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Cameraman injured outside court

Date

Nick Ralston, Lisa Davies

He sat in court supporting his mate as the mate faced a murder charge, and then moments later is alleged to have committed a similar, violent act of his own.

As friends of accused murderer Kieran Loveridge, 18, left Burwood Court yesterday, a 17-year-old boy from Seven Hills allegedly charged at the waiting media, headbutting a Channel Nine cameraman and knocking him off his feet.

The cameraman, Mario Conti, slammed his head on the concrete path and was left barely moving on the footpath as other cameramen and journalists rushed to his aid.

It appeared that Conti was initially knocked unconscious. By the time an ambulance arrived, 20 minutes later, his eyes were open, but he was unable to communicate properly.

He was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he was last night in a stable condition under observation in the emergency department.

The 17-year-old ran from the scene immediately after but was followed by police, and media, and arrested not far from the courthouse a short time later. He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He will appear in Parramatta Local Court today.

The teen had just been one of about a dozen friends and family, including Loveridge's girlfriend Erin Burgess, who had turned out to support Loveridge as he appeared in court charged with the murder of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross on July 7. Ms Burgess wept silently as she looked at her boyfriend in the dock during his brief hearing. He tried to hold back tears in response.

Loveridge is alleged to have punched Mr Kelly in the head, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the footpath, causing fatal head injuries.

Police believe Loveridge acted alone but had been out with others around the time of the alleged attack.

It is understood the 17-year-old who allegedly headbutted Mr Conti was one of those with Loveridge that night.

State Crime Commander Mal Lanyon said if there was any evidence friends or family had been protecting Loveridge from police then charges would be laid against them.

''It is likely that should there be sufficient evidence, we'll put people before the court,'' Mr Lanyon said.

Loveridge will appear in Burwood Local Court on Wednesday, where he is expected to apply for bail.

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