A musclebound follower of neo-Nazi leader Thomas Sewell has posted coded Nazi messages to a courtroom in a bizarre virtual hearing.
Sewell, 28, and fellow hate monger Jacob Hersant, 22, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Wednesday on charges of assault and affray after they allegedly bashed hikers in May.
A bearded man wearing dark sunglasses streamed into the online hearing where he could be seen holding a sign to the camera bearing a Celtic cross logo and stating 'Free Thomas Sewell'.
Detectives from Victoria Police's Counter Terrorism Command arrested Thomas Sewell in March over an alleged attack on a security guard outside Channel 9. He is pictured giving Channel 9 reporter Seb Costello the Nazi salute
Pictured: A group of white supremacists at the Grampians National Park, performing the Seig Heil, in January
Jacob Hersant, pictured on social media, allegedly attacked a group of hikers during a meeting in May
Sewell, of the European Australian Movement, and Hersant, of the National Socialist Network, are accused of attacking hikers with knives after one filmed them during a meeting in the wilds of Country Victoria.
The man, who identified himself online as 'Jimeone Roberts', repeatedly displayed the sign before taking to the public chat.
'Free Tom Sewell,' he wrote, before adding what at first glance appeared to be a simple equation: '7X2 + 44x2'.
It is code often used by Neo-Nazis.
'H' being the eighth letter of the alphabet, equates to 88 - meaning 'HH'.
Or in Nazi terms: 'Heil Hitler'.
The first equation, amounting to 14, is the number of words in a statement written by David Lane - a member of the Ku Klux Klan and co-founder of a white-power revolutionary group.
Online court hearings have become a free-for-all of disrespect and blatant contempt since Covid-19 forced shut real life hearings.
The disturbing incident came hot on the heels of increased sightings of neo-Nazi groups congregating en masse in country Victoria and in the heart of Melbourne
Respected magistrate Peter Riordan was oblivious to the disgraceful antics going on as he endeavoured to control the virtual hearing.
The court heard it was May 8 when Sewell, Hershant and a bunch of their mates decided to hold a meeting on the summit of the Cathedral Ranges.
Known for some of the best hiking in the state, the men had crossed paths with their alleged victims as they ascended to Sugarloaf Peak.
The six hikers had noticed something odd about the group due to their black t-shirts sporting white Celtic crosses.
In January, mountain climbing Neo-Nazis had caused a stir when they congregated in The Grampians.
A security guard was allegedly assaulted outside Channel 9 by Thomas Sewell. He is later alleged to have attacked some hikers
Pictured: Members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Network pose next to racist graffiti in Melbourne
The court heard the hikers were about to depart the Sugarloaf carpark when one of them made the unwise decision to whip out his camera and film the fascists.
Prosecutor Danielle Guesdon said the mob ran directly at them, shouting 'Antifa' as they surrounded their vehicle.
Wearing balaclavas, the angry mob allegedly punched and kicked their way into the car, smashing their way in through the front and passenger side windows.
The blood left from those actions would later indicate a DNA match with Sewell and Hersant, police alleged.
The court heard the hikers' car crashed into a rock before demands were made of their mobile phones.
While two in the car handed them over, one victim hid his under the seat.
They were then allowed to go.
When police caught up with Hersant down the road, a search of his car found a camera that contained photos of balaclava-clad men on Sugarloaf Peak.
Sewell, whose fingerprints were also allegedly found on the victims' car, was arrested on May 14.
Thomas Sewell performs a Nazi salute
Sugarloaf Peak is known for it's awesome views, not it's neo-Nazi hikers
Sugarloaf Peak became the venue for a racist meet-up between fellow hate mongers
He had five stitches in his hand from what police allege was from punching in the car window.
Sewell was on bail at the time for allegedly punching a Channel 9 security guard six times in the head in March.
He remains behind bars while fighting the allegations.
Following his March arrest over the security guard assault, an unrepentant Sewell, who labelled his alleged victim a 'buffoon', later posted a video of himself dressing down Channel 9 reporter Seb Costello, whom he had been trying to visit when all hell broke loose.
'It's very obvious that you guys are bullies, it's very obvious you guys go to people's houses, harass them at work, you harass them wherever you go, you ask them a question,' Sewell said.
'But when somebody comes to your house and knocks on your door, you guys send security out and try to strong arm and push us away.'
He ended his rant by giving Costello the Nazi salute, declaring: 'Have that one for the camera, you cowards.'
The preliminary hearing, which will determine if the matter proceeds to trial, continues.