BRAD Hosemans was a man who had it all before him. He was a high achiever, an outstanding police detective and – perhaps most significantly – the city’s deputy mayor with a promising political career ahead of him.
He was well liked in the city, his popularity reflected in Bathurst City Council’s polling results.
Brad Hosemans was a good-looking man and was typically surrounded by attractive women.
While he didn’t know Janine Vaughan, he had on one occasion in the weeks before her disappearance commented on her “being attractive”. In hindsight, the comment probably haunts him.
But in October 2001, Mr Hosemans’ promising career and reputation were left in tatters following an incident at Bathurst Golf Club where a female employee alleged she was indecently assaulted by him and another man.
He was charged with indecent assault, ironically appearing before Bathurst Local Court just four days before Janine Vaughan disappeared.
Mr Hosemans always declared his innocence and ultimately the charges were dismissed and Mr Hosemans was found not guilty.
But the damage to his reputation was done and the incident ultimately cost him his careers – both as a policeman and politician.
He was sacked from the NSW Police Service.
While defending the indecent assault charges, in December 2001 Mr Hosemans was placed on a workplace agreement by the head of Chifley local area command prohibiting him from dealing with any member of the public.
He was a detective assigned to desk duties and when Janine Vaughan went missing he was assigned to her case.
The situation was complex: a man defending indecent assault charges leading an investigation into the disappearance of a young woman.
But at the time, no one raised an eyebrow.
Within six months, though, the situation moved from complex to bizarre when Mr Hosemans – who once led the Vaughan investigation – became a person of interest in the case after speculation he took Janine out on a date, sent her flowers and then allegedly stalked her.
Rumour, innuendo and allegations followed him for years, culminating in explosive evidence given during a Police Integrity Commission investigation where an un-named witness claimed to have seen Mr Hosemans with a gagged and bound Janine Vaughan in the days after her disappearance.
The witness, who was heavily medicated for depression, was later discredited but, as Mr Hosemans said at the time, “mud sticks”.
Despite the claims and innuendo surrounding Mr Hosemans, two strike force investigations and a Police Integrity Commission inquiry have found no credible evidence linking him to Janine Vaughan – and not from a lack of trying.
Every mobile phone, home and work landline of Brad Hosemans and Janine Vaughan were reviewed to see if there were any phone calls between the two. Not one was found.
The cement floor of Mr Hosemans’ old Will-iam Street unit was dug up and cadaver dogs taken through the house after a tip off that Janine’s body was buried there. It wasn’t.
Mr Hosemans was subpoenaed to appear at the Janine Vaughan inquest but not as a person of interest, rather as a matter of transparency.
If Mountbatten police didn’t put him on the stand, they too would be known as the coppers who “let Hosemans get away”.
Once the inquest concluded, Mr Hosemans was again cleared of any involvement in Janine Vaughan’s disappearance.
He took the stand to give evidence, something the two persons of interest in the case did not do. He expressed his sympathy for the Vaughan family and said he hoped he could now move on with his life.
Leaving the court, Mr Hosemans said he was happy to answer the hard questions.
“I looked them [the family] in the eye and told them I didn’t do it,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.