News State Western Australia News Culleton injured after being served bankruptcy papers

Culleton injured after being served bankruptcy papers

Rod Culleton
Senator Rod Culleton is undergoing X-rays for a suspected broken wrist. Photo: AAP
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Former One Nation senator Rod Culleton has been discharged from hospital after an incident outside a Perth court on Tuesday morning.

Senator Culleton said on Wednesday afternoon he was recovering at home following an “unexpected attack” outside the court, after an x-ray cleared him of a broken wrist.

Witness Frank Bertola said Senator Culleton fell during a fracas outside Perth Magistrates Court as One Nation member Anthony Fels was trying to serve bankruptcy papers on him.

Mr Bertola said Craig Hutton, a supporter of Senator Culleton who was accompanying him, stood in between Senator Culleton and Mr Fels and tried to prevent the sealed documents being served.

Footage aired by Channel 7 showed Mr Culleton lying on the ground, as well as exchanging words with Mr Fels outside the court.

He then jumps up and removes his jacket, while another man keeps them apart.

Mr Bertola said he was seeking to have Mr Culleton served with a bankruptcy petition that lists a further 40 creditors allegedly owed money by Mr Culleton.

In December, Senator Culleton was declared bankrupt by the court and he faces being barred from serving in the Senate.

Mr Bertola said the men were “shouting and carrying on” and Mr Culleton’s son William was also involved.

He said Mr Culleton and Mr Hutton both fell over during the incident and Mr Fels dropped the papers on them and walked off.

The ABC understands Mr Fels fell on Mr Culleton outside the court.

“Craig Hutton pushed in between again and Craig and Rodney fell to the pavement,” Mr Bertola said.

“And with that Anthony was in a position to drop the documents on Rodney and say ‘You are served’.”

“I could tell Rodney wasn’t going to take service easily, he made efforts to duck and dive one way or another … but touching someone with a sheet of proper paper is not considered to be an attack. They lost their footing.

“Anthony is a wise enough person not to engage in any violence and he was only affecting a proper process.”

Mr Fels, a former WA Liberal MLC, has been contacted for comment.

A spokeswoman for Pauline Hanson said it would be inappropriate to make comment on the circumstances surrounding Mr Fels’ involvement in the incident, as it was not relevant to the party.

She said Mr Fels has applied to be a candidate of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, however he had not yet been endorsed.

Culleton in court seeking restraining orders

A spokeswoman for Senator Culleton confirmed he was leaving the court when a man approached him and he was injured.

She said Senator Culleton had been in court seeking a permanent restraining order against Mr Bertola and another man, Bruce Bell.

Frank Bertola
Frank Bertola says Mr Culleton was served with a creditors’ petition. Photo: ABC

She also told the ABC the Australian Federal Police had been in touch to check if Senator Culleton needed additional security.

According to Royal Perth Hospital, Mr Culleton was still waiting in the emergency department to be seen to by a doctor about 5:00pm.

Mr Bertola and Mr Bell were arrested after being evicted from a bankruptcy hearing involving Senator Culleton in the Federal Court in Perth last month.

A WA Police spokeswoman said officers had been called to the Kings Hotel near the Perth Magistrates Court to attend an incident at 10:40am, but when they arrived no-one was there.

She said it was understood a man involved in the incident had been conveyed to Royal Perth Hospital, but no-one had been taken into custody.

She said enquiries were continuing.

Mr Culleton resigned from One Nation on the same day as his bankruptcy hearing in December after a series of public spats with party leader Pauline Hanson.

-with Laura Gartry, ABC

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