Leigh Sales ‘trolls’ say they meant 7.30 host no harm in emails to ABC


EXCLUSIVE: Two ‘trolls’ whose abuse of Leigh Sales was allegedly so bad the cops were called say they’re NO threat to her – as it’s revealed WHY they bombarded the ABC with emails

  • ABC’s Leigh Sales quit hosting 7.30 after becoming victim of ‘rabid bullies’ online
  • She said she had two restraining orders in place because of threats by ‘randoms’
  • Both those men say they have no grievance against Sales and present no threat
  • One is also the subject of an order to protect Sales’s close friend Annabel Crabb  

Two ‘trolls’ who bombarded the ABC with emails that were deemed threatening to Leigh Sales say they have nothing against the 7.30 host.

Both men are the subject of apprehended violence orders protecting Sales from them but each insists he does not present any threat to the journalist. 

One of them is also the subject of an AVO protecting Sales’s friend and fellow ABC presenter Annabel Crabb and is not allowed to go within 2km of either of the 49-year-olds.

Jason Francey, from Sydney‘s south, told Daily Mail Australia he could not recall ever naming Sales or Crabb in emails he sent to the ABC last year. 

‘I don’t think I named them, there were no threats whatsoever,’ the 50-year-old said.

Two trolls who bombarded the ABC with emails that were deemed threatening to Leigh Sales say they have nothing against the 7.30 host. One of the men, Jason Francey, is pictured outside his Sydney home

Two trolls who bombarded the ABC with emails that were deemed threatening to Leigh Sales say they have nothing against the 7.30 host. One of the men, Jason Francey, is pictured outside his Sydney home 

Leigh Sales, who announced in early February she would be leaving 7.30 after the federal election, said on Saturday she tried to ignore constant abuse on social media. She is pictured at Sunday night's Logie Awards on the Gold Coast

Leigh Sales, who announced in early February she would be leaving 7.30 after the federal election, said on Saturday she tried to ignore constant abuse on social media. She is pictured at Sunday night’s Logie Awards on the Gold Coast

Asked if there was any reason he would want to threaten the women, Francey said, ‘Nothing, they’re just journalists. They probably think they’re celebrities.’

Sales used a magazine interview last weekend to describe the extent of online trolling she experienced in her role fronting the national broadcaster’s nightly current affairs program.

She also said the vitriol directed at her took ‘a really hard toll on people close to me because I think they feel like they can’t protect me from it.’  

Sales, who announced in early February she would be leaving 7.30 after the federal election, said on Saturday she tried to ignore constant abuse on social media. 

‘The problem is, this kind of online ripping up of people can translate into real-life violence,’ she told Stellar. ‘I have two protective violence orders on me from random people who’ve made threats against me.

‘There have been others where police have looked at them and recommended certain courses of action.’

Jason Francey told Daily Mail Australia he could not recall ever naming Sales in emails he sent to the ABC last year. 'I don't think I named them, there were no threats whatsoever,' the 50-year-old said outside his home

Jason Francey told Daily Mail Australia he could not recall ever naming Sales in emails he sent to the ABC last year. ‘I don’t think I named them, there were no threats whatsoever,’ the 50-year-old said outside his home

Francey has been engaged in a workers compensation dispute for the past five years and suffers from clinical anxiety as well as depression.

He contacted the ABC’s website via email last year after watching a 4 Corners episode about workers compensation which had further heightened his anxiety level.

‘I sent them too many emails,’ Francey said. ‘That’s all. I was going through a lot of legal appointments at the time so it all just built up.

‘All I wanted to say is there’s problems with workers compensation.’

Francey could not explain why police took out an AVO to protect Crabb, who does not work on 7.30, or 4 Corners.  ‘I think because she’s a close friend [of Sales].’

‘It’s all a bit messed up. There were no threats. There’s no drama. I just want to move on. It’s all nonsense in the end.’ 

In October last year two-year orders were made preventing Francey from going within 2km of where Sales or Crabb live or work, including the ABC head office in Harris Street, Ultimo.

Police have in the past eight months taken out apprehended violence orders against two men to protect Sales (left). One of those men was also considered a threat to her friend and fellow ABC presenter Annabel Crabb (right)

Police have in the past eight months taken out apprehended violence orders against two men to protect Sales (left). One of those men was also considered a threat to her friend and fellow ABC presenter Annabel Crabb (right)

Early this year 52-year-old George Srbinovski pleaded guilty in Downing Centre Local Court to using a carriage service to menace/harass/offend Sales. 

