Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Bikie war runs hot on the streets


Brothers in Arms
Actors Anthony Hayes (left) and Luke Hemsworth (front) in the new Channel 10 series about the 1984 Milperra bikie war massacre. Source: Supplied
THIS new series finally hits the airwaves tonight, vulgar, sensationalist and full of nudity, noise and gore.
In six parts it charts the story behind the so-called Milperra bikie massacre on September 2, 1984, beginning in the early 1970s, when the outlaw bikie scene in Australia was in its fledgling days. The series brings with it that immense sense of violation a violent crime leaves in its wake.
Based on the bestselling book of the same title by Sandra Harvey and Lindsay Simpson, it's produced by Screentime, which also continues to give us the unfolding Underbelly series. A stellar ensemble cast includes Matt Nable (East West 101), Callan Mulvey (Rush), Susie Porter (RAN), Todd Lasance (Cloudstreet) and Damien Walshe-Howling (Underbelly).
It starts with a young girl's voice, presumably that of one of the murdered, Leanne Walters, elegiacally reading the lines of white print that appear on a series of black cards, establishing the simple facts of the shootings. She ends with the words of Adrian Roden, the judge of the subsequent long-running trial: "As patriotism can lead to jingoism, and mateship can lead to cronyism, so bikie club loyalty can lead to bikie club war."
The series, conceived really as a modern western, much of it shot in disused quarries and against the backdrop of industrial wastelands, then follows the tribal wars of Sydney's early bikie gangs. These were initially recruited by supreme commander William George "Jock" Ross, who had founded the Comancheros in 1968. Ross, a former British military man, headed for Australia after demobbing in 1966. With his distinctive Coke bottle glasses and a musical Glaswegian accent, he has an abiding love of the television soapie Dallas, known for its sex, intrigue and power struggles. Nable plays him with charismatic authority and a jester's deadly smile, a man who loves a good yarn and a joke.

Focarelli argues innocence

Former bikie gang leader Vince Focarelli will argue that he has no case to answer on drug charges. Focarelli appeared by video link in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday charged with trafficking in a controlled drug. It has been alleged that police found a bottle of drugs in the car the 37-year-old was driving when he flagged down a patrol in January on the night he and his son were shot. Giovanni Focarelli, 22, died in the attack while Focarelli was hospitalised for several weeks with serious wounds. On Friday the court was told it was likely a second person would be charged over the drugs. But Magistrate Robert Harrap said Focarelli was entitled to present his no-case submissions. Mr Harrap set the matter down for June 1. Focarelli, who at one stage declared himself the head of the Comancheros in South Australia, also appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with breaching his bail conditions. Police alleged he breached the conditions 11 times by having phone conversations with an associate. A trial on the issue will continue next month with Focarelli remaining in custody in the meantime.

Shooting resulted from road rage attack

There has been another drive-by shooting on the Gold Coast, but police believe rather than bikie gangs, this time it might be a case of road rage. Officers say abound 2.40am (AEST) on Saturday a number of shots were fired into a house at Ormeau, and a car which was parked outside. Several people were inside the home at the time but none were hurt. A man was seen driving off in a white Toyota Hilux. Police are investigating whether the attack is linked to a road rage incident earlier on Saturday night.

Bikie stabbed outside Sydney clubhouse

Police are investigating the stabbing of a man at a Rebels bikie gang clubhouse in Sydney's west overnight. Police say the man in his mid 20s was stabbed in the upper body during a fight outside the clubhouse at Jamisontown, near Penrith. Officers are investigating the cause of the fight. Police believe the injured man is an associate of the Rebels gang. Inspector Gary Sims says the injured man is now in hospital. "He is at Westmead Hospital in a stable condition," Inspector Sims said. "Police are dismayed at the level of violence in this attack and we are using all resources to try and investigate the cause." Inspector Sims says police are not yet sure how many people were involved in the fight. "We believe at this stage it's people associated with the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang," he said. "Investigators are following a number of lines of inquiry at this stage. "It's too early to say how we're progressing but they are following every opportunity."

