A self-described motivational speaker and coronavirus sceptic who claims he can communicate with the “non-physical realm” has been charged after allegedly trying to abscond from hotel quarantine.
Andrew Hawkes, who on his website claims to “write and speak about personal attraction and spiritual intuition”, appeared in Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday after an alleged confrontation with police.
The 43-year-old from Queensland’s Gold Coast was arrested on Tuesday morning after allegedly attempting to leave his room at the Sheraton Grand Hyde Park.
The New Zealand citizen returned from the United States in late December and would have ordinarily been due to leave quarantine on January 5.
However, NSW Police have alleged that he refused to undergo COVID-19 testing and was told that due to his noncompliance, he had to serve an additional 10 days in quarantine.
When he was told that he could not leave, it’s alleged he confronted police over his rights, with court documents revealing that Mr Hawkes filmed the encounter on his phone.
Police said he questioned their powers and had to be physically escorted back to his room and additional security officers allocated to his floor to ensure he stayed in his room.
He was taken to Surry Hills police station and charged with not complying with a noticed direction and refused bail.
In documents that set out their decision for refusing him bail, police said Mr Hawke identified as a sovereign citizen and “follows an ideology of non-compliance with official direction and law”.
The sovereign citizens are a group that does not recognise the legitimacy of the government and claims that the law does not apply to them.
On his business Facebook page, Mr Hawkes describes himself as an “entrepreneur” and “an author and a speaker on the topic of personal attraction and spiritual intuition”.
“Although reluctant to call himself a healer, Andrew is well attuned to spirit energy and the different effects it has on people,” his Facebook profile says.
“Andrew receives many messages that have been described to him as ‘givings’ through his ability to connect to the non physical realm.”
On his personal Facebook, Mr Hawkes has posted a stream of conspiracy theories and anti-mask material, including many protesting against government lockdown measures.
He shared a Facebook post on December 31 that contained assertions that the “Freemasons” were using coronavirus as a cover to carry out “genocide” and “they intend on taking out as many people as possible”.
“All the information is there for people who want to research this. It is NOT a theory, this is HAPPENING!,” Mr Hawkes said on the post.
In a video that he posted to social media while in hotel quarantine, he said: “It’s not isolation, it’s imprisonment.”
When Mr Hawkes appeared in court on Wednesday he was given bail that allowed him to return to hotel quarantine. It is due to expire on January 15.
As part of his bail conditions, he will be forced to hand over $40,000 if he absconds.
He will next appear in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court later this month.
Mr Hawkes was one of eight people who allegedly breached public health orders in Greater Sydney on Tuesday, including the host of a house party in Sydney’s west packed with 30-40 guests.
In a separate incident, a 23-year-old man was handed a $1000 fine for hosting an illegal house party at a home in Guildford.
Police attended a home on Clement Street about 10.45pm and discovered a house party with between 30 and 40 guests in attendance.
Neighbours told officers the group had been playing loud drums in the backyard.
The homeowner was fined for not complying with a COVID-19 direction.
Inquiries are continuing into the illegal party.