‘You’re not going anywhere’: Perth man accused of racist attack on Gosnells mother detained in citizen’s arrest

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‘You’re not going anywhere’: Perth man accused of racist attack on Gosnells mother detained in citizen’s arrest

By Heather McNeill
Updated

The swastika-branded man accused of trying to set an Indigenous woman and her daughter on fire using a can of deodorant and a lighter has fronted court following a dramatic citizen’s arrest.

WA Police made several public pleas for the community to help identify the man, who was captured on CCTV walking away from the incident in Gosnells on Saturday.

Liam Michael Bradley, 37, made a brief appearance in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with an unlawful act or omission with intent to harm and conduct intended to racially harass.

It followed members of the public spotting the man in Gosnells on Wednesday night and detaining him until police arrived.

Local resident Jordan Wheeler was one of three strangers who banded together and tackled Mr Bradley to the ground after another female member of the public called out to them and identified him.

“There was no hesitation at all, both of my friends that were in the car, they both have daughters, and I have a partner that works very close to there, and I grew up in a household that didn’t see colour,” he told Nine News Perth.

“We stepped in front of him and said, ‘You’re not going anywhere’, and he started swinging his belt around and trying to hit us and calling us the N word.”

The man alleged to have carried out the racially motivated attack was arrested on Thursday.

The man alleged to have carried out the racially motivated attack was arrested on Thursday. Credit:WA Police

WA Police Detective Senior Sergeant Sean Bell said Mr Bradley was confronted near Wilkinson Street around 6.15pm allegedly wearing a red scarf with swastikas printed on it.

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“Wearing that material I think is vile, it portrays an image that is not accepted by the community,” he said.

“There were at least two people [involved in the citizen’s arrest] ... the exact circumstances of how that occurred, I haven’t got the full brief on that.”

Mr Bradley was taken to hospital as a precaution after complaining of sore ribs following the arrest.

WA Police have since asked the Magistrate’s Court for him to be detained on a hospital order for a psychiatric assessment or remanded in custody due to a “history of behaviour”.

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He is accused of hurling racist abuse at a woman and her daughter while wielding a spray can and lighter as a makeshift flamethrower.

The pair were walking to Corfield Shopping Centre to get dinner.

Police allege Mr Bradley started spraying a can of deodorant at the woman before lighting it and burning her arm.

She received minor injuries and the alleged offender fled the scene.

Senior Sergeant Bell said it was a “cowardly and random attack” but so far the accused appeared to be acting alone.

“This type of behaviour is not acceptable and is not tolerated within our community,” he said.

“Any assault on a mother and her daughter simply going about their lawful business trying to get something to eat for dinner is atrocious.

“But when you add in the racial element, it’s certainly not tolerated by society and we treat it very, very seriously.”

Senior Sergeant Bell said police were supporting the mother and daughter.

“They’re strong people, we’ve been keeping constant contact with them and offering them all the services that are available, they’re doing pretty well, all things considering,” he said.

Mr Bradley is next due in court on March 8.

with Jerrie Demasi

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