Ecologist Charged With Intimidation After 2-Year Long Legal Battle with Forestry Contractors
Updated: 5 days ago
Mark Graham is an ecologist and operator/ tour guide for Bellingen Nature Tours.
Mr. Graham alleges that in June of 2020 he and his friend, Andre Johnston, were assaulted by employees of Greensill Bros PTY LTD, a tree felling company contracted by Forestry NSW.
One of the alleged assailants was seemingly identified as Matt Parker, a principal of Two Matts PTY LTD, via both email chains and police report documents provided to the friendlyjordies team. Later police documents declare that Mr. Parker was mistakenly identified as one of the assailants.
Footage of Incident
The footage below, according to Mr. Graham, was recorded by Karen Morrow, an employee of Forestry Corporation NSW. The video firstly depicts Mr. Johnston leaning against a vehicle in conversation with Ms. Morrow, with a logging worker walking around the vehicle.
Mr. Graham walks into the area, saying: "How we going? How are you? Hello. [Unintelligible] Greensills - the pole boys," before being approached, grabbed and then pushed into the side of the vehicle by one of the contractors. Ms. Morrow then speaks to Mr. Johnston stating "You don't need to be videoing." The camera then pivots away from Mr. Johnston but returns showing him lying on the ground with another contractor standing over him demanding he take out his phone. Mr. Ryan has by this point gotten back into his vehicle. After Mr. Johnston also enters the vehicle and closes the door, one of the contractors re-opens the door and appears to strike Mr. Johnston in the face after again demanding his phone.
Mr. Graham was charged with 3 counts of Intimidation and 1 count of Approaching or interfering with certain operations as a result of the incident. Mr. Graham's assailants were found to be acting in self-defence. Police documents related to the incident state:
"Mark GRAHAM claims to have been himself the victim of an assault where he describes being grabbed around the neck and pushed against his vehicle. This correlates somewhat with the references available in the Video Recordings, however appears to be of a minor nature and can not be described as being unreasonable in the circumstances. With the issue of self-defence (of another) being raised, and in conjunction with the available video evidence, the Prosecution would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault was unreasonable. There are no physical injuries recorded by Mark GRAHAM other than the description of a sore neck which is trivial in nature in terms of objective seriousness. As a result, the GREENSILL BROS PTY LTD employees (name omitted) are eliminated from the investigation. The female employee of NSW Forestry Corporation (name omitted) is not accused of any wrong-doing and therefore is eliminated from the investigation.
Sources & Further Reading