Steroid seizures linked to bikie gangs on the rise

STEROIDS are fast becoming the drug of choice for the state's bikies, and police are regularly seizing large quantities of the illicit imports without even trying. The huge boom in illegal imports of anabolic steroids and growth hormones is fuelling a bodybuilding subculture with roots firmly in outlaw motorcycle gangs. Recent figures show record levels of performance- and image-enhancing drugs are being seized at borders. In 2010-11, the seizure of steroids and hormones was up 106 per cent, with 5561 detections, up 2695 from the year before. The NSW drugs squad commander, Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham, said police are increasingly stumbling across significant amounts of steroids, especially among bikies. ''We generally don't target steroid offences. They seem to be a byproduct of other targeting issues - for example, if we do a raid on a [gang] member for whatever purpose, whether for firearms or amphetamines, quite often we find steroids as well,'' Superintendent Bingham told the Herald. ''We're not finding as many steroids as we are all the other illicit drugs, but it's certainly getting to a level where it's starting to concern us a bit, especially since it seems a lot of it is to do with [motorcycle gang] members.'' He said most of it was for personal use but also for distribution between club members. A Sun-Herald investigation found that rather than risk prosecution in Australia, everyday gym users are travelling to Asia and ''stacking'' a dangerous cocktail of steroids that include powerful veterinary drugs and fertility medicine. A large proportion of the seizures of hormones and steroids being detected by customs were coming from Thailand. Superintendent Bingham said much of the body-enhancing drugs police are seizing ''is indicative of personal use''. Much of the police intelligence about the use of steroids was that it was being supplied through gyms, some of which also have links to bikie gangs.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Former bikie gang leader Vince Focarelli will argue next week that he has no case to answer on drug charges.


Bikie leader Focarelli argues innocence

Focarelli appeared by video link in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday charged with trafficking in a controlled drug.

It has been alleged that police found a bottle of drugs in the car the 37-year-old was driving when he flagged down a patrol in January on the night he and his son were shot.

Giovanni Focarelli, 22, died in the attack while Focarelli was hospitalised for several weeks with serious wounds.

On Friday the court was told it was likely a second person would be charged over the drugs.

But Magistrate Robert Harrap said Focarelli was entitled to present his no-case submissions.

Mr Harrap set the matter down for June 1.

Focarelli, who at one stage declared himself the head of the Comancheros in South Australia, also appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with breaching his bail conditions.

Police alleged he breached the conditions 11 times by having phone conversations with an associate.

A trial on the issue will continue next month with Focarelli remaining in custody in the meantime.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Car burnt near NSW bikie murder scene

A car has been set alight in Sydney's south on the same street where a bikie was shot dead earlier this year. The parked Mitsubishi Magna was set on fire in Selmon St, Sans Souci, at 12.35am (AEST) on Monday. Fire crews extinguished the blaze before a crime scene was established. A member of the Lone Wolf bikie gang was gunned down outside his Selmon street apartment in January after he and two other bikies were involved in a brawl with a gunman. Neal Todorovski, 37, received several gunshot wounds, including one to the head during the midday attack. He died at the scene. Police refused to say if the two incidents were linked but said the fire was being treated as suspicious and investigations are under way to establish a motive.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

John Ibrahim's bazooka-proof tattoo parlour

MOST legitimate businesses do not need ''bazooka-proof'' wire mesh and bulletproof windows. But Mark Alexander-Erber - who says he wants to revolutionise the tattoo industry with Kings Cross Ink - is taking such precautions to protect his million-dollar venture. Mr Alexander-Erber has teamed up with Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim to open what they say will be the biggest tattoo shop in the southern hemisphere, an emporium celebrities, sport stars and tourists will visit for their latest bit of body art. ''I am not worried about ruffling feathers but I am not naive or stupid,'' he said, sipping a coffee at his Darlinghurst landmark Bar Coluzzi. ''I have systems and counter-measures in place, like Israeli bazooka-proof mesh covering the whole building - there ain't nothing that is going to happen to that building. Bulletproof glass, I've got proper metal shutters, you name it I've got it because I am not naive enough to think there may not be a rogue element that will want to close us down as we're going to take a lot of business.''

Saturday, 19 May 2012

threats against car dealer Terry Mullens and the firebombing of his luxury Bentley as he prepared to testify against five Hells Angels bikies in court.

