A Canberra-based Muslim journalist has walked free from court after threatening to lure Christians to his house and behead them.
James Michael Waugh was arrested and charged last year with threatening to act with intent to cause public harm, using a carriage service to menace others and possessing a weapon to be used to kill.
According to prosecutor Rae-ann Khazam, Waugh spoke to a doctor while in custody and told them of his intention of “luring in potential victims to his house.”
“He also made it clear he would either engage in battle… making him a martyr or to make them look bad, ” Ms Khazam said.
“He indicated his use of a scimitar, depending on how many Christians turned up and whether they were armed.”
Waugh allegedly posted threats to Canberra’s House of Prayer Facebook page, saying: “I’m going to kill every single one of you dog polytheist c***s.”
ABC News reported that court documents revealed Waugh also allegedly wrote in a group chat, detailing his intent to behead Christians.
“I have issued threats, along with my name and address, to every coward dog church in Canberra,” he wrote. “If you know someone with balls send them along. I’ve bought a scimitar and intend to cut their heads off in my front yard as a reprisal.”
Waugh also reportedly said, “The only good Trinitarian is a dead one.”
According to the Canberra Times, Waugh’s defence lawyer argued that he did not pose an immediate threat to the community and the fact that he possessed religious beliefs did not translate to acting upon them.
In the Magistrates Court, Waugh pleaded guilty to two counts of making threats to kill, before receiving a suspended sentence and walking free from court.
Magistrate Bernadette Boss said it was not a terrorist crime, rather a hate-based offence.
“It certainly has at its heart religious extremism, intolerance and hatred,” she said.
According to ABC News, “A key part of [the] sentencing was a psychiatric report on Waugh compiled soon after the crimes, which suggested he was at high risk of acting on his religious beliefs, which Magistrate Boss described as ‘exceptionally disturbing.’
“But his lawyer Helen Hayunga told the court he had improved greatly after receiving treatment while in custody and later in the community after he was freed on bail.”
She said there was no sign the earlier conduct would be reported.
Waugh will serve a three-year good behaviour order.