An anti-logging protester has told the Hobart Magistrates Court how a forest contractor dragged him out of a car and kicked him in the face during a blockade in the Florentine Valley.
Forest workers Rodney Howells, Terrence Pearce and Jeremey Eiszelle have pleaded not guilty to assaulting two protesters in the Florentine Valley in October 2008.
One of the protesters, 23-year-old Nishant Datt, told the court he locked himself onto a disused car blocking a forestry road to prevent trees from being logged.
He said forest contractors started smashing the car’s windows with a sledgehammer because they could not start work.
Mr Datt said he was trying to get out of the car when a contractor dragged him out of a shattered window and then kicked him in the head several times.
The contractors’ lawyer Craig Rainbird has suggested the protesters knew the loggers were “not shrinking violets” and they stayed in the car accepting the risk of violence.
Under cross examination, Mr Datt conceded that but said he did not think the violence would escalate to such an extent.
Forestry Tasmania supervisor Scott Marriott told the court that he urged the protesters to get out of the car when he saw Howells approach it with a sledgehammer, saying they had three seconds.
Mr Marriott said considerable force was used in the blow with the sledgehammer and afterwards Howells appeared “quite upset.”
The hearing’s been adjourned until May.
The hearing has been adjourned until May.