News State NSW News Inmate allegedly wanted to blow up Sydney’s City to Surf

Inmate allegedly wanted to blow up Sydney’s City to Surf

The man allegedly said during a conversation in prison he wanted to bomb the City to Surf fun run. Photo: Dean Lewins/AAP
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A Sydney court has heard an inmate wanted to blow up the City to Surf fun run, bomb a police station and behead a person in public after his release from prison later this month.

The allegations against the 28-year-old were revealed as the NSW Government made its first-ever application in the Supreme Court for a Continuing Detention Order (CDO) under a new counter-terror law.

If successful, the prisoner would be kept behind bars beyond the expiration of his sentence.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been serving time at Goulburn Correctional Centre for non-terror offences and is due for release on June 20.

The state alleges he has shown sympathy for Islamic State while behind bars and has spoken of his wish to carry out lone wolf attacks in Sydney.

He allegedly flagged Australia’s biggest fun run, the City to Surf in Sydney, as a “good” target, partly due to the Prime Minister’s presence.

“I can’t wait for this country to be bombed. If I had my choice I would choose the City to Surf,” he allegedly said in a conversation recorded in prison.

“I reckon the City to Surf would be a good place to blow up. Turnbull will be there.”

He also allegedly made threats against a police station in Sydney’s west.

“I’m going to blow up Holroyd Police Station and that f—–g officer.

“I swear as soon as I get out, I will bomb it.”

Difference between ‘angry person’ and risk: court hears

The 28-year-old had also mentioned inflicting violence on a member of the public, said the NSW Government’s barrister John Agius SC.

“There are a number of references to beheading people and we draw a connection between beheading and terrorist activity overseas,” Mr Agius said.

“There is a temporal connection between when the defendant first started making statements, which could be described as in a terrorism context, and things happening overseas with the rise of ISIS.”

In a conversation with his wife three months ago, it is alleged the inmate said he wanted to hold a blade to a prison officer’s neck so he could be sent to the Supermax section of Goulburn prison, where convicted terrorists are housed.

“He does express a wish to be in Supermax so he can be with them,” Mr Agius told the court.

The inmate’s barrister, Matt Johnston SC, told the court that while his client was recorded making some statements, there is a dispute about some of the transcripts and what his client’s intentions were.

“There are live issues into firstly the transcript and whether or not what’s alleged to be said was in fact said,” Mr Johnston said.

“There is a difference between an angry, frustrated person and a person who is an unacceptable risk.”

Mr Johnston suggested his client should be subjected to an Extended Supervision Order after his sentence expires, which would involve strict supervision and monitoring by an electronic anklet.

The court heard the inmate is currently facing other charges and may be kept in prison beyond June 20 for those matters. But if that happens, the CDO would begin after the completion of any additional sentence.

Justice Natalie Adams has reserved her decision but indicated she will make it before June 20.