An Australian actor has impersonated and insulted the friends and family of 10-year-old Thalia Hakin – who was one of the six-victims to perish in the Bourke Street massacre last month – in a series of phone calls and videos.
Neighbours and Underbelly bit-part actor Peter Kusznir was reportedly instructed by police to pull down at least three lengthy videos where he recorded phone calls to two Melbourne hospitals before uploading audio of the conversations to his YouTube channel – of which he has more than 18,000 subscribers.
The keen conspiracy theorist claims the Bourke Street attack never took place and that 'no car went down Bourke Street,' reports News.com.au
A number of other videos posted online Kusznir vilify victims of the crash and claim that witnesses were paid actors.
Kusznir took the videos down after a request from police, however other internet users have posted them back online.
Audio that Kusznir originally posted on YouTube shows him phoning Royal Melbourne Hospital on January 30 pretending to be a friend of Thalia’s mother Natalie – who is still injured in hospital.
'An old friend of mine is apparently in the Royal Melbourne Hospital and I was just wondering when visiting hours were,' he tells the receptionist.
'I'm not sure what condition she's in as she's been there for about a week now.'
The nurse informs him Natalie has been transferred to another hospital, before transferring him where he tries once more to convince staff that he is a friend of Ms Hakin.
The operator asks for his name but he initially refuses, before saying that his name is Peter.
She then transfers him to the head nurse on Ms Hakin's ward, who explains that she cannot give out visiting hours until he reveals his full name.
Growing frustrated, Mr Kusznir says: 'What's the big secret? She was involved in a terrible tragedy. I'm just being kind and want to visit her and give her flowers.'
When the nurse again refuses to provide more details, he adds: 'Excuse me, but I think she's a fraud and that she's not even injured. She's a fraud.'
The nurse then hangs up.
Mr Kusznir has not been arrested or charged.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said: 'A personal safety order was issued yesterday against an Ardeer man following the publication of a number of videos on a social media site. The videos relate to the Bourke Street Mall incident.
'The man will appear at Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on February 6 in relation to the matter.
'Police are aware the publication of these videos has caused significant distress to the victims.'