A court has ruled that the alleged addition of a Brisbane man to graphic footage of the Christchurch mosque massacre made the death of all the victims “trivial”.
In Brisbane District Court Simon John Hickey is on trial for allegedly sharing footage of Brenton Tarant’s 2019 attack using encrypted messaging application signals.
Mr. Hickey is not guilty of five counts of using a vehicle service in such a way that rational people would find it offensive.
Crown alleges that Mr. Hickey sent him links to self-edited videos of his five signal communications in March 2019.
The video, which was played at the jury, depicts graphic footage of the Christchurch Mosque massacre with edited sound effects, music, text, and images.
Other messages sent by Hickey above the signal described the footage as “fun for the whole family” and boasted of turning it into a game so that “everyone can enjoy the massacre”.
The jury was asked to decide if any reasonable person found the content shared above the signal offensive and if Hickey was reckless with the matter.
At the time of the closing submission, Crown Prosecutor Daniel Whitmore said that the death of the victims had been “trivialized” by providing the footage in the video game.
He identified Mr. Hickey’s video as being used to praise or encourage the killing of those people.
Mr. Whitmore said: “I have submitted the video and what is depicted in it is so objectionable that it would not be considered if it was sent to anyone interested in any way.”
“I suggest to you that this is a video that … supports or supports the attack and makes it ridiculous to kill these people.
Mr. Hickey’s defense barrister, Emily Lewsey, argued that the links were sent to his client’s closest friends, including his wife, and that Mr. Hickey knew all of them well enough to understand how they could convey these messages.
The court was not told that none of the five links that were sent had complained to the police.
“Because of this friendship, he (Mr. Hickey) knew what their reaction would be,” Mrs. Lewsey said as she submitted his closing remarks.
“They were private conversations. He knew people very well and otherwise, he would not send them.
Mrs. Lewsey said the prosecution had failed to prove her client was “risk-averse” when the links were sent. The trial is ongoing.