Terry Mullens

Terry Mullens, in Five Dock this week, has allegedly been the victim of threats. Picture: Tim Hunter 

POLICE are investigating serious threats against car dealer Terry Mullens and the firebombing of his luxury Bentley as he prepared to testify against five Hells Angels bikies in court.

The star witness in an extortion trial, police believe Mr Mullens was the alleged target of at least two attacks on his business at Five Dock in March.

Detectives ramped up his protection and increased patrols of his $15 million inner Sydney home -- other covert methods were also used to keep his family safe.

The five men set to go on trial had been charged with attempting to extort money from Mr Mullens in July last year. Prosecutors dropped the charges about a week ago after Mr Mullens' changed his mind about giving evidence.

The court heard "recent developments" were behind the withdrawal of the charges.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal those "developments" include an incident on March 1 where Mr Mullens' Bentley was gutted by an explosion at his Five Dock caryard. Another three cars had windows smashed and petrol poured in them on the same night, however the accelerant did not ignite.

In a separate incident, a further eight cars were trashed the next evening -- in total, 12 prestige cars were ruined.

Two sworn police affidavits -- signed by Gangs Squad detectives -- will be tendered at BurwoodLocal Court on May 30 during a costs hearing.

One of the documents will be made public while the other will remain sealed with the magistrate.

The Sunday Telegraph approached the racehorse owner to discuss the matters but he refused to comment.

Those behind both of the alleged threats and attacks on Mr Mullens remain at large.

There is no suggestion any of the five men -- who were charged with attempting to extort Mr Mullens -- were behind any of the incidents.

The charges against the men followed an armed hold-up at Mr Mullens' Burwood caryard last July, revealed by The Sunday Telegraph.

During the incident eight men stole four high-performance cars and terrified staff with guns and knives. In a bizarre twist, the cars were returned, in pristine condition, and left outside the Paramatta Road showroom about 26 hours later.

Days later five men were arrested and charged with extortion, however the robbery remains unsolved.

Lawyers for at least three men are seeking legal costs against police, claiming they failed to "properly investigate the credibility" of Mr Mullens. Lawyer Paul Hardin told Burwood Local Court Mr Mullens' credibility was going to be the subject of a "vigorous attack".

Police dispute this and will tender the affidavits to support their argument.

Friday, 18 May 2012

WA Police To Crack Down On Noisy Bikies

Noisy motorbike riders beware – your days are numbered. In June WA police will begin a blitz on bikes without mufflers or with modified mufflers, which make them noisy. Police have bought 15 sound measuring devices , which they will use to test the sound levels of Perth motorcycles. Advertisement: Story continues below Those that break the sound limit or who have non-conforming mufflers will be hit with a $100 fine and must be adjusted so they conform with regulation.

BIKIE gangs in Australia are close to an all-out war

BIKIE gangs in Australia are close to an all-out war as a power struggle rages between the outlaws. According to Clive Small, a retired assistant commissioner in New South Wales, the gangs have been fighting for control of the amphetamine and weapons trade, along with competition for new members and extortion rackets. The concern comes after multiple shootings across Sydney over recent weeks were attributed to the gangs, many homes where children were sleeping have been hit by bullets in the growing conflict. Mr Small said that if a truce is not reached soon, then the power struggle will escalate into a bloody war. He explained to BBC News, Sydney: "One side will say 'hang on, we've had enough', and they'll negotiate a peace deal. "The other situation is that we could see a loose bullet being fired into a house and hitting the family of a bikie member, particularly if it was a child. "I think that would push it over the brink and then we'd be looking at a more substantial escalation of the situation, perhaps even a war." The centre of the violent outbreak is Sydney, where there have been more than 60 drive-by shootings this year. Detectives have been placing the blame mostly on a dispute between the Hells Angels and the Nomads. Police estimate that there are 35 outlaw motorcycle gangs in Australia, with 3,500 members. Since the 1980s there have been around 100 biker killers and 1,000 shootings across the country. Some of the worst cases include a clash in a car park in 1984, when six bikers were shot dead and a teenage girl was killed in the crossfire and in 2009 when a clash between Commancheroes members and Hells Angels at the Sydney Airport saw one man beaten and stabbed to death in front of passengers.

