17 year old high school student Will Connolly, now known as EggBoy has been cautioned by Victoria Police for his infamous egging of Senator Fraser Anning at a Melbourne meeting of Anning’s new party the Conservative Nationals the day after the Christchurch terror attack.
Anning responded by slapping Connolly twice before he was restrained by attendees of the meeting until police eventually removed him, at that point he was released without charge.
The reaction from the media and political establishment was to deem Connolly a hero believing Anning deserved to be egged due to his statement on the Christchurch attack where he said it was the result of Muslim migration and violence in the West. A crowdfunding campaign was launched for him to fund ‘legal fees’ and to ‘buy more eggs’.
There were even calls for Anning to be charged for acting in self defence, including from Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said he should ‘face the full force of the law’. But despite political pressure Victorian Police today announced “On assessment of all the circumstances, the 69-year-old’s actions were treated as self-defence and there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.”
There were also calls to charge Anning’s supporters for restraining Connolly which included Neil Erikson and Ricky Turner of local patriot group Cooks Convicts. But Victoria Police have only charged a 20 year old man on summons for allegedly kicking Connolly when he was on the ground.
After the egging Senator Anning said had no regrets about his immediate response “He got a slap across the face, which is what his mother should have given him long ago, because he’s been misbehaving badly” and that “When someone cracks you on the back of the head you react and defend yourself”.
Despite being made a hero Connolly stayed relatively quiet post the incident, at first only speaking through his lawyer who said that he crowdfunding money which now totals $100,000 would be given to the Christchurch victims and that he would not be making a police complaint against the Anning supporters who restrained him.
Connolly gave his only media interview to friendly news program The Project with presenter Hamish McDonald where he reflected on his actions “I understand what I did was not the right thing to do and I can understand why some people react the way they did” and that “I didn’t expect him to react, I thought I was just going to walk out there. I didn’t think this was going to blow up”.
Ever since he cracked the egg that divided the nation, Melbourne teenager Will Connolly, better known as #EggBoy, has been both vilified and dubbed the “hero of the Earth”.— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 25, 2019
Will approached us to set the record straight. #TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/31VogQPs5C
Police cautions are only given if a person admits they committed a criminal act. Although it does not give one a criminal record it is still kept in a Brief Register in police files and is used if an offender gets into trouble again.
In response to the caution Connolly’s lawyers released another statement which said “The 17-year-old VCE student says it has been a stressful time for him and his family over the last few weeks” and that “Will wants to thank Victoria Police for their professionalism in their dealings with him and the speed of the resolution” and he was “taking very seriously the formal caution he was given by police about his actions”.
It would appear despite all the political and media attempts to twist the legal reality of the egging incident, the right police decision has made and justice has been done. However Connolly still got off much more lightly than John Murphy in the UK who was sentenced to 21 days jail for egging Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
With politicians like Sarah Hanson-Young calling Connolly a hero, this type of reaction could have opened a Pandora’s box with politicians appearing to give citizens the green light to egg them without consequent. But with the conclusion of the Victoria Police investigation and the caution issued it seems that most will now think twice engaging in a similar act of political violence.