mr Smith remained hidden behind drawn curtains yesterday, an OFT officer carried numerous items out of the house, before a police patrol attended the scene.

A Hervey Bay police spokesman said they were called after the OFT found the weapon in the house.

The spokesman said the weapon was seized for ballistic and scientific testing in Brisbane to determine its authenticity, while inquiries into licensing were also ongoing.

Meanwhile, Fair Trading operations executive director Brian Bauer said the search was "part of a wider investigation following complaints received from consumers that they had not received products and services they had paid for from the trader".

"OFT officers seized a number of items during the search, including photographic equipment and memory cards, computers, computer hard drives and storage devices," he said.

The OFT investigations into Mr Smith were ongoing.

Under Australian consumer law, it is illegal for a trader to accept payment for goods or services if they know or should have known they would not be able to supply those goods or services.

Mr Smith could face a fine of up to $220,000 if he is found to have breached this law.

The police spokesman said police were not involved in the OFT investigation into the wedding photo complaints against Mr Smith, but were only there to seize the weapon, and no charges had been laid at this time.

A Facebook page has been set up called "What happened to Derek Smith?" where people have reported their dealings with the photographer.

Topics:  office of fair trading, photographer




Commissioner condemns assault of Fraser Island paramedic

A paramedic escorted the woman to a room before she pulled a knife

UPDATE: 25-year-old man dies in Benaraby collision, video:

Fatal motorbike accident at Benaraby.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Its been confirmed the man who died at the scene of the crash was 25

Latest deals and offers


Your Chance to Win

A Holiday to Kingfisher Bay!
Learn More

48 HOURS ACROSS THE REGION

BOOTCAMP FUNDRAISER: Gracemere woman Nicole Parlett is fundraising this weekend to trek the Kokoda Trail in September in a bid to raise funds for Beyond Blue and tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

What's On in CQ region this weekend

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

Aussie director makes his mark on new Roots mini-series

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte in a scene from the TV series Roots.

BRUCE Beresford behind final episode of remake of iconic series.

Wham bam, thank you TAM

Regional TAM is increasing its audience measurement services by 50%.

Regional television viewers finally getting the credit we deserve

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Iconic Denison St building sold for close to $1M

The Swan Hotel building in Denison St.

ONE of Rockhampton’s most iconic buildings has been sold

Unique Rockhampton bar hits the market

HOT PROPERTY: Cuban themed bar Chango Chango is up for sale.

Popular Rocky bar hits the market.

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd