An Adelaide man who downloaded a video of the Christchurch mosque massacre “out of curiosity” has escaped conviction because it could hurt his job prospects.
the main points:
- Justin Bassett pleaded guilty to possessing extremist material
- He downloaded a video of the Christchurch massacre two weeks after the attack
- Bassett was fined $1,250 plus court fees
Justin Robert Bassett, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of extremist material in Adelaide Magistrates Court today.
The court heard the father of one of the children who downloaded the video two weeks after the March 2019 massacre, but last saw the video in April of this year, prompting police to search his property.
Police confiscated Bassett’s computer and hard drives containing extremist materials and arrested him at his Surrey Downs home.
The court heard that Bassett claimed he hadn’t actually seen the video recently, but that he may have opened it while browsing through his computer folder.
Bassett’s attorney, Jason Evites, told the court that his client had no reasonable excuse for possession of the material but that he downloaded it as a “matter of curiosity”.
“He realized the enormity of accessing and owning these materials,” he said.
This man accepts that the circulated video contains disturbing content.
“He takes full responsibility for his actions.
Mr. Evitts asked Judge Simon Smart to spare his client a conviction because it might harm his prospects as a construction apprentice.
Bassett provided a letter of apology to the court and a number of personal references that called him a “good member of society” and “not advocate for that kind of thing.”
The court heard that he had no criminal history.
Judge Smart fined Bassett $1,250 plus police and court costs, but excused him from the conviction.
“You can understand how it would be a matter of great distress for the relatives of the dead and members of the public, wherever they are, they would have a problem with such material.
“You have obviously succumbed to the temptation to view the material in a foolish and thoughtless manner.”
Judge Smart said he is satisfied that Bassett has matured since the crime was committed and is unlikely to re-offend.
Possession of extremist material is punishable by two years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.