Australia

Fraser Anning supporter charged with assault and intimidation following altercation with media

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The 19-year-old has been charged by police after a scuffle at Senator Anning's press conference.

A man will face court next month on multiple charges after allegedly assaulting a photographer and making "intimidatory" remarks at a female journalist. 

The 19-year-old Sydney man was arrested by police after allegedly scuffling with the female reporter and photographer who were covering a press conference held by controversial far-right Senator Fraser Anning.

Senator Anning was in Cronulla, in Sydney’s south, to announce his candidate for Cook, Peter Kelly and other Senate candidates on Friday morning.

Police confirmed the 19-year-old was detained after a "physical altercation" broke out.

NSW Police detain a man after a confrontation with a photographer following a press conference with Senator Fraser Anning
NSW Police detain a man after a confrontation with a photographer following a press conference with Senator Fraser Anning
AAP

Images from the scene show News Corp photographer Dylan Robinson with his shirt torn and ripped.

Police were later seen loading the 19-year-old alleged attacker into a police wagon after escorting him from the scene.

NSW Police Force said the teenager is alleged to have made intimidatory comments to journalist Eliza Barr, from News Corp's community newspaper arm.

Police said when a male colleague attempted to intervene, it is alleged he was assaulted by the man.

The photographer had his equipment knocked to the ground and his shirt ripped during the alleged assault, police added.

The man was then arrested and later charged with common assault, intimidation and behave in an offensive manner.

The NewsCorp photographer and reporter after an alleged confrontation at the Fraser Anning media call.
The NewsCorp photographer and reporter after an alleged confrontation at the Fraser Anning media call.
AAP

Police speak with the pair after the alleged incident.
Police speak with the pair after the alleged incident.
SBS News

On Friday night, Ms Barr told Sky News that the "chaotic press conference" escalated into violence after she probed Senator Anning about his claims that the Cronulla Riots were driven by Muslims.

"I am covering Cook as part of my federal election coverage and I asked the senator to explain his immigration policies for local consituents," she said. 

Some of Senator Anning's supporters, who were extremely vocal during the conference, took a dislike to the line of questioning Ms Barr took with Senator Anning.

When the conference ended they proceeded to follow her out of the park.

The 19-year-old is loaded into a waiting paddy wagon.
The 19-year-old is loaded into a waiting paddy wagon.
AAP

When the News Corp photographer moved in front of Ms Barr and photographed the Senator Anning supporters, he was allegedly attacked.

The Senator said he condemned the attack at his press conference but added that he didn’t see it as he left the area at the time.

“The left wing supporters are much more violent than any [supporters from my party]” he said.

“People do silly things from all walks of life,” he told reporters in a separate press conference later in the afternoon.

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Man allegedly assaults photographer after Fraser Anning press
Man allegedly assaults photographer after Fraser Anning press

“And I don’t advocate any violence. I never promote any violence on my Facebook page.

“Some people are crazy I guess they want to attack people if they don’t agree with their views. I can’t speak for those people.”

Senator Fraser Anning (centre) is joined by candidate for the seat of Cook Peter Kelly (left) at Dunningham Park at Cronulla
Senator Fraser Anning (centre) is joined by candidate for the seat of Cook Peter Kelly (left) at Dunningham Park at Cronulla
AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the attack, which happened in his seat of Cook, as “absolutely appalling”.

“People should be able to go to work, whether you’re a photographer or anyone else, and not be subjected to that sort of violence," he said. 

Mr Morrison reaffirmed that Senator Anning’s party would be placed last on his and the Liberal party's how-to-vote cards.

Senator Anning was in the park to announce three candidates, but the media were barred from asking them any questions.

The 19-year-old is due to appear at Sutherland Local Court in May.

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