In July we brought you the story of Anthony and Natalie Reale who were arrested, charged and fined for not wearing facemasks in their Shellharbour coffee shop.
The couple were issued a $1,000 fine each for allegedly breaching the Chief Health Officers directions and both were charged for not wearing a facemask as well as an additional charge for staff not wearing masks.
“We’ve got a doctor’s certificate to say we’re exempt from wearing a mask, yet they won’t accept that, so are they higher up or more educated than a doctor or are they just trying to make an example out of us?,” Anthony said to me when we caught up recently.
The case has now been set down for a defendant hearing due early next year and, thanks to your support, we’ve been able to provide financial support so they can defend themselves without taking on the additional burden of legal fees on top of the daily battle of keeping their small business alive.
Solicitor Cameron Shamsabad from Legal Bit said he was confident of a positive outcome for the pair.
“The mainstream media took these guys from pillar to post by coming and posting outside, it takes the discretion away from the prosecution. Even where reason would otherwise prevail, it hasn’t,” he said.
“We have a very good case, we’re going to defend it on all grounds. We’re confident that we will get them acquitted of the charges and that we will have good outcomes.
“They’ve been treated very poorly, simply because first of all, they have mask exemptions, and second of all they were very vocal about their wish not to discriminate against members of the public, who might be suffering from a disability or some other significant reason why they’re not wearing masks.
“They didn’t want to bring up that sort of pain or drama for these members of the public when they come and want to patronise their business.
“So for that, which was previously probably a very humanitarian position, they have been treated very poorly. And they continue to be treated very poorly.
Bt thanks to your support through our Fight The Fines initiative we’ve been able to help Anthony and Natalie take up the fight and make an example of the situation by crowdfunding their defense.
“Common people like ourselves I don’t think would have been able to put up a fight, like without the help of Avi and Rebel News, most of the fights would have stopped. But with your support I’ll fight until the end,” Anthony said.
“I want to make sure my kids have a future that is worth living for … And your kids, you know, not just mine.”
Please donate what you can here to help cover their legal bill.