EXCLUSIVE: A convicted murderer on parole who dismembered two gay men almost 20 years ago was chillingly spotted at a famous Oxford Street gay bar just a few hours after removing his monitoring bracelet yesterday afternoon, with police arresting the wanted man, Damien Peters, late today.
Members of Sydney’s LGBTIQ community were on high alert for a few hours today following reports double murderer Damien Peters had been visiting gay bars while police continued their search for him.
That search came to an end this afternoon after Peters was arrested in the inner-west suburb of Petersham.
Peters is said to have been acting “strange” last night, according to a witness who spotted him at the Stonewall Hotel in Sydney’s traditional gay heartland of Oxford Street.
Peters is believed to have been at the venue at about 10.30pm, just six hours after he allegedly went missing from Sydney’s east yesterday afternoon having removed his monitoring bracelet.
A witness who contacted True Crime News Weekly said Peters came and sat right next to him at the much-loved gay bar before the missing criminal’s somewhat “strange” behaviour alerted security guards at the establishment.
“He was very strange and I felt uneasy with his presence,” the witness, Lance Day, said.
“He pulled up a stool and sat very close to me on my left.”
Mr Day says he only recognised it was Peters who was sitting next to him after media reports earlier today alerted him to the convicted murderer’s missing status.
“He never said a word. Security asked him to go outside to talk to them but he just walked off,” Mr Day said.
“I contacted management at Stonewall and was told that a similar thing happened on Saturday night.”
Visited gay bars while on the run: Damien Peters (Image: Supplied)
Mr Day – who has reported his concerns to police – said Peters was dressed in a denim jacket and looked like he was in good shape.
“He was well dressed and had a good body,” he said. “Obviously working out in jail.”
Mr Day told True Crime News Weekly that Peters’ presence at the Stonewall Hotel was highly concerning because of his criminal history involving the targeting and murdering of gay men.
“He might have been there last night looking for his next victim,” Mr Day said.
In 2001, Peters murdered and then dismembered two gay men in a Sury Hills housing commission flat within the space of eight months. The men – Tereaupii Akai and Bevan James Frost – were flatmates and lovers of Peters, who claimed at his trial that both men had been mentally and physically abusing him over a period of time while he had also contracted HIV from Mr Akai. After murdering the men, Peters flushed their organs down his toilet.
He was sentenced to a term of 21 years maximum imprisonment, but was given parole in November 2016.
Peters’ missing electronic monitoring bracelet was discovered last night at a monastery in Kensington, a suburb away from Randwick’s Prince of Wales Hospital where he was first reported missing by staff at 4.15pm on Sunday, April 7.