Man found guilty of possessing extremist material has ‘experienced social condemnation’ from community – Michmutters

Man found guilty of possessing extremist material has ‘experienced social condemnation’ from community

Lawyers for a Riverland man in possession of a white supremacy manifesto authored by the Christchurch mass shooter have told a court his multicultural community have “socially condemned” him.

Aidhan Kenneth Cooling, 28, will be sentenced in the Adelaide Magistrates Court next month after pleading guilty to possessing extremist material.

Prosecutor Jillian Lieschke today told Magistrate John Wells that police attended his Loxton property to check on firearms when they noticed books about German expansion and Adolf Hitler on a shelf.

“The accused police told his ideology was right-wing regarding race, and he was anti-government in relation to COVID directions,” she said.

She told the court that Cooling told police he met an elderly German man through his church, who left him possessions, including the books, when he died.

The court heard Cooling told police he “got bored” reading the Christchurch massacre manifesto and could not remember watching the video.

Ms Lieschke said Cooling also had Nazi memorabilia, literature and items with the Swastika on it, including a flag and a shirt.

“Right-wing, supremacist messages and material were located on his devices,” she said.

Manifestos incite hatred

The court heard Cooling also had a white supremacy manifesto, which has been used to influence attacks all over the world, including the Christchurch mass shooting in 2019.

Ms Lieschke said it was also used to inspire an attack on a 2011 youth summer camp in Norway, on a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 and helped influence the 2022 Buffalo supermarket shooting in the US.

The four attacks have claimed a combined 155 lives.

A large building with columns facing the street
Magistrates John Wells says possessing extremist material is a serious offence.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

Mr Wells said Cooling had not been charged with anything other than possessing the documents, but understood the background was important for sentencing.

“The point you’re making is that this is not trivial, and the manifesto has been used by very dangerous and violent men and I should not treat it as a bit of political theatre,” he said.

“It is very serious and can be used as a justification for catastrophic violence.”

Ms Lieschke agreed, saying other members of the community need to be deterred from possessing these manifestos which incite hatred and violence.

Cooling disavows right-wing ideas

Jason Evitats, for Cooling, told the court his client had matured since his arrest and had experienced “social condemnation” by the Riverland community, which is multicultural.


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