Anti-Islam activist mistakes Koran for Bible
FAR-RIGHT activist Neil Erikson says he is a forklift driver who doesn't know much about the law, but a lawyer for his former employer has accused him of lying in court.
Erikson appeared yesterday before the Federal Circuit Court, where he is being pursued for contempt after breaching court orders by failing to hand back uniform items to his previous employer, Toll.
The anti-Islam activist also picked up a Koran as he prepared to give sworn evidence by providing a religious oath on Monday, before he picked up the Bible when court staff pointed out the difference.
The convicted stalker and racial vilifier said he had already thrown the uniform items out.
"I admit that I did not return them," he told Judge Suzanne Jones. "I discarded them."
Toll Transport took Erikson to court in December because he kept wearing their uniform in inflammatory videos involving far right groups United Patriots Front and Patriot Blue.
Judge Jones then ordered the unemployed forklift driver to return several Toll uniform items and remove any videos and photos where he is seen wearing a Toll uniform.
Erikson stopped working for Toll in 2014 but worked for them again in Tasmania in 2017 before being sacked.
But he and his associates have continued wearing the Toll uniform in videos and at events, most recently during a brawl in Kensington outside a speaking event by controversial British commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
Erikson was also wearing a fluoro orange and green Toll polo shirt when he and others ambushed Senator Sam Dastyari at a book launch in November and called the Iranian-born Labor politician a "terrorist".
The anti-Islam protester, who is representing himself, said Toll was bullying him.
"I think personally they're trying to break me down," he told the court. Erikson also told the court he was "just a forklift driver" with a year 8-level education who did not understand the court process and all the documents he had received from Toll.
But counsel for Toll Myles Tehan said Erikson had been on notice about wearing his former work uniform since August - before Toll started Federal Circuit Court action.
"In my submission, the court ought to be very, very wary of taking any uncorroborated evidence of Mr Erikson at face value," the barrister said. "He has a willingness to say whatever he thinks might help his cause at the time." While defending his breaches, Erikson revealed he and friend Ricky Turner had been charged over a clash with demonstrators outside Mr Yiannopoulos' show on December 4.
He said police had seized his phone because of those charges, which meant he was unable to access his email and receive important court documents. Erikson also picked up the Koran as he prepared to give sworn evidence on Monday by providing a religious oath, before he chose the Bible when court staff pointed out the difference.