Confronting moment top doctor is screamed at by a rowdy crowd of anti-vaxxers as she avoids having to give evidence against them in court
- A group of anti-vaxxers shouted ‘shame’ at top SA doctor Nicola Spurrier
- Lawyers for AFLW player Deni Varnhagen issued the professor with a subpoena
- Varnhagen lost her nursing and football jobs for refusing a Covid-19 vaccination
- Judge ruled Professor Spurrier did not have to testify in the case
A top doctor has had to be escorted by police through an angry, ranting mob of anti-vaxxers.
As South Australia’s chief health officer Nicola Spurrier arrived at the District Court building in Adelaide on Thursday, a group carrying anti-vax signs shouted ‘shame’ and called for her to be prosecuted.
The legal team of anti-vax AFLW player Deni Varnhagen had issued Professor Spurrier with a subpoena which required her to attend court on Thursday morning.
But the professor avoided being forced to give evidence in Ms Varnhagen’s legal challenge to South Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine requirements.
South Australia’s chief health officer Nicola Spurrier (pictured centre) had to be escorted by police through an angry, ranting mob of anti-vaxxers on Thursday
After the judge ruled Professor Spurrier was not required to give evidence in the case, she left the court where she was met again by the angry protesters.
She was surrounded by police officers as she hurried to a waiting car while anti-vaxxers hurled abuse at her.
‘Professor, is the modelling wrong?’ one shouted at her, amid pushing and shouting.
‘Run!’ roared another as the car she was in drove off.
One of the protestors can also be heard shouting out what seemed to be an anti-gay slur.
Ms Varnhagen’s legal team had applied to the Supreme Court to require Professor Spurrier to give evidence about what information she relied on in her role advising the state emergency coordinator during the pandemic.
Lawyers for the Adelaide Crows midfielder, who is also a nurse, told the court the application was not an effort to grandstand or ‘turn the court into some kind of royal commission’.
They said any cross examination of the professor would be conducted with ‘the utmost courtesy’.
AFLW player Deni Varnhagen (pictured in white top) arrives at court with supporters in Adelaide. She and five others are challenging South Australia’s vaccine mandates in the Supreme Court
But SA government lawyers argued an application requiring her to give evidence should not be allowed as it was taking place against her will and would not add any additional expert evidence.
Justice Judy Hughes rejected the application on Thursday.
‘I’ve determined there is no relevant evidence that Professor Spurrier can give on the grounds that have been asserted,’ she said.
Justice Hughes said reasons for the decision would be provided at a later date.
A group of anti-vaxxers (pictured) mobbed South Australia’s chief health officer Nicola Spurrier and shouted abuse at her
The legal case is challenging the state’s vaccine requirements for healthcare workers, including Ms Varnhagen.
She has had to work as a labourer after losing both her nursing and football jobs for refusing a Covid-19 vaccination, the court was told.
The decision to impose the vaccination mandate for state health workers and other public sector employers was made under the SA Emergency Management Act.
AFLW player Deni Varnhagen (pictured centre) has had to work as a labourer after losing both her nursing and football jobs for refusing a Covid-19 vaccination
Ms Varnhagan says she has received no nursing shifts since November 2021 after refusing vaccination despite receiving text messages asking for all eligible nursing staff to help fill shortages.
The Crows also shifted Ms Varnhagen to the inactive list after she refused to be vaccinated.
Ms Varnhagen has been joined in the matter by several other people.