Mark Latham in fight 12 months after resigning as Australian opposition leader

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Former Australian opposition leader and leader of the Australian Labor Party, Mark Latham has been accused of assaulting and stealing a camera belonging to a photographer for The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

The newspaper claims that Latham assaulted photographer Ross Schultz, injuring his wrist outside a fast-food restaurant in Campbelltown, a suburb in Sydney's South-West. It is alleged that Latham stole Shultz's camera and smashed it with a hammer when he returned home.

The Daily Telegraph claims that Latham later handed the smashed camera to Campbelltown police.

It is believed that Latham was angry that the photographer took photographs of his children playing on play equipment at the restaurant. Latham accuses the newspaper of stalking and harassment.

Mr Shultz said "He took the camera and began walking to his car," "I politely asked him to return it. He placed it on the bonnet and then turned around and threw a left hook at me."

"I evaded it easily but he wanted to go toe-to-toe with me. I just kept telling him to calm down, 'You've got kids in the car', but he was off his head. He was so worked up, I wasn't thinking of the camera."

The Daily Telegraph claims they were working on a story to coincide with the first anniversary of Latham's resignation as opposition leader and as an MP.

Mr Latham is reported to have a history of violence, breaking the arm of a taxi driver in 2001 and in 1989 allegedly assaulting a Labor party stalwart.

Related Wikinews

"Latham quits as Australian Labor leader" — Wikinews, January 18, 2005

Sources

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