Lofthouse fights assault charge

STUART LOFTHOUSE has pleaded not guilty to assault of a public officer.

Footage of a scuffle between Mr Lofthouse and Vincent council staff was captured on CCTV, but prosecutors won’t be tendering it as evidence.

The charge stems from the July 22 incident at council chambers. Ranger bosses Steve Butler and Simon Giles had sought to eject Mr Lofthouse from the public gallery after his repeated interjections and refusal to abide by the mayor’s ruling that he leave.

Mr Butler pressed the charges, alleging that during the struggle Mr Lofthouse “placed his arm around [my] neck in a headlock”.

Mr Lofthouse fronted the magistrate’s court this week, his preliminary appearance bookended by video conferences with other accused who are remanded in Bandyup, Casuarina and Hakea prisons.

The police prosecutor said four witnesses would be called to testify, but no video.

The Greens & Co cafe owner, who represented himself, said he’d present footage and call two witnesses of his own when the trial goes ahead January 21.

Conviction carries a maximum seven-year sentence.

by DAVID BELL

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