Two bikies charged over Brisbane bashing

Two men linked to an outlaw motorcycle gang have been charged over a violent attack in Brisbane last month. The two men, both aged 25, were arrested during early morning raids at the Brisbane suburbs of New Farm and Sunnybank. Police say the two men are linked to the Bandidos bikie gang. It is alleged they bashed another man, also linked to a bikie gang, at a restaurant at Mt Gravatt on April 17. They have been charged with affray and will face the Brisbane Magistrates Court today. Meanwhile, a teenager linked to a motorcycle gang has been charged with weapons offences in the Queensland's Central Highlands. Police say they found two guns and ammunition in the 18-year-old's car at Moranbah, south-west of Mackay, on Monday. He had been stopped for a random breath test.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Two more men said to be members of the Nomads bikie gang have been charged under new NSW consorting legislation.


More bikies charged under new NSW laws

It's the second time the laws have been invoked since they were passed by NSW Parliament in April.

Strike Force Raptor officers went to a house in Pemulwuy, in southwest Sydney, about 6.40pm AEST on Tuesday.

Two men previously warned for consorting were found to be together at the house, police said on Wednesday.

The men, aged 21 and 31, are the second group to be charged with consorting after two other alleged high-ranking Nomads were charged last week.

Those men, aged 30 and 31, were also found in a Pemulwuy house.

All four are due to face Downing Centre Local Court on June 27.

The legislation amended the Crimes Act to make it an offence to habitually consort with people who have been convicted of an indictable offence.

The new legislation is being used by officers as a strategy to combat bikie gang-related crime, police say.

SENIOR bikie has been slapped with an infringement notice after allegedly riding up to a Sydney police station without a licence.

The alleged high-ranking member of the Nomads was arrested at Penrith police station about 8.15pm (AEST) on yesterday. The 30-year-old, who was there to report to police while on bail for an unrelated matter, has also been charged with habitually consorting with convicted offenders. A police spokeswoman says that charge stems from amendments to the NSW Crimes Act passed by Parliament last month. The legislation is being used by the force's Gangs Squad to crack down on bikie gangs and follow up a recent spate of drive-by shootings in Sydney. Since the introduction of the legislation, police have issued consorting warnings to a number of outlaw motorcycle gang members and associates. The spokeswoman said the Nomads bikie was issued with a traffic infringement notice, with officers alleging he was not carrying his rider's licence when he arrived at the station. He has been refused bail and will appear in Penrith Local Court today.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Bikies charged under new NSW gang laws

Another bikie has been charged under New South Wales legislation to crack down on criminal gangs. Two alleged senior Nomads bikies last week became the first to be charged under the new consorting laws, which aim to stop people from repeatedly meeting with convicted criminals. One of them, a 31-year-old man, was charged again last night after being caught at the same address in Sydney's west at Pemulwuy. Another alleged bikie, aged 21, was also charged. Both men have been ordered to face court next month. The changes to the Crimes Act were passed by State Parliament last month.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Hells Angels linked to corporate giant

THE multibillion-dollar Visy packaging company is allegedly using the Hells Angels to collect bad debts and act as "problem solvers". Police intelligence files have recorded links between Visy and the notorious bikie gang, and detectives are monitoring the connection. Police and industry sources also revealed other bikie gangs and underworld figures had moved into debt collecting since the Victorian Government last year scrapped the need for debt collectors to be licensed.

