Vic extremist seeks emails re LGBTI police

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Far-right extremist Neil Erikson is seeking internal police emails regarding the deployment of LGBTI officers to deal with his homophobic outburst in a Melbourne church.

Erikson marched into the queer-friendly Metropolitan Community Church in Hawthorn in May 2019 and hurled homophobic abuse.

He live-streamed the incident, in which he asked the congregation if they "married Sodomites" and said "you're not Christians you're a bunch of f*****s".

Erikson was found guilty of disturbing a religious service, with magistrate Angela Bolger describing his conduct as shameful and appalling.

In July 2021 he was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail, but has launched an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

At a videolink hearing in Victoria's County Court on Thursday, the Office of Public Prosecutions objected to his bid to access internal police emails regarding the deployment of officers who identify as LGBTI.

The bid was part of an attempt to show that the police response to the incident was politically motivated and was not a proper basis for seeking documents, Willem Drent for the OPP told the court.

But Erikson complained that obtaining police records for his appeal had been "kinda like pulling teeth," because some of the officers involved had provided little documentation of their work on his case.

"I find it amazing that none of these officers have any notes," he said.

He said it was not until a month after the incident that anyone complained to police about it, which suggested to him that authorities had pressured witnesses.

"Maybe the police went up to them and said I'm a bad guy," he told the court.

Erikson said he wanted to read a string of police emails titled "Urgent: right wing extremist", which he believed would also show the police had not been objective.

But Chief Judge Peter Kidd told him that being labelled an extremist was a distraction and a furphy, and not an element of the offence he had been convicted of.

"What matters is what occurred on the day, not whether you can be described as a far-right extremist," he said.

Judge Kidd said he needed to be satisfied that Erikson had been provided with all of the police notes relevant to his case.

Erikson, who remains on bail, also intends to rely on the constitution as part of his appeal.

The hearing has been adjourned until Monday.

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