The emails a ‘random’ sent about Leigh Sales

June 10, 2021, 7.51pm: ‘You have cemented the reason why you should be abolished… your whole office and show. 7.30 should be an unbiased public centric current affairs program. However, it is obvious that it is politically driven. You have gorged yourself enough on public money. For you, this is just an opinion and I welcome that.’

October 12, 2021, 7.39pm: ‘You gladly promote the use of Solar panels but what about what happens to the panels when they have lived out their use? Solar panels buried in our one sites. Let me make this clear… You are an extension of ABC policy and are a Credit Risk due to your conduct. Over time, your conduct has an obvious buyest and is a high risk to Australia’s sovereign existence. Let Australia ask for Leigh Sales when they can’t pay their mortgages because of her and her colleagues. But I rely on your hubris… it will gladly serve me. Thank you Leigh and the ABC.’

October 12, 2021, 8.12pm: ‘I’m glad that you all take my email with sustain.. and irrelevant. Thank you for making my job easy.’

October 12, 2021, 8.44pm: ‘Thank you for making it easy to follow you… Thanks again :-)’

Advertisement

Court documents show Srbinovski suffers from a range of issues including severe post traumatic stress syndrome. 

Over four months last year Srbinovski sent emails referring to Sales, 7.30 and the ABC to the national broadcaster’s website which were reproduced in a statement of facts tendered to court.

‘You have cemented the reason why you should be abolished… your whole office and show,’ he wrote on October 10 during an episode of the program. 

‘7.30 should be an unbiased public centric current affairs program. However, it is obvious that it is politically driven. You have gorged yourself enough on public money. For you, this is just an opinion and I welcome that.’  

On October 12, during another episode of 7.30, Srbinovski emailed the ABC with a bizarre rant about solar panels in which he described Sales as ‘an extension of ABC policy’.  

‘Over time, your conduct has an obvious buyest (bias) and is a high risk to Australia’s sovereign existence,’ he wrote. 

‘Let Australia ask for Leigh Sales when they can’t pay their mortgages because of her and her colleagues. But I rely on your hubris… it will gladly serve me. Thank you Leigh and the ABC.’

Later that night, when 7.30 had finished, Srbinovski wrote: ‘I’m glad that you all take my email with sustain.. and irrelevant. Thank you for making my job easy.’ 

Police deemed the last email Srbinvoski sent that evening had a more threatening tone. ‘Thank you for making it easy to follow you… ‘ he wrote. ‘Thanks again. :-)’

The next day, 7.30 producer Clay Hichens told Sales about the email referring to her potentially being followed.

‘Upon hearing the accused made a threat… the victim immediately felt alarmed, rattled and very fearful of the accused,’ the statement of facts said. ‘The victim was fearful for the physical safety of herself.’

Police were notified of the threat and executed a search warrant on Srbinvoski’s home where he was arrested on October 19. 

Sales said the online vitriol directed at her took 'a really hard toll on people close to me because I think they feel like they can't protect me from it.' She has often spoken out about the abuse prominent women endure

Sales said the online vitriol directed at her took ‘a really hard toll on people close to me because I think they feel like they can’t protect me from it.’ She has often spoken out about the abuse prominent women endure

He is unemployed, lives alone in a one-bedroom NSW Housing flat and is paid $456 a fortnight in government benefits.  

Srbinovski complied with an order to reveal his passwords so that police could access his electronic devices.  He also confirmed he had previously watched 7.30.    

In January he was released on condition he provide a $250 security and be of good behaviour for 12 months. He was also made the subject of a two-year apprehended violence order to protect Sales.

Srbinovski, who unsuccessfully appealed against the conviction in the District Court this month, politely declined to discuss the AVO when approached on Thursday.

Court documents reveal he had been mixing medication and alcohol when he wrote the nonsensical emails and had no memory of sending them.

Srbinovski wrote a letter to the sentencing magistrate in which he apologised to Sales for his actions and assured the court he presented no threat to her. 

Daily Mail Australia has previously revealed Srbinovski was cleared of a murder charge six years ago.    

Police had alleged he pushed a 50-year-old man in April 2016 at Tom Uren Square, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the footpath. The man later died.  

Before the man died, Srbinovski told a court he was ‘extremely remorseful about his actions’ and was ‘not someone who wants to inflict harm on anyone’.

The court heard Srbinovski had been in the vicinity of Tom Uren Square for a ‘peculiar’ reason: to ‘ingratiate himself’ with the disadvantaged in his community.

A murder charge was withdrawn in March 2019 and he was found not guilty of manslaughter two months later. There was a further not guilty verdict for an alternative charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Sales, who has presented 7.30 for almost 12 years, will be replaced on the program by long-time ABC employee Sarah Ferguson.    

Source

Related posts