A man who went up to Tony Abbott in Hobart last September saying he wanted to shake the former prime minister’s hand, but headbutted him instead, has been sentenced to six months in prison.
The ABC reports Astro Labe, 38, pleaded guilty to causing harm to a Commonwealth public official during a trial earlier this year.
Today Magistrate Michael Daly said the attack on Abbott was unprovoked and used a “cowardly deception”.
He sentenced Labe to a minimum two months in jail, with a $2,000 good behaviour bond for two years.
Labe will be on probation for 12 months and must undergo alcohol and drug rehabilitation.
At the time of the attack Labe was drinking with friends in a nearby pub on the city’s waterfront and described himself as “six out of 10” drunk when he approached Abbott.
After the incident, at the height of the same-sex marriage debate, Abbot told the media his attacker was wearing a “Vote Yes” badge, and it was “a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting”.
But the MP played down the incident saying “He wasn’t very good at it, I’ve got to say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip,” before Labe ran off “swearing his head off”.
Labe subsequently told the media the attack had nothing to do with marriage equality.
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