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  • 'I just want to spend time with my kids'
  • smh.com.au
  • 03/08/2006 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: admin ( 61 articles in 2006 )
Roadside alert ... an RTA sign in Sydney last night.
Be Grateful Today!
A Sydney man will face the ACT Magistrates Court today after allegedly taking his three children from a home in Sydney's north following a domestic dispute with their mother.

NSW Police will this afternoon lodge an extradition order for Frank Dipalma, 29, after he was located with his three children - Angelica, five, Dimitriy, three, and Andrei, 22 months - at a Canberra motel.

ACT Police are not expected to charge Dipalma as he did not commit any crime in the territory.

Earlier today Dipalma phoned a television station to say he had no intention of harming them.

The 29-year-old disappeared with his three young children after a heated altercation with his wife at a public park at Lane Cove in Sydney at about 4.30pm (AEST) yesterday.

The woman was taken to hospital with arm injuries.

Police last night issued a public alert, saying they held grave concerns for the children.

Electronic traffic billboards were used to alert motorists to the incident.

But the search ended early today when detectives spoke to Mr Dipalma on his mobile phone and he revealed he and his children's whereabouts.

He also phoned a television station to say he loved his children and would not harm them.

"It kills me to see on the news that I'm going to hurt the kids and I'm not like that," he said in a phone call to the Seven Network.

"I just want to spend time with my kids, OK, so if you can just put over the news for me that I am fine and I have called the police and they are on their way and nothing is going to happen to the kids and I'll never hurt them.

"I want something out there just saying the kids are OK and I love them and I'll never hurt them."

Following Mr Dipalma's arrest, the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Gary Jubelin, said the children were doing fine.

"They were safe and sound," Supt Jubelin told reporters outside Chatswood Police Station.

"I might add I could hear them in the background when they were speaking to their father and they appeared to be in good spirits.

"We had reason to be concerned, possibly erring on the side of caution, we need to take those precautions," he said, adding that police had tried to contact Mr Dipalma since he went missing.

"The police had been working throughout the evening and it was just fortunate we managed to make contact.

"He had the mobile phone with him but it was just a case of whether he was prepared to answer that phone."

Supt Jubelin refused to say if the children's mother had been released from hospital but said she was "ecstatic" to hear her children had been located.

"She is very, very thankful the children have been recovered unharmed and from her physical injuries she is also recovering well," he said.

Mr Dipalma was this morning in police custody but it was unclear if he would be charged, Supt Jubelin said.

The children were in police care while they waited to be reunited with their mother.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma expressed his relief.

"We're all very pleased that they have been found and that they are safe and well," he said.

The incident prompted an "amber alert", where electronic road signs were set up across the city and on major interstate routes alerting drivers to be on the lookout for the children.


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