Former Wollongong cabbie 'no danger to public'

Outside NSW Parliament House on December 20. Picture: PETER RAE
Outside NSW Parliament House on December 20. Picture: PETER RAE

A Wollongong man who allegedly threatened to blow himself up outside NSW parliament last year is a danger to himself, but not the public, a Sydney court has heard.

Abdula Ganiji, 58, sparked a dramatic two-hour stand-off with riot police last December after parking outside state parliament with containers of petrol in his car and allegedly making a series of threats.

The siege put the government building into lockdown, with NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell holed up inside. But psychological assessments revealed Ganiji was unlikely to harm others, only himself, defence barrister Jane Healey told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

‘‘He does have some risk of harm to himself. However he has never been any risk to others,’’ the court heard.

She said some reports indicated Ganiji had only 25 litres of petrol in containers - an amount unlikely to cause mass damage.

He’d also been enclosed in the car the entire time and had not directly threatened passing pedestrians, she argued.

‘‘This could not be characterised by any means as a large-scale public disorder,’’ she said.She proposed bail be granted on the provision Ganiji does not come within 2km of parliament.

The Crown argued the Wollongong man’s issues seemed to be long-standing and unresolved, and it couldn’t be guaranteed he would not be a risk to the community.

Appearing on video link from Bathurst Prison, Ganiji remained expressionless throughout proceedings.

He has been charged with threatening sabotage, possessing an explosive device to damage property, and threatening to destroy or damage property.

The former taxi driver’s lost a previous bail attempt in January.Justice Peter Hidden will make his decision on February 18.