A committee member of the Royal Papua Yacht Club in Port Moresby sustained severe injuries after he was allegedly assaulted by some Australian Defence Force (ADF) soldiers at the club last weekend.The incident took place on October 17, where a group of ADF soldiers who were in the country to provide mentoring and training assistance to the PNG Defence Force allegedly attacked Craig Burrows, a long time committee member of the Yacht Club.The alleged assault by the intoxicated ADF soldiers occurred in full view of the Yacht Club members and patrons and resulted in damages at the club. Intervention by the club security and senior ADF personnel saw the intoxicated soldiers immediately removed from the premises.According to a statement of an eyewitness who was with Burrows at the time, the incident started after one of the ADF soldier who was allegedly intoxicated approached Burrows and chatted with Burrows.“I did not hear what was said but then saw him shouting at Craig Burrows. Craig then tried to calm him down and went to put his arm around him asking him to calm down. The ADF guy then grabbed Craig and started assaulting him. There was some shoving and punches thrown before Craig was pushed into the wet bar door. The glass smashed around Craig badly lacerating Craig’s head and hand,” the witness stated.Two other ADF soldiers intervene and stopped their colleague from further attacking Barrows. The witness further claimed that the ADF guy involved was shouting abuse and tired to continue the assault but was further stopped by staff and securities at the club.Burrows then was rushed to the hospital as he bled heavily from the assault.A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Defence confirmed the incident when the Post-Courier enquired yesterday.“Defence can confirm that Australian Army members attached to the Combat Service Support Mentoring Training Team in Papua New Guinea were involved in an incident in Port Moresby on 17 October 2014. The members are in PNG conducting a Mentoring Training Team with the PNG Defence Force to provide mentoring and training assistance to the PNGDF,” the spokesperson said via email. He said the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service has commenced enquiries into the alleged incident to establish the facts.He said the as these enquiries were ongoing, it would be inappropriate for the Australian Defence to comment further or to speculate as to any possible outcomes.
Posted by Staff Reporter