Helicopter attack gets $200k claim

The damage to the $36 million Tiger armed reconnaisance helicopter after Bryan Law attacked it with a garden mattock.
The damage to the $36 million Tiger armed reconnaisance helicopter after Bryan Law attacked it with a garden mattock. Seven Local News

THE Australian Army is demanding more than $200,000 in damages from peace activist Bryan Law after his attack on a military helicopter on July 21.

Mr Law, 57, took to the $36 million Tiger armed reconnaisance helicopter with a garden mattock at the Rockhampton Airport in protest against the joint US and Australian military operation, Talisman Sabre.

Mr Law received an affidavit from Brigadier Neil Alan Turton after returning to his wife, Margaret Pestorius, and son in his home town of Cairns in August.

The affidavit was addressed to both Mr Law and Graeme Dunstan, 68, who allegedly helped Mr Law enter the Rockhampton Airport.

Brigadier Turton, the director-general aviation, Headquarters Forces Command, sought reparation of $200,000, to cost of repairing the helicopter, from Mr Law on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia in the legal document.

Brig Turton said they also sought the costs of airlifting the helicopter from Rockhampton Airport to “a suitable repair centre” and the cost to the Department of Defence for the loss of the aircraft while it was being repaired.

A Department of Defence spokesperson said the aircraft was made of composite materials and required extensive engineering and composite repair work.

They said the chopper would be repaired in Australia by defence and industry personnel.

Mr Law said his lawyer warned him he could receive a one-to-two-month jail term when he appeared in the Rockhampton District Court on September 5.

But Mr Law said he was willing to go to prison.

Mr Law is set to face charges for trespass under the Civil Aviation Act, attacking the helicopter and possessing tainted property, namely the garden mattock.

Mr Dunstan is due to appear in court on September 5 on similar charges.

Topics:  activist attack australian army

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