Shootings not my fault, says ex-bikie Wissam Amer

THE man believed by police to be the central figure in a bikie feud has declared he is not at fault for Sydney's spate of drive-by shootings and says they are the "act of a coward". Wissam Amer, 28, broke his silence to The Sunday Telegraph to say he was not at the heart of the current shootings between the Hells Angels and Nomads outlaw motorcycle gangs. Last week The Sunday Telegraph revealed police believe Amer was the source of the conflict after he defected from the Hells Angels to the rival Nomads. Speaking through his lawyer Maggie Sten, the former bikie said unequivocally that he was no longer part of any gang and disputed police claims he's responsible for the feud. "The conflict between the Hells Angels and the Nomads is dead and buried - it has been for a while," Mr Amer said through his lawyer. "It has got nothing to do with me." Mr Amer was previously a member of the Bandidos, but left the group during a large scale "patch-over" of its members to the Hells Angels more than a year ago. Police believe he then tried to leave the Hells Angels to join the Nomads and burned bridges along the way - however he disputes this. Ms Sten said Mr Amer now wants to clear the record and confirm he is not part of any gang and is attempting to get on with a "normal life". What is not in dispute, however, is that Mr Amer was the target of two drive-by shootings over the past seven months. One was a drive-by at a Merrylands Oporto, two days after he was released on bail; the other happened three days later at his previous address at Canley Vale. Police believe both attacks were committed by Hells Angels, however Mr Amer said he could not prove this and neither could police. Mr Amer is unsure who the perpetrators were. "It could have been anybody - it's a dirty game, it could have been someone that I'd had a run-in with years ago," Ms Sten said on Mr Amer's behalf. "I live my life with no fear - I live now as a normal person." What Mr Amer was sure about was that drive-by shootings on himself or anyone else was a despicable act. "It's as weak as scratching somebody's car - anybody who drives a car and attacks you at 1am is a coward," he said through Ms Sten. "Especially when you know the people you're looking for are not there," referring to cases where the alleged targets were in jail. He could not explain the forces behind the current wave of shootings, but agreed with a police theory - revealed by The Sunday Telegraph - that a third party is trying to reignite animosities between the groups. Authorities brokered a peace agreement between the two gangs in January, but that faltered on April 16 when shots were fired at a home and car in Pemulwuy. "We believe it's other people trying to stir the pot," Ms Sten said for Mr Amer. "This is the perfect time for people to attack because they know the Hells Angels and Nomads were in a previous conflict which no longer exists." Police Strike Force Kinnarra has locked up 13 people in relation to the nine shootings that happened last month. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said the conflict was firmly between the two gangs.

Police urge witnesses to come forward after man falls to death from Gold Coast highrise

QUEENSLAND homicide detectives are investigating whether a Gold Coast nightclub promotions manager fell 31 storeys to his death or was pushed. Police are urging several people present in the man's room to come forward, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported. The 29-year-old man fell from the balcony of his Beachcomber Resort unit in Surfers Paradise at about 11pm on Friday. Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Trezise told reporters in Surfers Paradise that neighbours heard several people in the man's unit before a disturbance erupted. Police found his body in a garden bed at the base of the apartment complex a short time later, he said. Supt Trezise said police wanted to speak with those who were present in the unit to determine what had happened. Homicide detectives are helping Gold Coast police investigate and a major incident room has been set up at the Surfers Paradise police centre. Supt Trezise said police were trying to determine whether the incident was an accident or if foul play was involved. It is unknown whether any weapons were involved in the incident, Supt Trezise said. A post mortem is expected to be conducted tomorrow. The incident follows the death of 19-year-old Jack Walker, who fell 27 storeys from the same unit complex in 2007. Police described that event as a "tragic accident".

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Nomads bikies arrested under new 'Anti-Consorting' law

TWO high-ranking members of the Nomads bikie gang are the first to be charged under tough new "anti bikie'' laws passed by parliament. The new legislation passed on April 9 was specifically designed to target bikies and prevent them from “habitually consorting’’ with each other. Both were arrested last night after being warned repeatedly against associating with each other. The first warning was issued against the two bikies on the morning of April 20 at Merrlyands. Police say further warnings were issued during a vehicle stop at Bella Vista on May 1  and at a central city coffee shop the next day. About 6.30pm yesterday police went to an address in Durawi Street, Pemulway, where two men previously warned for consorting were again found to be together. Recommended Coverage Shootings erupt on Sydney's streets THE gun crime which is plaguing Sydney continued overnight with a man shot and a bullet hole found in wall of a home in separate crimes. Consorting criminals get a loophole STRICT new consorting laws meant to stop criminal gatherings have already been watered down by "tough on crime" A-G Greg Smith. Right to die in a bikie war AT A guess you could probably assume that none of the High Court judges live in Merrylands, with the Nomads and Hells Angels.  Bikies troop their colours THERE was no sign of any animosity when the Hells Angels and Comanchero rode side by side through Kings Cross early yesterday. Cops kick off weekend bikie blitz TWO people have been arrested and a number of weapons seized after 18 raids at dawn today, targeting feuding bikie gangs. Bikie war simmers below surface THE unnatural quiet that has descended on Sydney this past six months has many of us believing that the bikie war has ended. But it is most definitely a false quiet. O'Farrell returns fire over shootings CRIMINAL gang leaders will be jailed for up to 10 years and those who shoot up a house face up to 16 years in prison under planned tough new laws. The men, aged 30 and 31, were both issued with a future court attendance notice for the offence of habitually consorting with convicted offenders after warning. They have been ordered to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 27 June 2012

