A LOCAL fisherman who says he knows the man at the centre of an alleged incident at the Byfield National Park recently has spoken in support of the recluse.

In yesterday's Morning Bulletin Sheridan Mosk said a recent family camping trip in the park area turned to terror when an elderly man "pointed a gun" at her partner's head.

The report generated a lot of interest online with a number of people contacting the paper claiming the man was well known in that particular area of the park.

However, a local fisherman who was at Kelly's Landing yesterday morning said the person involved was not a danger to campers.

"He's lived in his caravan here for 40 years and he's very protective about his surroundings," the fisherman, who asked not to be identified, said.

"He's harmless though and normally just sticks to himself. If you get too close to his property he'll let you know but as far as I'm concerned, he doesn't have any weapons.

"I sometimes take him to the shops in town so he can get supplies but other than that he doesn't bother anyone."

The local fisherman said the man had once mentioned to him that he had been involved in the war years ago and that he liked the peace and quiet of the bush.

"He's done a lot of things in his life and he's always up for a chat when I pass him around here."

Another friend of the man also contacted The Morning Bulletin yesterday, denying reports that the man had a weapon and that he "just wants to live his life up there and be left alone".

Two local businesses in the Byfield area said they had heard one or two rumours of a man living up that way but had never heard of him being a danger to the public.

A police statement regarding the investigation into the alleged incident is expected to be released today.



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