Kyogle man Keith Knights.
Kyogle man Keith Knights.

Magistrate tells accused: 'I'll simply mute you'

A KYOGLE man charged over a 40 minute Facebook rant in which he allegedly urged people to 'ambush and kill' police has been scolded by a magistrate for disrespectful behaviour.

Keith Knights, 37, remains behind bars after his arrest in December, charged with soliciting to murder and sending a document threatening death or grievous bodily harm.

When Knights appeared before Lismore Local Court via video link from Cessnock prison this morning, he immediately breached protocol by referring to Magistrate David Heilpern by his name, instead of "Your Honour".

"I can hear you, David Heilpern," he said when asked if the video link was working properly.

Magistrate Heilpern wasn't impressed.

"I have a button here Mr Knights and it's a mute button, and in court I'm to be referred to as Your Honour.

"If you refer to me by name I'll simply mute you, and you will not be heard... or hear what is happening.

"You can refer to me as Your Honour or you can remain silent... that's why you have a lawyer."

Mr Knights then agreed to be quiet.

The court heard from DPP prosecutor Alanna Coxon who said the analysis of the accused's phone, iPad, and an old computer had been completed and police were now analysing a second computer.

But Mr Knights' solicitor Rachel Thomas told the court the brief of evidence was still outstanding including nine statements from police officers.

"I don't think the matter can progress in terms of a formal negotiation process without that (brief)," she told the court.

Magistrate Heilpern said he would adjourn the matter until May 8, when Mr Knights spoke up again from the video screen.

"I object to that... it doesn't take 4 months to download a hard drive," he said.

This time Magistrate Heilpern allowed the interruption, agreeing with the accused that the matter was taking too long.

Unfortunately he said a four month wait for computer evidence was "about the normal".

Mr Knights is a director of an Eden Creek bush regeneration initiative called the "Klyoogle Project" promoted as "part of a larger vision to assist with a national vision of food and water security".

He came to the attention of the NSW Police Fixated Persons Investigation Unit after he is alleged to have livestreamed a video to Facebook accusing police of corruption and encouraging others to "take up arms" against them.

According to the prosecution, Mr Knights said: "There are several locations around the Shire, around the Northern Rivers, which would make excellent locations for an ambush".

"You have every right as free citizens to ambush them and to kill them," he is also alleged to have said 

Police also allege he so allegedly posted the video on his personal Facebook page, and shared them to other Facebook groups.

The matter returns to Lismore Local Court on May 8.



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