Charges against Mildura pair dropped over neighbour’s Aboriginal flag dispute

Charges against Mildura pair dropped over neighbour’s Aboriginal flag dispute

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Criminal charges against a Mildura pair who were filmed trying to tear down their neighbour's Aboriginal flag and questioning his Indigenous identity have been dropped.

Friends Karen Ridge, 48, and Robert Vigors, 65, were charged over the incident, which went viral on social media in December last year with the hashtag #toostrongforyoukaren.

Ms Ridge tries to tear down the Aboriginal flag.Credit:Twitter

The charge of attempted criminal damage against Mr Vigors, who was dumped by McDonald's as a franchisee after the release of the video, was withdrawn in October, while the charge of wilful damage against Ms Ridge was withdrawn on Wednesday.

Their lawyer Mark Stanarevic, of Matrix Legal, flagged potential defamation action.

"My clients have suffered financial loss and extreme injury to their reputation on a national level across every imaginable media and social media channel and to allegations of racism when there was just a minor disagreement," Mr Stanarevic said.

"They have lost their businesses as a result of these matters – which have not been displayed in context – and were even charged by police as a result of these matters, and it's taken a toll on them physically, mentally and financially."

Mr Vigors pictured in the videoCredit:Twitter

Mildura-based Indigenous artist Robby Wirramanda filmed the video, which appeared to show his neighbours walking onto his property.

Ms Ridge is seen in the video attempting to remove the flag from Mr Wirramanda's vehicle, while he retorts: "It's too strong for you, Karen."

In the video, Mr Vigors and Ms Ridge questioned the artist's Indigenous ancestry.

“Which 1 per cent of you is Aboriginal? You’ve got nothing in you that’s Aboriginal. You make me laugh," Mr Vigors says in the video.

"OK, you can do some nice paintings and everything … don’t get me wrong, I respect that work, but you claiming to be Aboriginal? You make me laugh."

Mr Wirramanda responded: "I want to show racists like you to the world."

Mr Wirramanda told The Age back in December: "I didn't think I'd filmed anything special because this kind of thing happens to Indigenous people all the time."

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