A man has been charged with assault after a row over political signage in Macquarie’s razor-sharp outer seat in Macquarie turned violent last week, in which a grandfather was reportedly beaten in the head and threatened with death.
Blue Mountains cafe owner and Liberal Party member Kevin Birch, 53, told detectives he was driving when he saw a man in a red sweater removing placards for Liberal candidate Sarah Richards Wednesday night in the Blue Mountains town of Lawson. .
When asked what the man was doing, the man reportedly replied “I don’t like Sarah Richards,” before offering to return the corflute to its place.
Birch said a white Nissan approached and stopped. A man in a white hoodie allegedly punched him in the face through the car window and, after Birch got out, threatened to kill him if he didn’t return to his car.
Birch’s wife called the police and gave him the phone to provide the license plate number of the car, after which the man allegedly hit Birch on the head and back.
Birch told police he grabbed the man by the hood of his sweater and pulled it over his face. He then claimed that he was attacked by the man in the red sweater and a woman in her twenties with long dark hair who was with them. The three later fled in two separate cars.
Police said after an investigation, “a 25-year-old man was arrested in Lawson on Thursday and charged with assault resulting in bodily harm and habitual assault.”
The detectives are still looking for the man who would remove the signs.
Macquarie’s Richmond and Blue Mountains seat is held by Labor’s Susan Templeman by a razor-thin margin of 0.2 percent. The Labor campaign declined to comment on Saturday.