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Neo-Nazi sentenced to jail for attack on anti-racist’s house

Media Release

Desmond Liddington, a neo-Nazi extremist who pleaded guilty to his part in the attack on the home of Black Lives Matter activist Padraic ‘Paddy’ Gibson, in 2021, has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail with a non-parole period of 18 months.

Liddington was sentenced in the Sutherland local court, yesterday, 6 February, for his role in the 2021 house attack. He was one of three men who attacked Gibson’s Arncliffe home on 4 December 2021. The men, dressed in clothing with nationalist insignia, ripped a security screen off a front window and smashed in the glass.

All three men have been charged over the attack on Gibson’s house. Liddington’s co-accused, Max Ferrer, pleaded guilty and recently received a non-custodial sentence. The third man has pleaded not guilty and will face trial on 21 March, 2023.

In sentencing, the Magistrate specifically noted that the offence was “motivated by hatred or prejudice” indicating that the offences were more serious, and should be judged as “race/hate crimes”.

Liddington and his co-accused were described as being members of Firm 22 “who hold extreme right-wing views and adhere to white supremacist ideology.” The Magistrate found there was “a degree of planning behind the attack” and they had “committed crimes based on their right-wing beliefs.” Liddington was identified as the leader of Firm 22.

Anti-fascist organisations believe that Liddington’s group, Firm 22, was also behind the attacks on homeless Indigenous people in Sydney in 2021.

“This case has exposed the existence of a violent neo-Nazi street gang, Firm 22, that is actively recruiting and is confident to carry out attacks here in Sydney, with a membership base up and down the coast,” said Gibson.

“They pose a serious danger to anyone who doesn’t conform to their fantasy of White Australia and must be shut down. It’s good that Liddington has faced a jail sentence for what was obviously a race/hate crime. But strong sentences will not be enough to deal with the threat of the far right.”

“In recent weeks, Premier Dominic Perrottet has stated that it was ‘pleasing’ to see that climate activist Violet Coco had been sentenced to 15 months in prison for peacefully blocking a road. But Liddington’s co-accused Max Ferrer was recently given a non-custodial sentence for the violent and destructive attack on our house.

“Where is Perrottet’s condemnation and call for action against the far-right thugs that have grown in confidence under his government?

“Neo-nazi groups have been able to grow in Australia because of the political environment created by racist policy and rhetoric coming from conservative politicians. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant racism has been a cornerstone of conservative politics for decades.

Ten Jewish headstones in a South Maitland cemetery were spray-painted with the Nazi symbol just last weekend, while neo-Nazis were recorded giving the Nazi salute on Elwood beach in Victoria in January this year.

“Aboriginal people are subject to dehumanising policies like the NT Intervention, while the Black Lives Matter movement has been demonised. Aboriginal people continue to die in custody without those responsible being held to account,” Gibson added.

“Everyone must remain vigilant. We haven’t let this attack stop our ongoing efforts to fight racism. Support from our multicultural neighbourhood, our friends, family, colleagues and union workmates, including efforts to fundraise for security upgrades on our house, has been amazing. We express solidarity with all victims of far right violence, particularly people of colour and LGTBI people.”


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  2. Canguro

    The contrast between the climate activist Violet Coco’s sentence and this thug mentioned above and his henchmen is striking. If this is the approach to dealing with actual violence, thuggery, intimidation, racism… all ugly and damaging acts of antisocial origin and regressive endeavour to institute and deepen racist white national aggressive behaviour towards those that ‘look different’ in our multicultural society, cf how we manage the deep concerns of citizens who are genuinely alarmed about the manifest lack of response to the burgeoning climate crisis, then, Houston, we have a problem.

    No-one’s arguing that the courts of justice are fair and balanced, but seriously? Commit an act of violent thuggery and get sent home with a slap on the wrist? Cry in pain over the destruction of the planet and lack of action to minimise & phase out fossil fuels and get sent to prison?

    [flubs lips, shakes head in disbelief]

  3. Michael Taylor

    Thanks for that, Roy. I appreciate you picking it up (especially before I totally embarrassed myself sharing the post all over Facebook).

    What was I thinking? Three typos in one heading. 🤦🏻‍♂️


    Often the pedants (yes….include me in as opposed to include me out of that group) sometimes lose interest in the content and it is so important that the message you are sending is read and seen as important.That was my only reason.

  5. pierre wilkinson

    a sad indictment on the “justice” system and media bias in this country, when a violent extremist thug is allowed to walk out of court whereas a sincere protestor is given an egregious sentence for inconveniencing people,
    so what does this say of our lawmakers?
    maybe it is not just at 21st birthday parties that they like to dress up?

  6. Fred

    You think this is bad,you should live in Ukraine

  7. margcal

    Or an ill Aborinal woman accused of shoplifting, not given bail and dying in her cell of active neglect.

  8. Clakka

    Custodial sentencing is one thing – and in this case it appears less than adequate, nevertheless, in prison he will likely make and possibly ‘convert’ new associates. I also question whether and how consorting laws apply in such cases.

    There is no doubt in my mind that this is a case of ‘domestic’ terrorism. As such, why is it not considered that he and his co-convicted be sentenced to mandatory de-programming and monitoring? Even if it doesn’t yield results, it may yield vital information.

    Oh right! I forgot that Brandis said people have a ‘right to be a bigot’ therefore, it’s just a case of minor vandalism.

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