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



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Two people left with burns after kitchen accidents

Emergency Services, Ambulance, QAS, Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

A 26-year-old suffered burns to the face.

REVEALED: Are dog owners being ripped off in Qld?

Revelations dog owners pay 10 times more than they should.

Revelations dog owners pay 10 times more than they should.

Fraser Coast performers bring magical tale to life

1001 Arabian Nights will be performed at Z-PAC Theatre Hervey Bay December 16-18.

1001 Arabian Nights will show at the Z-PAC Theatre Hervey Bay.

Local Partners

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Doco tells the story of Aussie surfboard pioneers

Gordon Woods (far right) in a 1966 ad for his surf shop. He is the subject of a documentary about the Brookvale Mafia airing on Foxtel.

THE Brookvale six were united in the love of their craft.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper happy as baby looms

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper are in an "extremely happy place"

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!