Far-right identity spared jail for threats | Western Magazine
A white nationalist party associate whose threats against a journalist included cutting him to a pulp has been spared a prison sentence.
Nathan Jacob Sykes was instead sentenced to a 19-month intensive correctional order which includes completing 150 hours of community service.
Judge Gina O’Rourke handed down the sentence in the NSW District Court on Friday, finding the offenses to be just below average seriousness.
The 53-year-old Sydney man previously told the court that the victim had ‘invited’ his offence, describing the reporter as ‘nothing but a fly that I keep swatting’.
He pleaded guilty to using a transport service to threaten serious harm to Melbourne freelance investigative journalist Luke McMahon in 2017 and 2018.
Sykes, who has been involved with the Australia First Party since 2014, also admitted to using the service to threaten, harass or offend.
His voicemails containing violent threats and profane abuse followed a 2017 newspaper article by Mr McMahon that made allegations about Sykes.
Calling him “my little pukey Lukey”, Sykes said “I will absolutely destroy you” and his people in Melbourne will “pull you to a pulp”.
“You’re out of your league, you’re dead,” he said.
Sykes also said he had people watching in front of his house and that Mr McMahon “was going to be in for a big surprise”.
The next day he left a message saying “too bad you weren’t home but at least we know where you live”.
The court previously heard testimony from Australia’s first president James Saleam, who said he visited Mr McMahon’s residence in Melbourne in March 2018.
He was with another person who had a video camera, but no one answered the door.
“I intended to speak with Mr. McMahon to get some comments that would be part of an article I intended to post on YouTube,” he said.
He said he left a business card in the mailbox, saying “best wishes to you and your journalistic fabrications”.
He denied that the purpose of the visit had been to intimidate.
Sykes told his sentencing hearing that Mr McMahon had been ‘harassing’ him for years and had threatened him.
At the time of the voicemails – which he could not recall – he said he was having panic attacks and a heavy study workload.
He said he also felt in extreme danger after another man stabbed his throat outside his home and called him a Nazi.
When asked if he thought Mr McMahon deserved the offense, Sykes replied “he encouraged him, he invited him”.
Although he said he was not claiming Mr McMahon was connected to the stabbing incident, “it wouldn’t surprise me”.
Sykes also told the judge he would not be involved in similar offenses again because “I have no intention of ever falling into that trap.”
Australian Associated Press