Shirley and Gavin Slater are pleading with people to stop harassing them in the mistaken belief they are related to the accused killer of eight-year-old Trinity Bates.
Shirley and Gavin Slater are pleading with people to stop harassing them in the mistaken belief they are related to the accused killer of eight-year-old Trinity Bates. Darryn Smith

Anger lashes elderly pair

BUNDABERG couple Gavin and Shirley Slater are living in fear after a Facebook message incorrectly revealed their home as the address of the accused killer of Trinity Bates.

The retired couple had never heard of Allyn John Slater, but the identical surname has caused them a lot of grief in the past week.

It was brought to their attention on Wednesday morning that a Facebook user had posted their phone number and home address on the social networking site, referring to the pair as the family of the alleged killer.

“We have no connection at all,” Mrs Slater said.

“We had never even heard of this person.”

The couple has been constantly harassed with prank phone calls since the message was left on Facebook.

“We had about nine or 10 calls in one day,” Mrs Slater said.

“They would just sit there and not say anything and then they would hang up. It’s not very nice at all, it just makes me feel sick.”

Mr Slater said the couple had not been able to sleep for fear of repercussions of sharing the same last name with the accused murderer.

“We have had quite a few people driving by and slowing right down to look in the windows,” he said.

“It is really nerve-wracking. I have lost about five kilos just from stress.”

Mrs Slater said she wished people would think before acting.

“Half the problem is these people who get on their bandwagon without getting the proper details,” she said.

“We are the first Slaters that come up on the White Pages so people just think it’s us immediately.

“The news said he (Allyn John Slater) lived around the corner from Trinity and we’re certainly nowhere near there.”

The family has been keeping their house tightly locked.

“The police told us to lock the house and close all the windows,” she said.

“We jump at every little noise. It has been a very shaky week for us. We could really do without this awful stress.”

Mrs Slater said she was now scared to answer the phone.

“I am a little apprehensive to answer it,” she said.

“We mostly just let the machine get it.”

The pair said their three grandchildren were also having trouble.

“Kids at school have been having a go at the boys saying they are related to this young lad,” she said.

“They tell them they are not related, but kids just won’t listen.”

The boys were kept home from school at the end of last week to discourage the behaviour from other children.

“I just think it’s awful,” Mrs Slater said. “It’s bad enough to bring innocent adults into this, but when it’s innocent children as well, I just think it’s most unfair.”

“We jump at every little noise. It has been a very shaky week for us.”


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