Cr. Len Roberts Assault Update:

The scene at the Karuah Land Council when Cr Roberts was arrested

Following our front page story on the upheaval at Karuah Land Council as the majority of members tried to oust self-appointed CEO, Cr Len Roberts…. Here is the background in case you missed it and the latest update… 

At the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council Meeting of 16 July, a motion was passed with an overwhelming majority;  not to relocate the Land Council Office to Tea Gardens as was proposed by Len Roberts.

On 24 July, Len Roberts arrived at the Land Council Office in a truck towing a horse float.

Members of the Karuah Aboriginal community fearing his aim was to remove documents and files surrounded his truck (and horse float) with vehicles and blockaded his exit.

The police were called in.

The police, perhaps fearing a riot, responded with six cars and eight officers.

There was a great deal of heated argument.

The police were urging Roberts to surrender the keys to the Land Council Office and then leave.

Calls were made to various local members of NSW Land Council.

Roberts was sitting in his truck with the engine running for over 30 minutes.

Whilst all this was going on, one of the vehicles blocking his exit was being moved.

It is alleged that Roberts saw his opportunity to exit and decided to drive off, revving his engine, and then hit a young man who had his back to him, with his car.

That fellow turned out to be Zac Schmierer, who allegedly happened to be one of the principal objectors against Roberts, as revealed in the Manning Community News front page article. 

Schmierer was treated at John Hunter Hospital Emergency Clinic.

In late 2017 Roberts sacked Zac Schmierer from an administrative position at the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council Meeting after Schmierer made public papers claiming Robert’s misuse of Land Council funds, and allegedly theft of property by Roberts. 

At a recent Karuah Aboriginal Land Council Meeting  (16 July) Roberts proposed that Zac Schmierer be suspended from the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council when Schmierer moved to have Roberts removed as the CEO. 

A number of Police witnessed Robert’s car hitting Schmierer and proceeded to arrest Roberts. He was placed in a police car and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where Cr. Roberts was charged with Assault.

Susbsequently, early on the morning of Wednesday 8 August several members of the Karuah Land Council living in close proximity to the Land Council Office spotted the doors to the Office ajar, the alarm was raised and Mr Roberts was discovered hastily leaving with a back pack and a large ledger-like book. 

When the members of the community inspected the office they found documents and files scattered and a computer packed in a box. 

The community then decided to relocate all the remaining Land Council files and documents into a locked 20ft container near the office.

We understand Mr Roberts had sought leave from a Council Meeting scheduled for 8 August to attend the funeral of a friend.

At the Raymond Terrace Court hearing September 17, Cr. Roberts pleaded Not Guilty to the charges.  He will appear in court December 5. 

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