UPDATE: Public help leads to arrest of accused Byron rapist

SUNDAY JUNE 18: PUBLIC assistance played a significant role in the arrest of a man accused of raping a woman at Belongil Beach near Byron Bay earlier this month.

Zane Rowe, 31, is accused of aggravated sexual assault (deprive liberty) and remains in custody today to appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court tomorrow for a mention.

Rowe's arrest on Friday at 1:30pm in Coffs Harbour came after investigations by detectives from the State's Crime Command's Sex Crimes Squad and the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command.

Strike Force Kabbera released CCTV stills asking for community help in finding the attacker of a 31-year-old woman sexually assaulted at Tyagarah on June 5.

The woman claims she was on a beach at about 5pm when she was sexually assaulted by a stranger, escaped, and ran to get help from staff the nearby Childe St hotel.

Rowe is accused of the offence.

He has been charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault (deprive liberty), three counts of committing an act of indecency with person 16 years or over, and one count of destroying or damaging property, worth under $2,000.

Appearing for a five minute bail hearing via visual link in Coffs Harbour Local Court at 9:30am on Saturday he was refused bail.

The court deemed Rowe an unacceptable risk to "fail to appear at any proceedings for the offence", "commit a serious offence" or "endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community".

Tweed-Byron Chief Inspector Mick Dempsey confirmed on Sunday information from the public "greatly assisted in the arrest of the offender".

Residents are urged to continue to report suspicious activities on Byron Shire beaches.

"Any assistance from any member of the public, in relation to suspicious activities, particularly around our beaches is greatly appreciated," he said.


SATURDAY JUNE 17: A MAN was yesterday arrested in Coffs Harbour charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault, after the alleged assault of a 31-year-old woman at a Tyagarah beach last week.

Detectives from the State's Crime Command's Sex Crimes Squad and Tweed-Byron Local Area Command established Strike Force Kabbera to investigate reports of a sexual assault at Belongil Beach on Monday, June 5.

The woman told police she was at the beach about 5km south of the Brunswick Heads Surf Club at 5pm when she was approached by an unknown man and sexually assaulted.

After, she escaped she ran to a hotel on Childe St, Byron Bay, where staff assisted her and notified police.

Tweed-Byron LAC police attended the hotel before the woman was taken to Byron Bay Hospital for treatment.

Following extensive inquiries, Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command police arrested a 31-year-old man at a home at Coffs Harbour about 1.30pm on Friday.

The man was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault (deprive liberty), three counts of commit act of indecency, and one count of reckless damage.

The man was refused bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today.

Strike Force Kabbera investigators thanked the community for their assistance.