One Nation candidate Mark Ellis was involved in taking three Aboriginal kids.
One Nation candidate Mark Ellis was involved in taking three Aboriginal kids.

One Nation candidate threatened over controversial past

MARK Ellis was hoping to put his past behind him and start fresh as a political hopeful for One Nation but his role as one of the "Pinkenba Six" who had charges of kidnapping three Aboriginal youths in 1994 dropped has come back to haunt him.

Mr Ellis, who has been endorsed to stand in the Queensland seat of Macalister, was confronted by his past during a Nine News interview last week and has since received death threats over his involvement in the alleged kidnapping of three Aboriginal children in May 1994.

The father-of-two was one of six police officers charged for kidnapping three youths aged 12, 13 and 14. The charges were later dropped after a judge found the children agreed to go with the officers.

"I would have honestly thought that something that happened 30 years ago, that got thrown out of court, shouldn't be an issue," Mr Ellis told Nine.

"I wouldn't do it again, I've learnt a lot from it but the circumstances at that time were very different to today."

Since his past emerged Mr Ellis has been trolled online and he told that he had received death threats. He said he didn't want to comment further as previous remarks had caused problems for his family.

According to reports in The Courier Mail at the time, the "Pinkenba Six" picked up the three Aboriginal youths in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley shortly before 4am on a Tuesday morning.

The officers in three cars, each picked up one youth each and drove them to remote bushland at Pinkenba, a suburb on the northern outskirts of the city near the mouth of the Brisbane River.

They dumped the teens there to make their own way back to the city centre - about 12km away.

It's believed an oil refinery worker gave the youths $5 to catch a taxi part of the way back to the city.

The Aboriginal Legal Service alleged the police threatened to cut off the youths' fingers and throw away their shoes before leaving them at Pinkenba.

The police officers denied threatening the children but admitted they dumped the youths to let them "reflect on their misdemeanours".

Queensland Police Union city branch president Jim Banaghan said the youths were suspected of being involved in at least two offences that night, including evading a taxi fare.

He said the officers had become frustrated at having to deal with Fortitude Valley street kids who repeatedly committed offences.

"The officers thought that, rather than charging them, it was best to drive them away and give them the chance to reflect on their misdemeanours and hopefully see the light,'' he said.

"They realise it was the wrong thing to do and have put their hand up.

"They definitely regret the embarrassment they have caused to the police service and want to apologise for any disservice to the Aboriginal community.''

The officers, including Mark Ellis, who was 26 years old when the matter was eventually settled in April 1996, were placed on probation for a year.

While Mr Ellis wants to put the past behind him, others don't think he should be running for public office.

Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad posted a comment on Facebook saying she was appalled that he had been endorsed by Pauline Hanson to run at the next Queensland election, which is due to be held on or before May 5, 2018.

"This is wrong. This is abhorrent," Ms Trad wrote.

"Pauline Hanson and One Nation may think this is acceptable behaviour, but I don't. I will always call them out on it, not only as the Member for South Brisbane, but as a mother who doesn't want to see her children grow up in a world where people like Mark Ellis get a tick of approval."

In a Facebook post, Mr Ellis defended his past saying: "To the 2 or 3 angry keyboard warrior trolls that got very upset that I made an error of judgment 23 years ago, I commend you on living perfect lives! Congratulations!"