Reporter attacked outside court
A WOMAN who followed and violently assaulted a Bulletin reporter outside the Townsville courthouse remains at large, with the incident raising questions about the security at the complex.
The female reporter was walking back to her car at the conclusion of a rape sentence on Thursday afternoon when she was followed by a female supporter of the man being sentenced who had been in the courtroom gallery.
The reporter was approached and asked whether she was a journalist.
When she responded "yes" she was punched a number of times with at least one blow landing to the head.
Her laptop was also snatched by the woman and smashed to pieces, leading to at least two cars nearby being damaged.
"It was clearly just an attack on me just trying to do my job," the reporter said.
While the incident should have been entirely captured on CCTV, it's understood a construction site at the courthouse complex obstructed the security cameras.
"(Had it not been there) you would have been able to see what happened, it has obstructed that (attack)," she said.
"I don't feel safe knowing that someone can assault me and it won't be recorded, that there will be no vision, or no evidence of it."
The reporter said she did not anticipate the "brazen, opportunistic attack" especially since it had taken place outside a court of law.
The reporter was taken to the Mater Hospital and assessed for shock and minor injuries.
Police are searching for the attacker they identified using CCTV from within the courtroom.
The woman remained on the run late yesterday.
The Bulletin asked the Department of Justice and Attorney-General how many cameras were installed at the complex, and how many had been obstructed by the construction site but they refused to comment.
The department also refused to answer what temporary measures would be put in place to cover any blind spots, and how many security employees work at the site, and whether staffing was adequate.
In a statement a spokesman said the department did not comment on security systems and procedures "for safety and security reasons".
"Such public comment would compromise the integrity of those systems," the spokesman said.
"Security arrangements at courthouse are regularly reviewed.''