A man charged with threatening ABC television presenter Stan Grant uploaded a video on social media where he allegedly hurled abuse at the indigenous journalist – two days before he stood down as host of Q+A.
Michael Steven Davis appeared at Fairfield Local Court in Sydney’s south-west on Wednesday charged with three counts of using a carriage to threaten serious harm and to menace, harass or offend.
He was also charged with one count of using a carriage service to threaten serious harm.
Further, the 41-year-old is the subject of an interim apprehended violence order taken out by police on Grant’s behalf which was listed in Downing Centre Local Court.
It can now be revealed that Davis uploaded two allegedly abusive videos on May 22, during which he addressed Grant directly.
In one, he said: ‘This is a message for my man, Stan Grant, the f***wit.’
Michael Steven Davis (pictured) allegedly threatened ABC host Stan Grant in online videos
Grant reported receiving online threats to police on May 23 and was seen with his wife Tracey Holmes attending Randwick police station in Sydney’s east the next day
‘Mate, if I see you in the f***ing street, you call my f***ing people scum, I’m going to beat the living f***ing s**t out of you, you piece of f***ing s**t,’ he allegedly said.
In another video, posted on Twitter, Davis appeared furious when he allegedly said: ‘I’m coming for f***ing you – you racist piece of f***ing sh*t, I’ll f*** you up.’
Two days later, on May 24, Davis livestreamed the moments leading up to his arrest – during which he rambled about how he had done ‘nothing wrong’ and blamed his impending arrest on left-wing ideologies.
‘I’m racing home now because apparently the cops are at my house,’ he told viewers.
‘I don’t know what’s wrong, but if I was to take a guess, someone – some leftist d***head is now freaked and they’ve gone and had a b*tchy moment because I’ve said something they didn’t like.’
‘These are hurt f***ing people, all because I had a go at Stan Grant? All I said to him was, “if I see you in the street I’m going to have a crack at you”.’
Davis, who identifies on social media as a ‘right-wing Christian conservative’, then allegedly said about Grant: ‘You’re a celebrity, you deserve everything you get’.
When he arrived home, police were waiting outside.
When Davis arrived home on May 24, police were waiting outside with his wife, Katia (pictured)
The officer said: ‘You’re under arrest for threats made to Stan Grant.’
Davis replied: ‘No, No, all I said was if I see him in the street I’m going to have a crack.’
The officer interrupted: ‘You’re under arrest in relation..’
Davis cut him off and said ‘no I’m not’, to which the policeman said ‘yes, you are’.
Police then tried to take Davis’ phone, after which his wife Katia Davis started crying to her husband: ‘I told you this would happen.’
During his brief appearance at Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday, Davis repeatedly squeezed his eyes shut.
He was represented by solicitor Peter Mitchell, who said his client suffered from anxiety.
Grant reported receiving online threats to police on May 23 and was seen with his wife Tracey Holmes attending Randwick police station in Sydney‘s east the next day.
The couple arrived about 1.50pm and were inside for about an hour before Grant left the building, followed by Holmes about 15 minutes later.
Davis was arrested the same day and granted bail after being charged.
Bail conditions stipulate that Davis must not assault, threaten, stalk, harass or intimidate Grant or Holmes, destroy or damage their property or harm any animal that belongs to them.
Michael Steven Davis is pictured, left, with his lawyer outside Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday
He must not approach Grant or Holmes or contact them in any way, including via social media, and must not attempt to find the couple.
A NSW Police spokeswoman said officers from Sydney City Police Area Command received a report of alleged online threats against Grant about 11.50am on May 23.
‘Police commenced an investigation into the incident,’ she said. ‘Following inquires, police arrested a 41-year-old man in Fairfield Heights at 6.40pm [on May 24].
‘The man was taken to Fairfield police station where he was charged with use carriage to threaten serious harm and carriage service to menace/harass/offend.’
Grant revealed on May 19 he was stepping away from hosting the ABC’s flagship panel discussion program after just ten months in the role.
The 59-year-old said he was taking leave after being subjected to ‘relentless racial filth’. He accused the ABC of ‘institutional failure’, claiming no-one in senior management had offered him public support.
Grant hosted his last episode of Q+A on May 22, when he told the audience, ‘I am down right now… but I will get back up’ .
‘I’ve had to learn that endurance is not always strength,’ he said.
‘Sometimes, strength is knowing when to say stop. And to those who have sent messages of support – thank you so much. But I’ll be OK.’
Separately, Grant has pulled out of a speaking engagement in Cairns after police warned him it could be dangerous for him to attend.
Instead, he will deliver his keynote presentation via videolink.
Grant said the racial abuse against him had ramped up since he appeared on the ABC’s coverage of King Charles’ coronation earlier this month.
That broadcast was widely criticised by viewers for concentrating on England’s colonial past and questioning the role of the monarchy.
‘To those who have abused me and my family, I would just say – if your aim was to hurt me, well, you’ve succeeded,’ Grant said on his last night hosting the show;
‘And I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I must have given you so much cause to hate me so much, to target me and my family, to make threats against me.
‘I am down right now. I am. But I will get back up. And you can come at me again, and I will meet you with the love of my people.
‘My people can teach the world to love. As Martin Luther King Jr said of his struggle, ‘We will wear you down with our capacity to love all’.’
However Grant also said he was not walking away because of racism or social media hatred, but due to a broader disenchantment with the media.
‘I need a break from the media. I feel like I’m part of the problem. And I need to ask myself how, or if, we can do it better.’
Grant ended by thanking his family, speaking a few words in his native Wiradjuri language and then said a simple ‘Goodnight.’
Earlier that day, hundreds of ABC staff across the country walked out of offices in solidarity with Grant.
Holmes joined the Sydney protest with her husband’s ex-wife, SBS journalist Karla Grant, and his daughter, NITV journalist Lowanna Grant.
Dozens of ABC staff also gathered outside Parliament House in Canberra and the national broadcaster’s Southbank base in Melbourne.
Lowanna Grant became emotional as she told the crowd in Sydney about the toll the abuse on her father had taken on her whole family.
‘It’s really hard to see him struggling, and that he’s had to cop the racism and disgusting filth that’s been online,’ she said.
‘I’m so grateful to everyone here today who is supporting him, and not just my dad but all other First Nation’s journalists.’
Karla Grant told the Sydney crowd that racial abuse was an ongoing issue for Indigenous reporters, and her family.
‘It’s an accumulation of years of racism our people have had to face,’ she said.
‘Enough is enough and we have to take a stand.’
Davis’s case was adjourned to the Downing Centre Local Court on August 22.