Arrest in sex assault cold case

A TWEED Heads South man has been refused bail after DNA evidence allegedly linked him to a violent sexual assault in Port Macquarie 18 years ago.

Darryl Norman Stanley Cook, 50, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday charged with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl on April 30, 1993, near Kooloonbung Creek in Hollingsworth St, Port Macquarie.

Police allege the girl was detained, threatened with a knife and sexually assaulted.

Extensive investigations into the matter failed to locate the girl's attacker at the time, however during a review of the case by the Cold Case Justice Project earlier this year, forensic evidence was re-examined allegedly linking Cook's DNA.

Port Macquarie detectives travelled to Tweed Heads yesterday and arrested Cook about 9am.

The court heard Cook had been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault with a victim under 16 years, detain for advantage and cause injury and assault occasioning bodily harm.

As he was led into the dock the accused began to cry and begged his parents and partner, who were present in the court, to find evidence he was not in Port Macquarie at the time of the attack.

"I didn't do nothing wrong Mum," Cook said.

He sat with his head in his hands sobbing as Magistrate Michael Dakin refused bail, despite an offer of $10,000 in surety.

Magistrate Dakin said Cook had a "most unenviable record", including a conviction for aggravated sexual assault in 2001.

Cook's defence lawyer was unable to present any exceptional circumstances in favour of bail, leading Magistrate Dakin to refuse bail on the basis Cook had appeared before the court on numerous occasions in that time and had been previously imprisoned for failing to appear.

Cook will appear in Port Macquarie Local Court via video link on Monday.

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