I just received a call from the Melbourne Assessment Prison.
Long-standing political activist Neil Erikson has withdrawn his appeal of the one-month prison sentence he received last week, for disturbing religious worship (read: protesting a public Islamic prayer).
This means that on Monday morning, Neil voluntarily surrendered himself to the Melbourne Magistrates court and withdrew his appeal, his appeal-bail was subsequently revoked and he was taken into custody to immediately begin serving his prison sentence.
Neil would have been taken into Melbourne Magistrates underground holding cells, then transported by G4S private security company to the Melbourne Assessment Prison. Due to all of Victoria’s prisons being at full capacity, it’s likely that Neil will serve all of his time at the MAP.
No news on public speaker and group leader Tom Sewell, who has not yet applied for bail after recently being arrested and charged with armed robbery and other offences.
Since he was arrested in the suburbs [Rowville] he would’ve been taken to local police station cells where he could possibly remain for weeks until a bed is freed up at the Melbourne Assessment Prison (sentenced/remanded prisoners at the city courts are given priority for MAP beds, since the city holding cells are of very limited capacity and need to be freed up to accomodate the never-ending flow of remanded and sentenced prisoners coming from the courts).
The last time I was arrested and held in custody was 9 years ago and even then I was held in suburban police station cells for 23 days, due to state prisons being so full and no beds available at the MAP.
The details surrounding the incident leading to Tom’s arrest remain unclear and those who witnessed the alleged incident have not spoken out about it. The charges Tom received and the rumours circulating continue to suggest that at least one person was attacked/robbed somehow, but who that person was and why this may have happened is still unconfirmed.
UPDATE: It has now been confirmed that Thomas Sewell is also being held at the Melbourne Assessment Prison (MAP) as well.