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Australian teen 'relieved' at hoax collar bomb arrest

Police spent ten hours removing the device, which turned out not to have any explosives in it, from the neck of 18-year-old Sydney girl Madeleine Pulver.

Paul Douglas Peters, left, of Sydney, Australia, is escorted from the Federal Courthouse in Louisville, Kentucky, yesterday.
Paul Douglas Peters, left, of Sydney, Australia, is escorted from the Federal Courthouse in Louisville, Kentucky, yesterday.
Image: AP Photo/The Courier-Journal, Sam Upshaw Jr

THE TEENAGER who was the victim of an elaborate extortion attempt in which a hoax collar bomb was placed around her neck says she is “very relived” that police have arrested her alleged attacker.

Madeleine Pulver, 18, was studying at her family home in suburban Sydney when a masked man broke in and attached the device around her neck. He left a note demanding money and warning against notifying the police. It also included an email address and was signed ‘Dick Straun’ – possibly a reference to a character from a 1966 James Clavell novel.

Bomb experts spent ten hours removing the device before later determining that it contained no explosives.

On Monday, 50-year-old Australian investment banker Paul Douglas Peters was arrested in the US on suspicion of carrying out the attack. He was arrested by FBI agents at his ex-wife’s home in Louisville, Kentucky. Peters has been detained pending an extradition hearing on 14 October.

Australian prosecutors want to charge him with offences including kidnapping.

Speaking to reporters outside her home today, Madeleine Pulver said she was “very relieved” to hear of Peters’ arrest. ”I’m glad it’s all over,” she said.

The teenager said her family is still “wondering why” she was targeted.

Constable Karen Lowden, who sat with Madeleine Pulver throughout the time it took to remove the item, described her as the “strongest girl in the world at the moment”.

Pulver’s father is a successful businessman and the CEO of an IT company. He and his wife said they were “extraordinarily proud of Maddy” following her ordeal.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Sydney teenager successfully freed from ‘bomb collar’ >

Read: Businessman arrested in collar bomb case >

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