4 Aug 2011

No explosives found after teen's 10-hour ordeal

12:12 pm on 4 August 2011

A device attached to a teenage girl at a Sydney house was a fake, New South Wales police have confirmed.

Madeleine Pulver, 18, had been trapped in a house in one of Sydney's most exclusive neighborhoods, in what media speculated was an extortion plot.

The incident began about 2.30pm on Wednesday when Madeleine alerted police, telling them she had been attacked and was strapped to a bomb.

They found her alone in her parents' home in the suburb of Mosman, with the device attached to her.

A 10-hour ordeal ensued, during which Madeleine was not allowed to speak to her parents for operational reasons.

Instead, she was comforted by two police negotiators, who kept her talking, warm and fed, as bomb disposal experts worked on the device.

The bomb experts separated her from the device about midnight Wednesday local time, with help from the British military.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said the device gave the appearance of an improvised explosive and police had to treat it seriously.

He told ABC radio that some instructions left by the offender at the scene will provide police with further lines for inquiry.

Mr Murdoch told reporters outside Madeleine's home it was "far too early" to establish a motive for the attack on the teenager.

Her parents, William and Belinda Pulver, are reportedly one of Sydney's wealthiest families.