Racist attack on guard

A BLUESFEST patron has been refused bail after being accused of a racist attack on a man he believed was an Indian security guard at Tyagarah on Easter Saturday.

David Noferi, 34, of Wollongong, is accused of physically attacking two security guards, spouting racial abuse and threatening to kill one of them, when they refused to let him push into a line to board the festival bus just after midnight on April 3.

Noferi appeared in the Lismore Local Court on Tuesday, where police prosecutor Sgt Peter Costin-Neilsen said Noferi verbally abused the guards then threatened to ‘put a knife in the throat’ of one man before making a racist slur at the guard saying ‘since when do they let Indians into Australia’.

He is also charged with affray and using intimidation/violence.

Reviewing the police facts, Magistrate Michael Dakin said Noferi became abusive and pushed one crowd controller, who stumbled up the stairs of the bus.

He hit the second man with his right elbow twice and then struck the first man with his fist before calling one man ‘a black c...’ and threatening to stick a knife in his throat.

A friend of Noferi hit one crowd controller with a rubber thong.

Mr Dakin said when police arrived Noferi continued his abuse, telling the officers he would ‘bite your f.....g nose off, fat pig c...s’. Police believed he had been affected by alcohol or drugs.

Defence lawyer Ben Coc- hrane told the court his client should be given bail because he had suffered ‘a traumatic brain injury’ after being run over by a power boat while snorkelling in 1997.

He said Noferi had been a university engineering student, but had received substantial head injuries and was now on a disability pension.

He said Noferi’s ‘best recollections’ of the incident was that there had been a 40-minute wait for the bus and then being ‘held down with his face in the mud’ with people hitting him, and that he had come across (in the police allegations) as a rude person.

Mr Cochrane said Noferi should get bail because he was unlikely to get a jail sentence over the matter.

Sgt Costin-Neilsen opposed bail, saying Noferi had no fixed address and had an outstanding warrant after failing to appear in the Wollongong Local Court on an unrelated matter. He had also failed to appear at a Kiama court.

Noferi was also subject to a good behaviour bond for a previous assault offence.

Mr Cochrane said his client’s failures to appear at court could be explained by his cognitive impairment.

Mr Dakin said Noferi’s alleged Bluesfest attack contained ‘a racist element’.

The magistrate said there was a flight risk and refusedNoferi bail. He ordered he see a court psychologist. The case was adjourned to April 19.

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