POLITICS

Man Who Allegedly Headbutted Tony Abbott Identified As Astro Labe

"I believe in human rights and that's largely why I hate Tony Abbott because he doesn't believe in any human rights".

22/09/2017 12:44 PM AEST | Updated 22/09/2017 7:07 PM AEST
7 NEWS

The 38-year-old man charged with assault over the alleged headbutting of Tony Abbott has said he "seized the moment" when confronting the former Prime Minister.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Astro Labe said that he would plead guilty to a minor assault charge.

"I'm never going to get the opportunity to headbutt that c**t again ... so I seized the moment," he said.

Labe said that the incident had nothing to do with marriage equality and that he was "deeply embarrassed" that it might hurt the 'Yes' campaign.

"I believe in human rights and that's largely why I hate Tony Abbott because he doesn't believe in any human rights -- it has absolutely nothing to do with marriage equality," he said.

"That was just coincidental that someone had stuck a sticker on my jacket .. It was not what I was thinking about."

The 38-year-old from North Hobart was charged with assault by Police on Friday.

"The man was charged with one count of Common Assault following a police investigation into a complaint made by Tony Abbott MP," Tasmania Police confirmed in a statement.

Labe was granted conditional bail and will appear in Hobart Magistrates Court on October 23.

Tony Abbott had earlier said that he intended to press charges if his alleged assaulter was caught.

"While I don't claim to have been seriously hurt, people should not be violent on the streets of Hobart or any other Australian city," he told Sky News on Friday afternoon.

"Certainly, you should never meet an opinion with a headbutt -- you just shouldn't do it."

Abbott had told 2GB radio that the alleged headbutter had approached him as he came out of The Mercury offices on the Hobart waterfront and asked to shake his hand.

"A fellow sung out at me, 'hey Tony'. I turned around. There was a chap wearing a 'vote yes' badge," Abbott told the radio station.

"He says 'I want to shake your hand'. I went over to shake his hand, then he headbutted me."

"He wasn't very good at it, I've got to say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip."

Fairfax Media
Tony Abbott had been meeting with 'no' campaigners in Tasmania.

Abbott has been visiting Tasmania, where he met with 'no' campaigners over the same-sex marriage postal vote.

The police spokesperson said that investigators would not be getting involved in any "political matters of vote 'yes' or 'no'" which may have motivated the attack.

Tony Abbott filed a formal complaint to Tasmania Police on Thursday evening over the alleged attack, but only after police contacted him over the incident.

The Coalition backbencher says the incident was reported to the Australian Federal Police "immediately" and he spoke to 2GB "a few hours later".

He described being in "shock" following the incident.

"Normally a handshake is a sign of trust and peace. It is a sign of two people wanting to deal openly and courteously with each other," he told reporters on Friday morning.

"It's sad that this debate has come to that."

The use of violence has been condemned by politicians and same sex marriage campaigners on both sides, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who labelled the incident "disgraceful".

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