Parramatta court security cited by judge

·1-min read

An accused terror offender who is a quadriplegic will face his trial in Parramatta after a judge was unwilling to move the matter to a Sydney Supreme Court due to security risks.

Tukiterangi Lawrence, 26, was formally arraigned in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday on two charges of preparing or planning a terrorist act, the first between December 2017 and May 2019 in Sydney.

The second charge dated between September 2019 and October 2019 is alleged to have occurred while he was held in Goulburn's supermax prison.

The wheelchair-bound man appeared via audio-visual link and pleaded not guilty to both charges before Justin Helen Wilson.

Defence barrister Madeleine Avenell SC requested the trial be moved to a court in Sydney to accommodate her availability and the prosecutor did not oppose this.

Justice Wilson acknowledged Lawrence posed no security risk but refused to move the trial from Parramatta.

"These sorts of cases attract attention from others ... and those random others the court may need to be concerned about security," she said.

"We just can't guarantee everyone's security in Sydney ... (it is) much easier to do in Parramatta."

Dubbed "Fort Knox" when it first opened in 2008, the high-security court complex in Parramatta includes a glassed-in dock room where the accused sit.

The trial due to begin in February 2023 is expected to last eight weeks, after Ms Avenell said her client being a quadriplegic may need special accommodation.

"That may impact upon the extent to which we can sit each day," she said.

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