Armed mob 'ambush' family

AFTER being 'ambushed' by an angry, armed mob of up to 40 people outside her home, South Grafton woman Carlene Walker has had enough.

She said she was at her former partner's house on Sunday afternoon when about 40 people armed with stones, bricks and bottles approached the house, smashed windows and yelled abuse at the family inside.

Her 72-year-old mother-in-law Linda Walker, a respected Aboriginal elder from Baryulgil, said she was so terrified she locked herself in the bathroom with her eight great-grandchildren.

“It looked like a bloody war zone,” Carlene said.

She said the alleged attack was the culmination of tensions between two families that started four months ago.

Now Carlene has had enough of the cycle of violence and recrimination.

“I want justice,” she said.

“They have this attitude that no one can touch them, it's intimidation.”

Sunday's incident was sparked after a brawl outside the Australian Hotel at South Grafton, which allegedly involved about eight women, including members of Mrs Walker's family. Mrs Walker said the altercation was in response to an alleged assault on a 16-year-old girl last week.

After police broke up the fight at the hotel, Mrs Walker said the other family returned to the Robina Way residence for retribution.

However, she said problems first started back in November, when her daughter was allegedly king hit by another woman at a South Grafton hotel.

While that incident is now before the courts, Mrs Walker said her family had faced violent recriminations from the family of the accused for contacting the police.

In particular, she alleged the other family continually breached apprehended violence orders (AVOs).

“We want action,” she said. “People keep offending, they aren't locked up for breaching AVOs.”

She said mediation or contact between elders would not work in this situation, as the violence was not a cultural issue, nor were the families related.

“They have no respect for elders,” she said.

“Police seem to think it's two black families, it'll sort out between them,” she said. “If we were a white family being terrorised, something would happen.”

Police arrested and charged seven people after the South Grafton altercations.

Coffs Clarence area command Chief Inspector Shane Cribb said investigations were continuing.

“Police will continue to arrest anyone involved, or in breach of an AVO and/or commits a criminal offence,” he said.


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