Eden Creek man Keith Knights.
Eden Creek man Keith Knights.

'Terrorist manual' or 'teenage boys' manual for mayhem'?

UPDATE, 3pm: A MAN accused of encouraging people to murder police allegedly had material akin to a "terrorist manual" in his possession, a court has hear.

But Keith Knights' defence has argued the material - which police allege they found in executing a search warrant - was more like a "teenage boys' manual for mayhem".

The disagreement was raised as part of Knights' judge-only trial before Lismore District Court on Friday.

Mr Knights, 39, from Eden Creek near Kyogle, has pleaded not guilty to soliciting, encouraging, persuading or attempting to persuade a person to murder a police officer and the alternate charge of sending a document threatening death or actual bodily harm.

Judge Warwick Hunt this week granted a bid for the case to be heard before him, without a jury, on the basis that the defence of mental illness would be raised.

But defence barrister Jason Watts has since told the court he would also argue prosecutors couldn't prove his client's requisite intent.

Central to the allegations are a 40-minute video Mr Knights posted to Facebook in November, 2017.

The Crown prosecutor explained how much of the recording saw the accused express strong views about "public justice officials in the Northern Rivers area", including allegations of corruption and illegal behaviour.

In the video, Mr Knights said: "I encourage you to take up arms, be they pen and paper or be they actual arms and legs", the court heard

He spoke of "excellent locations for ambush" and said "when they (the police) come for their cut or their bunch of chemicals you have every right as free citizens to ambush them and kill them".

The court heard Mr Knights also said: "I think it's time to castrate the pigs, let's start with their cars", while police found the index of a "cook book", which police allege is a terrorist manual, which referred to methods such as "how to blow a car to hell".

The prosecutor said this, and other evidence before the court, would prove the allegations but Mr Watts argued his client was referring to a person's right to act in self-defence if they were being attacked.

"It's not an incitement or a solicitation to murder," Mr Watts said.

Mr Watts said his client's expressions of remorse and assertions during police interviews that he had no intent to incite actual violence were at odds with the allegations before the court.

The trial will be briefly mentioned on Monday to set a date for its formal continuation.

 

Original story: THE prosecution and defence are working to decide which material should be tendered in the judge-only trial of a man facing serious charges.

Keith Knights, 39, has pleaded not guilty to soliciting, encouraging or persuading a person to murder a police officer and the alternate charge of sending a document threatening death or actual bodily harm.

The Eden Creek man, who has been in custody since December 2017, appeared briefly before Lismore District Court by video link from Long Bay Hospital this morning.

Defence barrister Jason Watts told the court they were trawling through documents related to the case, with the prosecution, to narrow down those that should be tendered to the court and read by Judge Warwick Hunt.

"We've got potentially voluminous material obtained by (police)," Mr Watts said.

"The difficulty we're having is attempting to summarise that in a way that is neutral and accurate or burden your honour with the material that is voluminous."

The Crown prosecutor said they had resolved one issue, relating to confusion around a particular psychiatric report relating to the accused.

But he asked Judge Hunt for more time before the trial gets under way.

Judge Hunt agreed to give the parties further time.

The case will return to court later today.