Man charged with threatening to kill NSW family on a picnic in suspected Islamophobic incident

| 08.04,19. 05:14 PM |



Man charged with threatening to kill NSW family on a picnic in suspected Islamophobic incident



Photo: Superintendent Chris Craner says Yusuff Sharriff will be referred to the Fixated Persons Unit for investigation. (ABC Illawarra: Gavin Coote)

A New South Wales man has been charged with terrorising a family at a picnic in what police will allege was a suspected Islamophobic incident that could have been "catastrophic".


Yusuff Sharriff, 43, is accused of intimidating and verbally abusing a family group of about 20 people picnicking in the Illawarra on Sunday afternoon.


Police will allege Mr Sharriff threatened the family from Western Sydney yelling "f*** you, f*** you, f*** you, Muslims. I'm going to f***ing kill you," and circling them with his car.


Wollongong Police Commander Superintendent Chris Craner said the vehicle was only metres from young children playing at the Bulli Tops picnic ground.


"That grassed area was full of mud, the car was going sideways," Superintendent Craner said.


"These are serious offences, they could have ended in catastrophic circumstances."


Bail refused


Mr Sharriff was arrested in a carpark nearby and charged on Sunday night.


He was refused bail in Wollongong Local Court on Monday after his brief appearance via video link from the police cells.


Magistrate Michael Stoddart said the allegations were "disturbing".


He described the alleged incident as an "atrocious attack" that police claim was part-filmed on a go-pro by an onlooker.


"He goes away, he comes back minutes later threating to kill these people," Magistrate Stoddart said.


"They're at a picnic. There are kids there. These are atrocious circumstances."


During his appearance in court Mr Sharriff referred to himself as a "black Muslim" and accused Legal Aid of discriminating against him and not representing him properly.


He urged Magistrate Michael Stoddart stop the case progressing until he could find a new lawyer and said he had been the subject of abuse in the past.


'This was a scary event': Police


Police say the family at the centre of the allegations have been left shaken by the incident.


"The women at the time were crying, there were young kids there," Superintendent Craner said.


"It's just a tragic event what this family has been put through and as you can understand they're quite shaken by it all.


"Take out the bias-related incident, take out the cultural differences in this, and this would have affected your family and you would feel that this was a scary event."


Mr Sharriff is scheduled to reappear at Wollongong Local Court again on April 23.


He has also now been referred to the Fixated Persons Unit for assessment.


The Fixated Persons Investigations Unit was set up by NSW Police two years ago to focus on so-called "lone actor" and "fixated person" threats and grievance-fuelled violence.


abc


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Qld pair on the run after woman stabbed Police investigate 'suspicious' Vic death 'Diabolically bad' poll: Abbott facing 12 per cent swing to lose seat Ipsos poll: 53-47 result puts Morrison government on course for major election defeat Labor says Government delaying election call so it can use taxpayer funds to pay for advertising policies Elderly woman found dead in Vic home Terrifying moment mum pulls kids out of car seconds before it bursts into flames Elderly man dies after being run over by four cars on busy road Bill Shorten says Scott Morrison is playing games with election call Labor's Budget reply was a careful pitch to voters Townsville mum to be charged with manslaughter after sons drown in river Melbourne factory fire at Campbellfield's Bradbury plant sends smoke over suburbs Murder charges laid over double shooting in Five Dock, soccer community mourns Bill Shorten uses Budget reply to promise billions for cancer patients and match Coalition's tax cuts Laws targeting terror videos on Facebook and YouTube are 'rushed' and 'knee-jerk', say lawyers and tech industry Dead prisoner likely got drugs through vomit, inquest told Senate censures controversial politician Fraser Anning over Christchurch shooting comments Body retrieved near Figure Eight Pools in Royal National Park thought to be missing student Two young brothers pulled unconscious from Brisbane pool die in hospital Man extradited to Ipswich to face murder charge over body unearthed inside freezer WARNING: Scammers now trying to steal your details through Paypal Alleged Christchurch massacre supporter has internet ban upheld, calls media 'animals' RBA leaves rates on hold despite growth and inflation continuing to miss targets 'Grievance fuelled violence': Two arrested over alleged car bomb plot Sydney scaffolding victim just turned 18 Man fighting for life after NSW stabbing Glen Huntly hit-and-run driver flees crash scene in CCTV footage released by police Crime Stoppers NSW: $1m reward over NSW horse trainer murder Man dies, another critical in building scaffolding collapse at Macquarie Park The $250,000 welfare fraud hidden in a locked box