A radicalised white supremacist who was stockpiling homemade guns and expressed a desire to carry out a mass shooting at a NSW shopping centre could have been “the next Martin Bryant”, a judge has said.
Michael James Holt, 26, pleaded guilty last year to manufacturing and possessing guns, knuckledusters and slingshots found at his mother’s house in Windsor, his grandfather’s house in nearby Hobartville and room five at the Tall Timbers pub hotel in Ourimbah.
During a sentencing hearing in the NSW District Court on Friday, it was revealed that Holt has also pleaded guilty to possessing and disseminating child sexual abuse images uncovered following the 2015 raids.
More than 40 pages of text messages sent by Mr Holt included several that expressed a desire to kill, the court heard.
“I’m fully prepared to shoot cops if I have to especially American c—s,” one message on March 3, 2015, said. “And then I will kill until I die.”
In another message on May 5, 2015, he wrote: “I also need a gun that fires multiple times without having to reload.”
He said he felt discriminated against and “my hate increases every day, my anger exponentially so”.
“Gonna have to just start killing people if I don’t get laid soon,” he said.
Holt’s barrister, Neha Evans, who took on the case in April after his former lawyers quit, said Mr Holt was lonely, had expressed feelings of uselessness and was obsessed with guns since childhood due to his autism.
She said his text messages “could be viewed as simply a rant” of an unwell, disturbed man who had no intention to carry out a murder.
“It could be that this person I’m looking at is the next Martin Bryant,” Judge Jeffery McLennan replied. “I just don’t know.”
Judge McLennan said he was dealing with “the trilogy of sex, guns and death”.
“The combination of someone who has this obsession with firearms, his interest in child pornography and the kind of expressions [contained in the text messages], I must say I regard, personally, as deeply disturbing,” he said.
Judge McLennan said he was “completely unpersuaded” by Holt’s statements to a psychologist, in which he said he was not attracted to young women, he hated porn and he took a “particularly Christian attitude to the relationship game”.
Holt, who wore a large crucifix necklace in court on Friday, has admitted being infatuated with neo-Nazi ideology and being a member of the Christian Separatist Church, an extreme, anti-Jewish church movement in the US.
In an agreed statement of facts, an anonymous caller, who tipped police off to Holt’s gun stash, said he often talked about loading weapons into his car and driving to a public place where he would “just start shooting it up”.
He said he wanted to do this at Westfield in Tuggerah on the Central Coast.
Holt told his school counsellor that Adolf Hitler was “the greatest person to live” and he once told a school friend that he dreamt of walking through the school shooting everyone, the facts state.
He had dropped out of a business course at Evocca College in Gosford just before his arrest in 2015.
When police raided his rented room at the Tall Timbers Hotel they found eight firearms hidden in the cupboards and a flick knife and slingshot in the fridge. Some guns were “slam fire” guns, capable of firing a single shot. Nazi memorabilia and propaganda were also found.
Holt will be sentenced on September 29.