The organiser behind the anti-lockdown protest that occurred in Sydney last month has now been sentenced to a maximum of eight months in prison, with a non-parole period of three months.
Anthony Khallouf (29) pleaded guilty to four counts of not complying with a direction relating to COVID-19, encouraging the commission of crimes, and false representation resulting in a police investigation – as reported by The Guardian.
Khallouf travelled from Queensland to NSW and was arrested at Hornsby Railway Station. The man, originally from Victoria, was also charged with incitement for allegedly helping to organise a protest in Melbourne last year.
According to police, the founder of Australians vs The Agenda was allegedly involved in another Sydney rally, which was due to take place this weekend.
“By and large, those people have been contrite for attending the first protest, so we certainly believe that they’ve heeded the message,” Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon told the ABC.
“But for those who haven’t, please know, we are prepared for tomorrow.
“Our police have done a lot of planning in preparation for this.
“We are certainly aware of the types of people and those people who are actually planning tomorrow.”
Last month, thousands of anti-lockdown protesters flocked to Sydney’s CBD. At the protest, NSW Police confirmed they charged 57 people and issued more than 90 infringement notices.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “disgusted” by last month’s illegal protest.
“The protestors have shown utter contempt for their fellow citizens who are currently doing it tough.”
“I want to thank the brave Police officers who put their own safety on the line to ensure the protest action ceased.
“This type of activity during lockdown will not be tolerated and the full force of the law will be brought against anyone who engages in this type of illegal activity.”
On Friday, it was announced that the Sydney lockdown would be extended until the end of September. This comes after NSW recorded 644 local COVID-19 cases and four deaths overnight.