Man charged over threatening homophobic letter to MP

Alex Greenwich is pushing NSW to adopt stronger laws against homophobia and transphobia.

Alex Greenwich is pushing NSW to adopt stronger laws against homophobia and transphobia. Photo: Getty

A man has been charged with stalking and identity crimes over a homophobic letter that invoked the AIDS epidemic and dubbed Mark Latham “a real man”.

The 70-year-old is accused of sending the letter, concealed in a greeting card, in October to NSW independent MP Alex Greenwich.

It followed Greenwich filing a defamation suit against Latham, the NSW One Nation MP turned independent, over a graphic tweet directed at him in March 2023.

“The world was a safer and better place when you f—ots were still in the closet,” the letter said, according to Greenwich.

“AIDS didn’t kill enough of you.”

The letter also claimed Latham’s tweet made Greenwich cry because it said the Sydney MP, who is openly gay, was “not a man, nor a woman” but a “defect”.

After forensic analysis, NSW Police arrested the alleged author in Penshurst on Friday.

He was charged with stalking or intimidating with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm and dealing with identity information to commit an indictable offence.

The latter offence carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.

The man is due to face court in late March.

Greenwich thanked police for the seriousness with which they treated the incident.

“It’s now time for our parliament to stand up to the harms caused by homophobia and transphobia and bring laws in line with other states by backing my LGBTQ Equality Bill,” he said.

Latham’s tweet unleashed a torrent of despicable homophobic and other abuse, Greenwich’s lawyer previously told the Federal Court.

It also led to a falling out between the firebrand MP and federal One Nation leader Pauline Hanson. She later dumped him as state party head over election performances.

Latham promptly quit the party and now sits as an independent in the NSW parliament’s upper house.

He is defending Greenwich’s lawsuit by arguing his tweet was an honest opinion and a reasonable response to an initial online attack by the Sydney MP.

He also argues there had been no serious harm done to Greenwich, whose reputation remained the same regardless of what was said.

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