Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Heroic Act Remembered; Memory of Bank Extortion Attempt Lives on for One Bundaberg Man

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Heroic Act Remembered; Memory of Bank Extortion Attempt Lives on for One Bundaberg Man

Article excerpt

NEXT month will mark 21 years since the life of a Bundaberg bank manager was turned upside-down.

Steve Medley was working as a branch manager at Metway when he helped foil a $600,000 extortion attempt.

On February 25, 1997, Mr Medley arrived at work and opened his mail. It was then he discovered a demand for $600,000 in notes.

The note threatened the safety of his family and staff members if he did not follow instructions.

After speaking with senior Metway staff, he contacted police, who asked Mr Medley to act as a go-between.

He bravely accepted and his wife, Colleen, and their children were placed under police protection.

The extortionist made several demands, which involved Mr Medley driving to Gympie, returning to Bundaberg and then flying to Brisbane.

On arrival at Brisbane Airport, Mr Medley was told to wait for further instructions from the extortionist, with the sting to be arranged at the Aspley Motor Inn.

However, after phone conversations with the extortionist, Mr Medley was able to recognise the voice on the other end.

Police swooped and made their arrest.

His heroic acts saved lives that day, but the event took a terrible toll on his own life.

In submissions tabled in parliament, Mr Medley began looking over his shoulder, was unable to sleep, constantly nervous and ended up suffering a breakdown.

In an interview with the NewsMail at the time, Mr Medley spoke of his despair.

"The extortion passed with an arrest and I was ready to resume my life - this was not to be," he said.

"The trauma set in and my life became a misery. I couldn't face work and felt I had to stay and protect my family.

"I stayed awake all night and investigated every outside noise.

"I finally cracked as I felt I had nowhere to go."

Mr Medley said he spent some time in the mental health unit at Bundaberg Hospital, meeting with doctors, counsellors and psychiatrists.

"It was a great come-down from my previous station, however I just wanted to get well," he said. …

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