A man who scaled Parliament House to protest the incarceration of Julian Assange has gotten off with a $50 fine, and says he would do illegal acts again for the right "crisis".
Barry Herbert Jessup, also known as Eli, appeared without legal representation in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with trespassing on Commonwealth land.
Jessup has a history of protest-related offences, including attempting to arrest former prime minister John Howard in 2005.
Court documents said the 63-year-old was part of a protest outside Parliament House about 11.30am on November 11, 2019, when he left the group and walked up a "grass ramp" towards the building's roof.
He climbed over a fence onto a private balcony, stepped over another smaller fence, and walked out onto the roof of the great verandah, which overlooks the front of Parliament House.
Jessup tied a banner to the Australian coat of arms on the building, and was heard blowing a whistle and crying "free Julian" and "no US extradition".
He vowed to remain on the roof until the Australian government moved to extradite Assange from the UK and yelled, "Send me up a sleeping bag".
He spent about 20 minutes on the roof before coming down of his own volition.
The prosecution told the court Jessup's charge was serious, and climbing on top of Parliament House was a "dangerous act" that risked harm to him and others.
The maximum penalty for the offence was a $2100 fine.
Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter said Jessup was "admirable" for protesting and "putting himself out there", but shouldn't have trespassed on Parliament House. She gave him a $50 fine after he pleaded guilty to the trespassing charge.
Outside court, Jessup - who is from Launceston, Tasmania - said he was pleased with the result of the case. He said he considered his actions and made sure they put nobody else at risk, and although he knew climbing Parliament House was illegal, "you have to do these things to make an impact".
"If those issues [like Assange's incarceration] still exist, I will continue to do actions which involve civil disobedience because I believe that's the most effective way of getting the message out, as [Mahatma] Gandhi said," Jessup said.
"According to his legal team, [Assange's] health isn't good, he's deteriorating, and he's not being given the medical attention he needs.
"[The public] ignored my protest on the lawn but my climb up there got international publicity."
The Department of Parliamentary Services told The Canberra Times in November it would review the circumstances of the incident.
The security breach came after a 2.6-metre fence was erected around Parliament House after two activists abseiled from the roof to unfurl a banner protesting the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru in 2016.