Rachel Olding, Lisa Davies, Nick Ralston July 19, 2012
In court ... Kieran Loveridge is escorted to Burwood Court. Photo: Mick Tsikas
The man accused of murdering Sydney teenager Thomas Kelly, 18, in Kings Cross this month went on a crime spree lasting more than an hour, punching four people in total, police said.
According to police documents, Kieran Loveridge, also 18, allegedly began his crime spree at 10.03pm on Saturday, July 7, assaulting an 18-year-old boy on the corner of Darlinghurst Road and Victoria Street.
Two minutes later, according to officers, he king hit Mr Kelly just a few metres further down Victoria Street.
About 45 minutes later, he allegedly assaulted Matthew Serrao in Roslyn Street, and allegedly punched another man, Rhyse Saliba, in the same area just 19 minutes later.
Mr Loveridge cried in court during a brief appearance in Burwood Local Court this morning. He was wearing a grey T-shirt, pants and white sneakers.
The teenager will make a bail application next Wednesday, his solicitor told the court.
Mr Loveridge, who was supported in court by family, his girlfriend and friends, will remain in custody until that hearing at the same court.
As his friends left court, one allegedly pushed Channel Nine cameraman Mario Conti to the ground, who fell, hitting his head. A boy was arrested at the scene.
It appeared that Conti was initially knocked unconscious. By the time an ambulance arrived his eyes were open, but he was unable to communicate properly. Sky News said he was "dazed and bloodied".
Conti was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and a 17-year-old Seven Hills boy was later charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Detectives went to the Belmore Sports Ground yesterday evening and handcuffed Mr Loveridge as he sat in the grandstand with a friend watching a Canterbury Bulldogs coaching session.
He was taken to Campsie police station and charged with one count of murder, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault.
At a press conference this morning acting Commissioner Catherine Burn said the family were relieved that an arrest was made, and they were focusing on his funeral tomorrow.
"I really pay my respects to the family. They have been unbelievably strong and dignified at such a time of terrible, terrible tragedy for them," Ms Burn said.
Mr Kelly was hit as he walked through Kings Cross with his girlfriend and another friend just after 10pm on Saturday, July 7. The accounting cadet and former King's School student was punched once on the head. He died in hospital two days later when his parents, Ralph and Kathy Kelly, decided to switch off his life support.
After fronting a public appeal to find their son's killer, the "devastated" parents were "taking things day by day" as they prepared for the funeral at the King's School in Parramatta tomorrow morning, a close family friend, David Anstee, said.
He said last night that Ralph Kelly had been "very keen" to see an arrest. "While it's good news for the family to have some conclusion to Thomas's inexplicable and sudden death, the bigger issue is getting to the bottom of why this crime and violence is happening on the levels that it is," Mr Anstee said.
Mr Kelly's death has sparked fierce debate in Sydney over alcohol-related violence in the city's popular nightspots and has prompted a four-day audit of every licensed venue in Kings Cross.
Police have refused to comment on whether Mr Loveridge was under the influence of drugs or alcohol that night.
Strike Force Mohawk, comprising homicide squad detectives and Kings Cross officers, was formed to investigate the incident. It is headed by the Homicide Squad's Detective Inspector Mick Sheehy, who also led the investigation into the Michael McGurk killing.
The Police Assistant Commissioner, Mark Murdoch, assured the public this week that investigators were inching closer to an arrest after reviewing CCTV footage and receiving hundreds of pieces of information from the public.
It is understood police have built a circumstantial case against Mr Loveridge, which includes some CCTV footage believed to be of him moving around the Kings Cross area on the night of the attack.
While the assault on Mr Kelly was not recorded, the Herald understands security cameras from a nightclub at the intersection of Victoria Street and Darlinghurst Road allegedly partially show Mr Loveridge punching another man just minutes before the attack on Mr Kelly.
CCTV footage from another nearby club, Tunnel, has also been seized and may shed light on Mr Loveridge's movements after he allegedly struck Mr Kelly.
Ms Burn said CCTV footage was "one investigative tool" officers used to form their case before the arrest.
"The investigators have been going through an enormous amount of CCTV footage and we are fortunate that we have that available to us," she said.
Acting assistant Commissioner Mal Lanyon said none of the man's alleged victims knew him, and he would not comment on any motive.
Homicide investigators received a tip-off to the man's whereabouts yesterday afternoon and went the Belmore field immediately.
"We just needed a few things to fall into place and they did tonight," said a senior police source after the arrest.
The Kelly family were aware police were preparing to make an arrest, Mr Lanyon said.
Charbel Khoury, who was conducting a session for Bulldogs coaches at the Belmore Sports Ground last night said there were just two people in the grandstand watching the clinic, which he thought was "odd".
Two detectives approached the young men, handcuffed one and took him away. He did not put up any resistance or attempt to flee, witnesses said.
Mr Loveridge, who turned 18 in March, is a football fan, having played for Parramatta Touch Association. The teenager, believed to be from Seven Hills, near Blacktown, had requested a solicitor and was awaiting his arrival late last night.