Onlookers have rushed to the aid of a photographer after the enraged brother of missing fraudster Melissa Caddick tried to hit her outside the Downing Centre court complex.
The Herald’s Louise Kennerley was photographing Adam Grimley as he helped parents Barb and Ted into his black Lexus. Grimley, 55, who lists his occupation as a “business consultant”, opened the driver’s door, then changed his mind, charging back around the front of his car and onto the footpath.
“I saw his arm raised,” said Kennerley. “When he swung his right arm towards my head, I ducked and shielded my face. I was really worried he was going to hit me.”
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Moments earlier Grimley had angrily lashed out at another photographer, Flavio Brancaleone, shoulder-charging him and then whacking him with a shopping bag.
The incidents occurred on Tuesday afternoon after the inquest into Caddick’s disappearance and presumed death finished.
It was “really scary stuff … no one should be subjected to that outside a court or anywhere”, said AAP photographer, Dan Himbrechts, who captured the incident.
“He was in a fit of rage. He’s darted back around, raised a hand and lunged at Louise … It was completely unprovoked.
“I appreciate he’s angry. I appreciate it’s hard for the family. But again, there was certainly no antagonising on our part.”
Comment is sought from Grimley. Herald Editor Bevan Shields said Grimley’s actions will be reported to the police.
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Brancaleone, a freelance photographer, stepped in to stop the assault while Himbrechts admonished Grimley. “Mate, what are you doing? Is that what you do, hit women?” he said.
A woman passing by, who thought the blow had connected, also rushed over to see if Kennerley was hurt.
Himbrechts said that on leaving the inquest on Tuesday afternoon Grimley appeared to be seething with anger. “I watched Grimley basically depart his course to shoulder charge Flavio, who was like absolutely zero threat, zero intimidation.”
“He had one of those Woolies shopping bags and he swung that at Flavio and hit him,” Himbrechts recalled. © Louise Kennerley Adam Grimley, the older brother of Melissa Caddick, approaches the Herald photographer.
It isn’t the only time Grimley has targeted photographers and camera operators, who reported being shoulder-charged, hit and lunged at over the course of the two-day hearing this week. “He tried to hit me a number of times,” Brancaleone said.
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In late September, Grimley stormed out of the hearing room at the Coroner’s Court at Lidcombe after being reprimanded by Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan.
The inquest has heard that his sister vanished in the early hours on November 12, 2020, hours after ASIC and the Federal Police conducted a 12-hour raid at the fraudster’s Dover Heights home.
Three months after Caddick’s disappearance, her shoe containing partial remains, washed up on a remote NSW south coast beach.
Caddick, 49, was being investigated over a Ponzi scheme during which she had stolen $23 million from family and friends who thought they were investing in shares.
However, Caddick’s husband hairdresser Anthony Koletti, 40, and the Grimley family have repeatedly blamed ASIC and lead investigator Isabella Allen for Caddick’s presumed death.
Allen told the inquest that in June 2021, Grimley said to her, “How do you feel about being responsible for Melissa’s death?”
After Allen’s evidence, Koletti was cross-examined by her barrister John Sutton about the allegations Koletti had made against his client.
While his brother-in-law was being grilled by Sutton, Grimley was reprimanded by the coroner for his “dramatic and distracting” facial expressions. “And if you are unable to restrain yourself, I will ask you to view the proceedings in the adjoining court,” said Ryan, before Grimley stormed out.
The Caddick inquest will resume for half a day in February.
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