Man accused of CBD bomb hoax named

MELBOURNE POLICE INCIDENT
Police go through a white hatchback on Collins St. Picture: David Geraghty / NewsWire

A man charged over an alleged bomb hoax has appeared in court after his arrest prompted a major street in Melbourne’s CBD to be locked down on Wednesday.

Steven Mauldon, 33, was flanked by two custody officers as he entered the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court limping on Thursday morning.

His eyes were fixed on a woman seated in the front row, with the pair mouthing words to each other as Mr Mauldon rubbed his temples.

Defence lawyer Lauren Tye told the court they would be seeking a “straight remand” and requested the case be brought back in two weeks.

MELBOURNE POLICE INCIDENT
Police swarmed the street about midday on Wednesday. Picture: David Geraghty / NewsWire

She advised magistrate Roslyn Porter that Mr Mauldon would need to see a nurse.

“He may have sustained an injury yesterday during the arrest,” she said.

The Parkville man was arrested on Collins St shortly after midday on Wednesday while hundreds of office workers were asked to remain inside surrounding buildings for up to an hour.

Mr Mauldon did not apply for bail and was remanded into custody ahead of his next court appearance on July 4.

Officers searched a white Volkswagen on the street, allegedly finding a firearm and quantity of drugs.

Detectives also executed a search warrant at a North Shore address, near Geelong, later the same day where they allegedly seized items including “suspected explosive devices”.

Lawyer Lauren Tye (right) and a supporter leave the Melbourne Magistrates' Court after Steven Mauldon, 33, appeared on explosives and bomb hoax charges. Picture: NewsWire/ Liam Beatty
Lawyer Lauren Tye (right) and a supporter leave the Melbourne Magistrates' Court after Steven Mauldon, 33, appeared on explosives and bomb hoax charges. Picture: NewsWire/ Liam Beatty

Mr Mauldon was later charged with make/possess explosive substance, bomb hoax, traffic drug of dependence, prohibited person possess firearm, possess weapons, possess proceeds of crime and theft of a motor vehicle.

According to charge sheets, the accused man allegedly produced two improvised explosive devices at North Shore on May 5.

The same day it’s alleged he “did convey” false information to another person threatening an explosion.

Wednesday’s chaos kicked off about midday, with police crews swarming the busy city street.

Traffic and pedestrians were blocked off in both directions between Queen and Elizabeth streets but reopened within an hour.

Police allege Mr Mauldon was trafficking methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in a stolen vehicle when he was arrested, and was in possession of $15,000.

“Police arrested a 33-year-old man on Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD shortly after midday today,” the police said.

In a statement, police said the incident was not terror related.

“Police arrested a 33-year-old man on Collins St in Melbourne’s CBD shortly after midday today,” police said.

“He will now be interviewed in relation to an ongoing Arson and Explosives Squad investigation.

“The matter is not terror related and there is no immediate threat to community safety.”

MELBOURNE POLICE INCIDENT
Police go through the white hatchback on Collins St on Wednesday. Picture: David Geraghty / NewsWire
MELBOURNE POLICE INCIDENT
Some of the items allegedly seized from the vehicle. Picture: David Geraghty / NewsWire

Photos from the scene show police pulling apart a white Volkswagen vehicle on the street.

The Bomb Response Unit was deployed to conduct a safety check on a vehicle in Collins St.

A “suspicious item” was reportedly found inside.

Detectives pulled a can of petrol out of the car and bagged up black knuckle dusters in an evidence bag.

The area was cleared about 1pm, with workers allowed out of buildings and onto the street about 1.30pm.