State of NSW v Mathers [2019] NSWSC 7

After police were asked to check on the welfare of the defendant, they found prohibited weapons, and a very large volume of written material to do with the so-called Sovereign Citizen Movement, which included a lengthy article about how to make booby traps, and manufacture plastic explosives, and firearms by use of a 3D printer. Police made enquiries about the online and other activity of the defendant, and discovered that he had purchased a commercial pressure cooker to make an improvised explosive device constructed from a pressure cooker. He sent letters containing death threats to a government minister, along with documents that provide a purported analysis of the Australian Constitution, consistent with the approach of the Movement to such matters.

In State of NSW v Mathers [2019] NSWSC 7 the court imposed an interim supervision order upon Mr John Mathers (a pseudonym for the defendant), pursuant to the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW).

Click to access state-of-nsw-v-mathers-2019-nswsc-7.pdf

Subsequently, the ISO was renewed at least once. In State of NSW v Mathers (No 2) [2019] NSWSC 473 the matter returned a final hearing of the application of the imposition of an extended supervision order (an ESO) of three years’ duration upon the defendant pursuant to s 34(2) of the same Act, as the plaintiff was precluded, in the circumstances that pertained since the imposition of the ISO, from seeking any more restrictive order, as there were no fresh criminal charges, no alleged breaches of the very strict conditions of the ISO; or indeed no suggestion of even any friction between the defendant and those who have been supervising him. But despite his plea of guilty in the past, and the seemingly undisputed presence of a DNA profile matching the profile of the defendant on the adhesive tape of the envelope upon which the threats were typed, he now maintains his innocence of that offence, claiming he was more or less forced by his then lawyer to plead guilty in the Local Court to the matter. As for the DNA material, his thesis is apparently that he was in the habit of handing out material derived from the Sovereign Citizen Movement to persons who visited his jewellery business, and that he did so in envelopes.

The court rejected this proposition and made an order pursuant to ss 20, 25(1) and 26 of the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 (NSW) that the defendant be subject to an extended supervision order (“the extended supervision order”) for a period of two years from the date of the order.

Click to access state-of-nsw-v-mathers-no-2-2019-nswsc-473.pdf