Hunter man Clifford Matthews charged with multiple child sex crimes

© Provided by ABC NEWS Clifford Noel Matthews has been charged with 16 offences. (Supplied: Facebook)

A man in the New South Wales Hunter region has been denied bail after being charged with a string of alleged sexual and violent offences, including sex with a minor, kidnapping, and an act of child prostitution.

Clifford Noel Matthews, 61, was arrested yesterday by officers from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad and charged with a total of 16 offences that allegedly occurred between 2016 and 2018.

In its statement of facts submitted to Newcastle Local Court, police allege Mr Matthews began an unlawful sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl while he was living in Muswellbrook in 2016.

Police claim he had sexual intercourse with the teenager on multiple occasions and in one instance offered her $20 to engage in a sex act while in a car at a Newcastle beach.

Alleged assaults and intimidation

In 2017 police allege things turned violent.

Mr Matthews is accused of pouring boiling water over the complainant’s feet during the middle of the night while she slept.

Three months later while driving in a car it is alleged Mr Matthews punched the 15-year-old in the head and threatened to shoot and kill her.

“[The complainant] was so fearful for her life she jumped from the moving vehicle at a stated speed of 80–100kph,” the police facts said.

The document said the girl was in an unconscious state, immense pain, bleeding, and covered in grazes and bruises. 

In another incident in 2018, the girl was walking through the car park of a Newcastle shopping centre when it is alleged Mr Matthews physically forced her into the back seat of his car and drove for five hours to the New England region.

Police said she was intimidated and punched in the face multiple times during the journey.

More charges expected

As part of their investigation police have also charged three other people for their alleged involvement, including a 60-year-old woman and two men, aged 38 and 43.

“The investigation is ongoing and further charges are expected,” the police statement of facts said.

Appearing in Newcastle Local Court today, Mr Matthews applied for bail but his request was denied.

The matter will return to court in November.  

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