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Protesters in scuffle outside noose attack hearing

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 18 January 2005

Police quelled scuffles outside a court hearing today for two men accused of an attack on a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy in the southern Queensland town of Goondiwindi.

David Tomkins, 44, and his son Clint Tomkins, 23, faced the Goondiwindi Magistrates Court on charges of assault occasioning bodily harm.

They are accused of tying a noose around the neck of the youth and dragging him along a riverbank at a rural property outside the south Queensland town last November.

The victim suffered rope burns, head injuries and bruising to his body in the incident, and required hospital treatment.

It is alleged his friend was tied to a tree and forced to watch the incident.

Tight security at the court was put to the test when a clash between protesters and a bystander looked set to get out of control.

A peaceful demonstration of a dozen Aborigines outside the Goondiwindi Magistrates Court ended in an angry series of confrontations.

The extra police on hand stepped in to calm the situation.

David and Clint Tomkins were flanked by police for their short court appearance.

Both have been bailed and will face a committal hearing in May.

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