Nomads bikies arrested under new 'Anti-Consorting' law

TWO high-ranking members of the Nomads bikie gang are the first to be charged under tough new "anti bikie'' laws passed by parliament. The new legislation passed on April 9 was specifically designed to target bikies and prevent them from “habitually consorting’’ with each other. Both were arrested last night after being warned repeatedly against associating with each other. The first warning was issued against the two bikies on the morning of April 20 at Merrlyands. Police say further warnings were issued during a vehicle stop at Bella Vista on May 1  and at a central city coffee shop the next day. About 6.30pm yesterday police went to an address in Durawi Street, Pemulway, where two men previously warned for consorting were again found to be together. Recommended Coverage Shootings erupt on Sydney's streets THE gun crime which is plaguing Sydney continued overnight with a man shot and a bullet hole found in wall of a home in separate crimes. Consorting criminals get a loophole STRICT new consorting laws meant to stop criminal gatherings have already been watered down by "tough on crime" A-G Greg Smith. Right to die in a bikie war AT A guess you could probably assume that none of the High Court judges live in Merrylands, with the Nomads and Hells Angels.  Bikies troop their colours THERE was no sign of any animosity when the Hells Angels and Comanchero rode side by side through Kings Cross early yesterday. Cops kick off weekend bikie blitz TWO people have been arrested and a number of weapons seized after 18 raids at dawn today, targeting feuding bikie gangs. Bikie war simmers below surface THE unnatural quiet that has descended on Sydney this past six months has many of us believing that the bikie war has ended. But it is most definitely a false quiet. O'Farrell returns fire over shootings CRIMINAL gang leaders will be jailed for up to 10 years and those who shoot up a house face up to 16 years in prison under planned tough new laws. The men, aged 30 and 31, were both issued with a future court attendance notice for the offence of habitually consorting with convicted offenders after warning. They have been ordered to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 27 June 2012

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Alleged bikie shooter in court

THE Finks bikie arrested for allegedly shooting two people at a Gold Coast shopping centre after an east-coast manhunt has the words "revenge" and "carnage" tattooed on his face. Mark James Graham, who was under heavy police guard when he faced Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday, had a "1%" tattoo under his left eye, a symbol commonly used within outlaw motorcycle gangs. Police extradited Graham from Victoria on Wednesday to face numerous charges, including attempted murder, wounding and dangerous conduct with a weapon. He is accused of shooting Bandidos member Jacques Teamo and an innocent bystander at Robina Town Centre on Saturday. Police failed to gain protection for the bikie and his family and were forced to withdraw an application to suppress the man's images for 72 hours. Police prosecutor Peta Eyschen said the media's use of images of Graham could taint evidence. But Sgt Eyschen withdrew her application after she was asked for further justification from Magistrate John Costanzo. The case was adjourned until June 13.

