The neo-Nazis narrowly escaped prison despite being convicted of “disgusting” assaults on Channel Nine’s security guards outside the network’s headquarters.
WARNING: This article contains racist language.
- Thomas Sewell sentenced to 150 hours of community service for attack on security guard at Channel Nine headquarters
- Sewell is a prominent member of the white supremacist movement.
- Justice of the Peace said Sewell would have been sent to prison if he hadn’t had a criminal record
Thomas Anthony Sewell, 29, was convicted of attacking a security guard and “terrorizing” bystanders, Magistrate Stephen Ballek said.
When Sewell arrived in court on Thursday, he told reporters he had expected to be sent to prison, but was eventually cleared of a prison sentence for the attack.
“The crime was disgusting to watch on video. Seeing it live would have been worse,” Barek said.
He said that without a criminal record, Sewell would have been sent to prison.
Instead, Sewell was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and recorded a conviction.
Sewell is a prominent member of the white supremacist movement, closely monitored by counter-terrorism officials, and was the subject of a news story that aired in early 2021.
Sewell and a friend, Jacob Harsant, headed to the Nine headquarters to confront a journalist on current affairs. Instead, they were told to leave by security, and the situation escalated when Mr. Haasant made racial slurs against black security guards.
“Dance monkey, dance,” said Mr. Haasant.
“Be careful, I’m not a dancing monkey,” replied the guard.
When a guard put his hand on Mr. Haasant’s shoulder, Sewell launched a ferocious attack, delivering several punches to the victim’s face, causing the victim to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground.
Justice Barek said the man “didn’t have time to defend himself” but couldn’t find beyond reasonable suspicion that Sewell’s attack was racially motivated. Stated.
Sewell said the attack had nothing to do with race. He also said he acted in self-defense — a claim denied by the court.
Prosecutors sought Sewell to be imprisoned, but Sewell, 29, asked for mercy, saying he had no criminal record and that imprisonment would harm his fiancée, who is 36 weeks pregnant.
“I plead not guilty. I am very happy to have been fined. It is reasonable,” Sewell told the court.
On Thursday, Sewell was upheld in court by former United Patriot Front leader Blair Cottrell, who was previously convicted of anti-Muslim hate crimes.
Outside the courtroom, Sewell addressed reporters before giving a Nazi salute and walking away.
He is due in county court later this year on another issue.