The Man Channel 7 Wrongly Identified As The Bondi Junction Killer Is Suing The Network

L: Ben Cohen misidentified as Bondi Killer. R: Photo of Channel Seven building

On Sunday, Channel Seven incorrectly labelled uni student Benjamin Cohen as the “lone wolf attacker” behind the Bondi Junction Westfield knife attack which led to six deaths

The 20-year-old has now acquired two top defamation lawyers to sue Seven and seek damages for the error, The Age reports. Patrick George of Giles George has been hired as his solicitor and Sue Chrysanthou SC as his barrister. 

On Wednesday morning, Cohen’s lawyers made their intent clear by issuing a concerns notice. This is a mandatory step that precedes a claim in court. 

George confirmed this, telling The Age: “I can confirm we have issued a concerns notice to Channel Seven today.” 

The lawyers didn’t give the publication further comment, but The Age claims sources say “it was a case of mistaken identity” and they “believe Seven will look to settle before going to court.”

What led to Benjamin Cohen’s misidentification as the Westfield attacker?

After a false statement that Cohen was the knife-wielding killer spread like wildfire on social media on Saturday night, Channel Seven took this information and ran with it. 

Seven named Cohen in a promo for Sunrise on their YouTube channel, describing him as “40-year-old lone-wolf attacker Benjamin Cohen”. 

NSW Police confirmed that Joel Cauchi was the man behind the Westfield murders on Sunday afternoon, many hours after Sunrise’s mistake. Police officer Inspector Amy Scott shot and killed Cauchi at the scene.

Earlier this week, Cohen told The Age that he was “extremely disappointed” by the entire situation. 

“It’s extremely disappointing to see thousands of people mindlessly propagating misinformation without even the slightest thought put to fact-checking or real-life consequences, and then using that information to push an agenda and spread hatred,” he said. 

“Channel Seven has informed me that they will be issuing a formal apology later today.”

Channel Seven building
Channel Seven has apologised for the error. (Image: Getty)

What has Channel 7 said?

Cohen and his father, Mark Cohen, told ABC Investigations that Seven had apologised, saying that the error was the fault of a junior social media editor.

However, Cohen’s father wasn’t pleased with the “subpar” response, saying Seven “haven’t measured up on any front”. 

A spokesperson for Seven issued a statement to Mediaweek, saying: “The mistake was human error. It was escalated immediately and rectified. Seven sincerely apologises for the error.”

PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Seven for comment.

Feature image: Facebook & Getty