Two teenagers with alleged links to Sydney shootings and Hells Angels motorcycle gang to face court

TWO teenagers with alleged links to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang will face court today after being charged following investigations into shooting incidents across Sydney. Police arrested a 17-year-old male, an alleged Hell's Angels associate, at a residence in Auburn following a search warrant executed about 6.30am yesterday. Officers then searched another home in Granville before arresting a second 17-year-old male, also an alleged Hells Angel associate, at an address in Freshwater about 2pm yesterday. Strike Force Kinnarra will allege the youths were involved in a shooting incident at Oxford Street, Merrylands on April 23. In what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, bikies were the intended targets in an attack on an apartment block at Oxford Street, however the bullets were sprayed into the homes of two single women. At least seven shots were fired into the Oxford St complex with bullets shattering the glass doors on the second and third storey. The 17-year-old from Auburn was charged with fire firearm at dwelling/house with disregard for safety, and fire firearm at dwelling etc organised criminal activity. The 17-year-old from Freshwater was charged with fire firearm at dwelling/house with disregard for safety. They were both refused bail to appear in Parramatta Children's Court today. Strike Force Kinnarra was established to investigate five shooting attacks in a single night on homes and businesses at Merrylands, Baulkham Hills, Granville and Northmead on April 17. Gun attacks at residents in Rouse Hill and Bella Vista on April 20 are also under investigation by this police unit. Premier Barry O'Farrell responded to the spate of shooting incidents and the public's horror when he said: "It concerns that me that people would resort to weapons to settle any sort of dispute particularly when we're talking about a family home." The Premier provided police with new powers to take on bikie related crimes when he announced that members of outlaw motorcycle gangs will be banned from wearing their "colours'' or anything that identified them as a bikie in the 58 pubs, clubs and restaurants in Kings Cross. "Wearing your club colours does not make you some sort of superhero, impervious to the law,'' he said.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Hells Angels 'bikie bar' shut down after raid by police

Bar 47 - an invitation-only basement operation where members were given swipe cards to gain access to private parties on Friday and Saturday nights - was raided yesterday by officers who seized more than $20,000 worth of alcohol, a dancing stage and other items before shutting it down. Police believe the venue was also used to distribute illicit drugs, with officers apparently ripping open the ceiling during their search. No one was at the premises during the raid. Senior police said they were investigating links between the bar and members of an outlaw motorcycle gang, believed to be the Hells Angels. The property at 47 York St is owned by former Sydney property developer and multi-millionaire Albert Bertini, who recently moved to France. There is no suggestion Mr Bertini was involved with the bar or with the Hells Angels. Police had heard of wild parties in the basement, with the raid the culmination of a lengthy investigation.

Murky Bandidos search remains fruitless

Police in Melbourne have come up empty-handed after two days of searching an inner-city lake for key evidence linked to the unsolved shooting of a Bandidos bikie gang member. Officers in scuba gear swam through the murky waters of Moonee Ponds Creek in Kensington on Tuesday, hoping to locate two handguns, clothing and other evidence in the near-fatal shooting of enforcer Toby Mitchell. The 37-year-old was shot several times in the hip and back at a shopping centre carpark near the Bandidos clubhouse in November 2011, but survived after weeks in hospital. Police ended the second day of searching with no new evidence, but plan to conduct more searches in the coming days. Officers have already searched a lake near a burnt-out stolen car believed to have been used in the shooting.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ex-bikie back in jail on arson charge

former bikie accused of torching a police paddy wagon is back behind bars after a Supreme Court judge overturned a magistrate's bail ruling. On Tuesday, Justice Peter Garling ruled the "protection and welfare of the community" outweighed Scott Allen Orrock's right to bail. The granting of bail last month provoked the ire of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, who said the local court decision sent the wrong message when police were cracking down on violence linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs. Mr O'Farrell, Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and the NSW Police Association welcomed the judge's decision. "This decision will help restore public confidence in the judicial system's ability to uphold community standards," Mr O'Farrell said in a statement on Tuesday. "It will be greeted with relief by the NSW Police Force and the wider community." Speaking at the NSW Police Association's annual conference on the Central Coast, Mr Scipione said he was pleased with the ruling. "It was well known that I had a view that I thought this particular individual should have remained in custody," he told reporters. Handing down his judgment, Justice Garling noted the court was not part of the executive arm of government and was a "wholly independent arbiter" of justice. He said the crown case against Orrock was "very strong" and he revoked bail accordingly. Orrock, 47, has been charged with setting fire to a police paddy wagon parked outside his Newtown tattoo parlour in Sydney's inner west in the early hours of April 20. He has also been charged with threatening to damage property and with four counts of intimidating police. Orrock was initially refused bail, but Magistrate Julie Huber released him on strict conditions, including a $10,000 bond. Orrock is said to be a former boss of the Nomads bike gang and currently an associate of the Hells Angels. Justice Garling noted that if convicted, Orrock faced a lengthy prison sentence and there was a risk he would not appear in court to face the charges. "I am satisfied that the protection and welfare of the community and the likelihood of his committing further serious offences if at liberty on bail outweigh his general right to be at liberty," he said. Outside court, relatives of Orrock said they were angry about the decision. "He's a good man," his sister-in-law Angela Radov said. Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber said the union backed the court's decision. "This person doesn't deserve to be out on the street and the decision by the Supreme Court judge is the right decision and we fully back it," he said.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bomb hoax forces evacuation of kick-boxing event with alleged links to bikies

