Man charged over assault on QRIC stewards

Police have charged a man after an alleged assault on two Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards on Tuesday.

The alleged assault was during an inspection by the officers, who are in an integrity unit which is separate from raceday stewards, as they were conducting a stables inspection at a Southbrook property, near Toowoomba.

A man, 73, has been charged with robbery while armed, attempting to enter a premises with intent, two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, serious assault of a person over 60 years of age, serious assault of a public official and wilful damage.

He has been released from the Toowoomba watch house on conditional bail and will appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on December 13.

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QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said the stewards were acting within their lawful responsibilities when they were subjected to an unprovoked attack.

“It’s very fortunate that neither of the officers has suffered any long-term damage as a result of what occurred but having engine degreaser sprayed directly into their face and eyes was a very concerning incident,” Barnett said.

“I should stress that this is very unusual within the racing industry and most participants treat stewards with respect.”

“We of course will not condone any assault on any of our staff and when anything like this happens we will ensure that the people responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Commissioner Barnett said.

The incident was captured on a camera worn by one of the Commission’s stewards.