5 September, 2016 10:30
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Police in Sydney’s West have today spoken about an incident that occurred inside a place of worship yesterday afternoon – as a man of Middle Eastern appearance held a crowd of 15,000 people hostage for up to 45 minutes.
It is believed that the man in question, notorious Leichardt identity Robbie Farah, created scenes of hysteria at the spiritual home of Western Suburbs rugby league yesterday.
Farah’s long time political opponent, West Tigers Coach Jason Taylor was halfway through a ceremonial sermon – before being interrupted by the trespassing 32-year-old who stood a top of a platform at the southern end of the arena – creating scenes of distress as worshippers from his former club were forced to chant for close to an hour.
It has not been clarified whether or not Farah was demanding a ransom for his hostages, but club officials have confirmed that as of next year, he will be close to being the highest-paid rugby league player in the game, after the Wests Tigers agreed to foot $750,000 of his salary in 2017.
After giving Farah little option but to leave the club he helped guide to a premiership in 2005, the Tigers will fork out a huge chunk of Farah’s $950,000 contract for next year.
However, what many people present were not aware of, was how close the former club captain came to becoming yet another statistic of the turbulent political climate both inside and outside the Wests Tigers joint venture.
NSW police reveal snipers had been positioned to take out a ‘man of middle eastern appearance’ – after a panicked phone call was made by Coach Jason Taylor.
The marksman were eventually told to stand down when one of the police officers recognised the target as Robbie Farah.
Senior Sergeant Brad Pachie says “lucky Kev was there”
“The hysteria surrounding the situation, and the information handed on to us by the club coach made things very tense,”
“But we are very lucky that our senior marksman, Kev, is a such a big fan of second grade rugby league. He was able to identify the suspect and eventually deduced that he was of no serious threat to the punters.”