Youths say man meted out noose punishment

Source: The Age December 2 2004

By Ainsley Pavey

Queensland police are investigating claims that a property owner tied nooses around the necks of two teenage Aborigines and dragged them around.

Police said the alleged assaults were on two Aborigines accused of trying to break into the property owner's hut near Goondiwindi, in the state's south, on Monday.

Aboriginal community spokesman Robbie Williams said the youths, wearing nooses, were dragged around on the banks of a river for 45 minutes.

Police said the property owner had reported that four people had broken into his hut and stolen items then tried to break into the main residence and take a motorbike.

The police statement said the property owner admitted having chased and detained a 16-year-old boy, and that the owner's son had been involved in a scuffle with the other alleged offenders, who escaped.

Police said they had taken the 16-year-old to the police station, where they had seen lawyers and the boy's mother. The youth then received medical treatment.

Police said they had visited an Aboriginal mission yesterday and learned that a second boy had complained of being assaulted.

They took two youths from the mission for treatment.

Police had visited the property where the alleged assaults had occurred, and Toomelah Mission, where the boys lived.

"Police spoke with several people... endeavouring to locate the others allegedly involved (and) encourage them to seek medical assistance and to provide information to police," police said in their statement.