Man charged with assaulting Tony Abbott breaks his silence

A Hobart man charged with a head-butting assault on Tony Abbott has no regrets about the attack and said he would do it again if he had the chance.

 

Speaking exclusively to Channel 7, Astro Labe denied the attack had anything to do with the former Prime Minister’s opposition to same sex marriage.

Labe had been drinking for six hours when he spotted Mr Abbott walking from a meeting on Hobart's waterfront.

"I was thinking: 'there's Tony Abbott, I'm going to headbutt him'," he said.

“I decided I was never going to get the opportunity to head-butt that c*** again, so I seized the moment."

Astro Labe has been charged with assault. Photo: 7 News

The former Prime Minister had spent the day in Hobart campaigning for a “no” vote in the same sex marriage survey.

He was on his way back to his hotel yesterday afternoon when Labe approached him and offered a handshake, but instead headbutted him.

“It now it seems if you speak out for a concept of marriage, which has stood since time of immemorial, you risk being head-butted in the street,” Mr Abbott said.

Tony Abbott was in Hobart to meet with campaigners for the “no” vote in the same sex marriage survey.

Labe was wearing a “yes” sticker on his jacket in support of same sex marriage, at the time, but he's adamant the issue had nothing to do with his attack.

“I believe in human rights and that's largely why I hate Tony Abbott because he doesn't. It has absolutely nothing to do with marriage equality,” he told 7 News.

"That was just coincidental that someone had stuck a sticker on my jacket."

Tony Abbott walking in the streets moments before the alleged attack.

Mr Abbott wasn't very badly hurt and said: "it wasn't a very effective headbut".

Labe said: "Apparently I didn't get him well enough".

Nonetheless, he attacked a former prime minister and his actions have been widely condemned.

"In politics there is no place for violence or indeed any other form of disrespectful conduct," Malcolm Turnbull said.

Labe has now been charged with common assault.

Labe says he does not regret his actions.

He intends to plead guilty when he faces court, but says he was so drunk he barely remembers what happened.

His sentiment though remains unchanged.

Asked if he’d do it again, Labe answered “probably”. “Depends on my level of sobriety,” he added.

He is due to appear in court on October 23.

Tasmanian Police Commander Tony Cerritelli said he wasn't interested in the motivations behind the attack.

"I just don't want violence to occur on our streets," he said.

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