The part-time homeless “mayor” of the tent city in Sydney’s Martin Place has a long criminal history of serious assaults against young women and police, as well as theft, threat and driving offences.
Lanz Priestly has crafted a web of misdirection about almost every part of his life, refusing to answer questions about a business of which he was a director and using a list of aliases across the country. While Mr Priestly says he is 72 years old, police and company records, and a former close friend, say he is 59.
The New Zealand activist, born in May 1958 with the name Rutene Lanceforde Priestly, racked up a criminal record in his home country in the 1970s for theft and attempted burglary before he moved to Australia permanently in the 1980s.
Court documents lodged in Queensland for his prior offences describe serious assault of police and a further two counts of assaulting police in October 1994 before his behaviour escalated and he almost killed a man with a boat anchor in 1997.
Priestly remained at large for almost 15 years and faced a Queensland court in 2014 where he was convicted and sentenced to prison. In an application for bail in 2014, prosecutors alleged the count of grievous bodily harm happened after a man tried to break up a fight.
Click here to read more.