• Short Summary

    Michael Christopher Matteson, 25, draft resister, gave himself up yesterday and was sentenced to 18 months jail.

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    Michael Christopher Matteson, 25, draft resister, gave himself up yesterday and was sentenced to 18 months jail.

    More than 30 supporters, including his mother, stood up and clapped as he was led from the Special Federal court in Sydney after sentencing.

    Matteson was convicted on a charge of failing to comply with a notice issued under the National Service Act on April 21, last year.

    Another charge of resisting a Commonwealth policeman engaged in the discharge of his duties on April 24 this year was adjourned to November 16.

    Matteson had been avoiding National Service since 1967 when he refused to register.

    He was called up in September last year and shortly after went into hiding. He made many police appearances and was interviewed on television while avoiding arrest.

    In one incident, students at Sydney University freed him on the campus after he was arrested by Commonwealth police last April.

    Commonwealth police arrested Matteson at his home in Pemell Street, Enmore, yesterday morning.

    Sandy Thomas, 20, was also arrested, and police served a warrant on Peter Gunning. 22, for failing to obey a call-up notice.

    Gunning burns the warrant minutes after it was served.

    Mr. N. Walsh, SM. ordered that Thomas, of Melbourne, he held in custody for extradition. He is expected to appear in a Melbourne court today.

    Arrangements for their surrender were given to the press on Wednesday at a conference organised by Matteson's supporters.

    Yesterday Matteson said he was surrendering because "it is the most effective way of fighting conscription.

    "I think I will help create public opposition to conscription."
    Matteson's mother, Mrs. Pat Matteson, telephoned police and 25 minutes later two car-lodes of Commonwealth police arrived.

    Seven of them went into the house and grabbed hold of matteson and Thomas.

    Later, in the Special Federal Court, Matteson refused to stand when the charges were read.

    "I don't recognise this court -- I don't recognise the National Service Act," he said.

    When he continued stating his reasons, Mr. N. Walsh, SM. ordered a constable to stand beside him.

    Senior Constable Stanley Wood, of the Commonwealth police, told the court he interviewed Matteson at his home in Pemell Street on April 15, 1968.

    He said he had also seen him on other occasions. Matteson had made no attempt to hide the fact that he refused to register.

    Mr. Robert Bennett, an officer of the Department of Labour and National Service, told the court that Matteson was not present at Marrickville Army Depot for induction into the Army.

    Mr. Walsh found the allegation established and convicted Matteson.

    He said Matteson was liable to a penalty of $200 if he would enter a bond to comply with the Act. If he refused to enter the bond he then faced a maximum penalty of 18 months jail with hard labour.

    Clapping broke out from the crowd in the court when Matteson refused.

    In Melbourne, the Federal Attorney-General Senator Greenwood, said that 15 ??? resisters had been jailed and 19 warrants were outstanding.

    This represented a very small proportion of the total of 600,000 men eligible for National Service.

    He said figures from the Department of Labour and Industry showed that only 0.2 per cent of eligible then had failed to attend a medical examination.

    SYNOPSIS: The draft resister Michael Matteson is in gaol in Sydney tonight after nearly fourteen-months as a fugitive. Matteson and another draft resister, Sandy Thomas of Melbourne gave themselves up to Commonwealth police in the inner-suburb of Enmore. The police had been telephoned and told the address. Before calling the Commonwealth police to come and arrest him, Matteson came out of the house to talk with supporters and newsmen.

    A number of Commonwealth police arrived at the house in Enmore about an hour-and-a-half after the phone call. Members of the draft resisters union who had gathered outside the house greeted their arrival with chants against the National Service Act.

    Onlookers complained about the methods used by the police in making the arrests. A Methodist Minister, the Reverend Ian Miles - whose son David was jailed recently for failing to register for national service - and he'd lodged a complaint with the Commonwealth Police concerning the violence used.

    Later Michael Matteson appeared in the Special Federal Court in Sydney. He was charged with failing to comply with requirements of the National Service Act, and gaoled for eighteen months. A second charge of resisting arrest in an incident at Sydney University earlier this year was adjourned until next Thursday.

    Alexander Thomas of Melbourne, who also gave himself up today was remanded in custody to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court tomorrow.

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