A 73-year-old licenced stable hand has been charged with seven accounts after he allegedly assaulted two Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards on a property at Southbrook near Toowoomba on Tuesday.
It is understood the 73-year-old handed himself in to the Toowoomba Police Station on Wednesday morning.
His charges include:
- One count of robbery while armed
- One count of intending to enter the premises with intent
- Two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed
- One count of serious assault on a person over 60 years of age
- One count of serious assault on a public official
- One count of wilful damage
The stewards from the Commission’s Integrity Regulation Unit, were conducting an inspection at a property on Hazelwood Road, Southbrook, when they were approached by the man in question.
The 73-year-old has been released on conditional bail to appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on December 13.
Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said the stewards were acting within their lawful responsibilities when they were subjected to an unprovoked attack.
“It’s very fortunate that neither of the officers has suffered any long term damage as a result of what occurred yesterday, but having engine degreaser sprayed directly into their face and eyes was a very concerning incident,” Commissioner Barnett said.
“I should stress that this is very unusual within the racing industry and most participants treat stewards with respect.
“We of course will not condone any assault on any of our staff and when anything like this happens we will ensure that the people responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Commissioner Barnett said.
Yesterday’s incident was captured by a body worm camera on one of the Commission’s stewards.
“We took that decision to issue body worn cameras for the safety of our staff, but also it’s the best evidence available if we’re going to be alleging that participants are involved in a breach of the rules of racing or anything more serious,” Commissioner Barnett said.
“To have an audio and visual recording of what our stewards heard and saw is incredibly powerful evidence and it’s a clear and independent record of what’s occurred,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday Queensland Country Life reported that Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards had been assaulted on Tuesday afternoon.