The driver, who would have been planning this visit for weeks, months, or even up to two years, has no idea he’s being watched.
On this day, the police believe Richard Palmer plans to meet a 15-year-old girl who he is convinced of the meet after grooming his sending sexually explicit messages and even photos — for two years.
What he does not know, is that for most of the time, the conversation it is on Facebook have actually been with detectives from the new south wales Police child protection unit — the same agents that are on the inside of unmarked vehicles, on the point of the stop, as it approaches the west of Sydney restaurant of the family.
The agents eyes off of Richard Palmer as his vehicle approached Parramatta McDonald’s. Photo: Channel 7
The groom and the father, after having been arrested by the police. Photo: Channel 7
When they spot Palmer drive, see out of and walk towards the entrance, the agents positioned around the Parramatta fast-food spring into action, as the Channel 7 crew which captured the incident broadcast on the Sunday Night.
After having been informed of everything he says is recorded and can be used in court, Palmer starts to explain his intentions.
“I was going to meet the young lady,” he said while handcuffed and surrounded by police.
“Yes, I said things that were out of character, especially for someone who is under 16 years of age.”
Palmer insisted that he would just come up and “has a power” with the girl, but accepted his messages suggested more.
“I understand that. This is why I said that it is out of character for me to even think of meeting with someone,” he said.
Asked by the Sunday Night reporter Denham Hitchcock how he planned to explain the incident to his wife and child, Palmer simply said that it could not.
“I can’t, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” he said. “I prefer to simply disappear to be honest.”
Asked if he had any last words, Palmer says, referring to himself: “idiot.”
Detectives have taken more than a teenager’s Facebook profile after she was targeted by a pedophile. Photo: Channel 7
The Police were originally tipped to Palmer’s alleged activity online after the mother of one who was then 14 years old, it has targeted discovered disturbing messages he had sent to his daughter, Seven of them.
With the family’s permission, detectives have taken more of girls Facebook account and the continuation of conversations with Palmer, posing as the girl.
The conversations went on for almost two years, and both became “very sexual”, police said on Sunday Evening.
The agents are very careful to use language that a young teenager would be, by posing as children. Photo: Channel 7
The record of the arrest offers a rare glimpse into the process of detectives around Australia are going through more more frequently to catch pedophiles targeting young girls and boys.
Speaking on the programme, the head of NSW Police Strike Force Trawler, Detective Inspector Mick Haddow said that the unit has been conducting more investigations and making more arrests than ever.
“This is me, that after all these years, after all the media that we have done, after all the security measures that we have done, that this type of crime is increasing,” he says.
“This is pure evil to be sexually attracted to children, and it is pure evil to leave your house and attend a location to meet a young child for sex. I don’t know how you describe it any other way.”
The Police has a “wall of shame” where they pin pictures of pedophiles, and they are adding to it at a higher rate than ever before. Photo: Channel 7
Richard Palmer is taken away by the detectives in the Parramatta Mcdonald’s car park. Photo: Channel 7
Back in the Maccas car park, when we asked him if he believed that he had a problem, Palmer said that he has done.
“For me to be here today, obviously, I do,” he said.
In trying to explain its intentions, he said he didn’t know if he would have tried something and that it was “curious to see what it would be today, what she was going to do.”
“I can’t explain it,” he said.
As he is led into the police car, he makes a note out of place: “I hate pedophiles. So, go figure.”
A spokesman of the Police of new south wales has confirmed Palmer was taken from the restaurant at Parramatta Police station in the west of Sydney, where he has been charged with using a carriage service for the purchase of a child under the age of 16 years. His case is still before the courts.
‘Idiot’: Palmer is taken away in a police car. Photo: Channel 7