James Ashby and Brian Burston. Picture: Peter Lorimer
James Ashby and Brian Burston. Picture: Peter Lorimer

Ashby cleared of Burston’s assault allegations

Exclusive: Pauline Hanson's chief of staff James Ashby has been cleared of all assault allegations made by the now deposed United Australia Party Senator Brian Burston.

The Australian Federal Police have written to Mr Ashby's lawyer Danny Eid informing him "there is insufficient evidence for any charges to be laid..." over an alleged scuffle at Parliament House in February.

The letter also stated the investigation is now finalised.

Mr Eid told News Corp that Mr Ashby was always confident he would be cleared.

"The allegations against him were false. The AFP conducted a thorough investigation and found there was insufficient evidence," said Mr Eid.

 

James Ashby at Toronto Local Court opposing the AVO taken out on him. Picture: Peter Lorimer.
James Ashby at Toronto Local Court opposing the AVO taken out on him. Picture: Peter Lorimer.

 

Senator Burston, who lost his seat at the federal election earlier this month, claimed Mr Ashby had assaulted him and his wife at Parliament House in February.

The news that Mr Ashby had been cleared came as he appeared in a Central Coast court in relation to an application for an apprehended violence order made by Senator Burston.

The AVO application relates mainly to alleged isolated verbal comments made last year. Mr Ashby is opposing the application.

 

James Ashby at Toronto Local Court. Picture: Natalie O'Brien
James Ashby at Toronto Local Court. Picture: Natalie O'Brien

 

Mr Eid told the court on Tuesday an attempt at mediation regarding the AVO had been unsuccessful.

He is also arguing that a NSW court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the AVO application because the alleged incidents occurred in Canberra.

Senator Burston did not appear in court. The court has previously been told Senator Burston and his wife had been living in fear of Mr Ashby.

 

Senator Brian Burston at Toronto Court back in April. Picture: Peter Lorimer.
Senator Brian Burston at Toronto Court back in April. Picture: Peter Lorimer.

 

James Ashby at Toronto Local Court where he was cleared. Picture: Peter Lorimer.
James Ashby at Toronto Local Court where he was cleared. Picture: Peter Lorimer.

 

The AVO application has been adjourned until next month.

Senator Burston was elected to the Senate as a member of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party.

After a bitter split with Ms Hanson, he joined Clive Palmer's United Australia Party.

As of July 1, he will no longer have a seat in parliament.

Senator Burston has been contacted for comment.