Big Rob outside Lismore Court.
Big Rob outside Lismore Court. Hamish Broome

Big Rob cleared of charges relating to alleged assault video

CONTROVERSIAL Lismore identity Big Rob has been cleared of charges relating to his Facebook sharing of a video of an alleged assault involving a group of minors in Goonellabah.

A decision on the matter was made via video link yesterday from Magistrate Kathy Crittenden from Parramatta Local Court following a closed hearing on October 27. All magistrates sitting on the Northern Rivers circuit had previously withdrawn themselves from hearing any of Rob's matters.

Rob had been charged in March 7 this year with two counts of publishing or broadcasting a person's name under Section 15A of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987.

He was charged about two weeks after sharing a video on his North Coast Crime Facebook page and posting updates about it.

The video depicted a group of four or five teenage girls allegedly assaulting a teenage couple in Goonellabah.

The group of alleged assailants were subsequently charged by police.

The video was originally posted on Facebook by one of the alleged assailants, and was shared by others before Rob posted it on his site.

Rob also shared an update from the Richmond Local Area Command Facebook page in relation to arrests that had been made over the alleged assault.

He was subsequently charged by police with the two counts - one in relation to sharing the video, and one in relation to the police updates which disclosed the arrests in the matter.

On Monday, Magistrate Crittenden dismissed the first charge due to the lack of sufficient evidence that court proceedings against the juveniles had commenced at the time Rob shared the video.

The second charge was dismissed on the basis that there was no case to support the prosecution's claim that Rob's sharing of the police arrest updates met the definition of an additional independent publication of the juveniles' identity.

Last month another four charges against Rob made by police in an unrelated matter were also dismissed by a Local Court magistrate.