Video image of the scuffle. Picture: AAP
Video image of the scuffle. Picture: AAP

Anning supporter pleads not guilty over alleged attack

A far-right teen activist who allegedly intimidated a journalist and attacked a photographer at a Fraser Anning event in Sydney will fight against his charges.

Former Waverley College student Max Towns, 19, appeared in Sutherland Local Court this morning and pleaded not guilty to intimidation and common assault following the incident at a press conference called by controversial senator Mr Anning last month.

Max Towns at Sutherland Local Court. Picture: Richard Dobson
Max Towns at Sutherland Local Court. Picture: Richard Dobson


Towns was arrested and charged after allegedly setting upon News Corp reporter Eliza Barr, 26, and photographer Dylan Robinson, 27, when the pair left the press conference in Dunningham Park, North Cronulla, on April 26.

The incident was captured on video and widely circulated only a month after Mr Anning punched a boy who broke an egg on his head at an event in Melbourne.

A post on a Facebook page with the name Max Towns pledged allegiance to Mr Anning with the words "victory or death" last month.

In court today, Towns' defence lawyer indicated he would fight his charges and also requested a variation on his bail conditions so he could enter the Sutherland area to attend court after initially being banned.

Dressed in a suit and supported by multiple family members, Towns was swamped by a big pack of camera crews as he left court and said nothing.

He must not contact his alleged victims, not attend any political rallies, protests or press conferences and also be of good behaviour while out on bail.

News Corp photographer Dylan Robinson and reporter Eliza Barr after the incident. Picture: AAP
News Corp photographer Dylan Robinson and reporter Eliza Barr after the incident. Picture: AAP


He was excused from attending his next court date and his matter will return on June 27.

It is understood he has also been hit with a "back up" charge of behaving in an offensive manner in a public place.

Court documents on the reasons Towns was initially granted bail after the incident allege "the accused actions were unprovoked and against a member of the media in a political setting".

"He initially targeted a female journalist, using derogatory language towards her before physically attacking a male journalist who came to her defence," officers alleged.

"There is strong evidence in the form of contemporaneous statements and video footage of the incident."

Max Towns was charged with assault. Picture: Richard Dobson
Max Towns was charged with assault. Picture: Richard Dobson