BUILDING was evacuated after a bomb hoax interrupted a Thai kickboxing tournament in Brisbane last night. Police were called to the Sleeman Sports Centre at Chandler to search for a "suspicious package" after a called in threat just after 9pm, a police spokesman said. He said about 1,700 patrons were allowed back into the event after about an hour when no device was found. A Sleeman Sports Centre spokeswoman would not comment. The tournament allegedly has links to bikie gangs, ABC News reported, with police also on guard at a separate kicking boxing event on the Gold Coast, after rival bikie members apparently turned up, sparking fears of a clash. A Brisbane martial arts leader who did not want to be named, told ABC the past two fights at the Brisbane event were organised by bikie groups. "The police basically went in and shut it down. Other people were saying the bomb scare was a bit of a hoax, and authorities just wanted a reason to shut it down because of links to a bikie gang," the source said. "(For) the fans that have bought tickets and the guys that are actually in the tournament fighting to win some prize money ... it is very disappointing that it has been closed down." Police have made no arrests and are continuing their investigations.

Sex, bikies and busts for Armidale sex shop

LUSTICUs owner Lisa Mooney is claiming police harassment following the confiscation of 56 allegedly illegal adult movies by detectives from her Armidale sex shop. Armidale detectives swooped on the Lusticus business on Miller St at 11.30am on Thursday, after a tip-off that Ms Mooney was selling X-rated 18 years-plus classification films. The items were taken to Armidale Police Station and will be sent to the NSW classification review board to have their classifications confirmed. Detective Sergeant Matt Crotty of New England Local Area Command told The Express that “if they are confirmed as being of that X 18-plus classification, we’ll be laying charges against the owner of the premises”. While Ms Mooney concedes that she wrongly had the 56 films for sale, she said the raid was the latest in a series of police attempts to “harass and victimise me”. In relation to Thursday’s police bust, she told The Express: “I had just opened the shop and before I knew it there were eight coppers walking through the door. It blew me away and I felt intimidated. “I admit I’m in the wrong for selling these films. But nowhere in the fine-print of the catalogues I’m buying these DVDs from does it say it’s illegal for sale in NSW. “Being an owner of an adult shop, though, I should have looked into that, but I didn’t. I didn’t do my homework. It’s not illegal to own them, but it’s illegal to sell them. “It still doesn’t change the fact that the cops are trying to get to me.” Ms Mooney claimed that local police had been unfairly targeting her family, friends and her partner Heath, who is a member of the Rebels bikie gang. “I don’t know what else the cops think they’re going to find out the back of my business: a knock shop, 200 Chinese girls in a corner, or a big bikie gang hiding out,” she said. “I’m just the small fish in the bigger picture here. “I have a feeling the local cops are after the outlaw side of things, and they are a bit jealous they are missing out because it’s all happening in Sydney.

Man killed father to save mother from bikie gang, court hears

A man who set himself on fire after allegedly killing his father and a 12-year-old girl believed he had to commit the crimes to protect his mother from a bikie group that was threatening to kill them, a court has heard. Renzo Da-Pra, 48, is on trial in the NSW Supreme Court, charged with the murder of his father, Gino Da-Pra, 77, who was beaten to death and dumped in a car boot, and the girl whose throat was cut soon after. He is also charged with attempting to murder the girl's grandmother, by also cutting her throat. Advertisement: Story continues below Both deaths happened within hours of each other in the western Sydney suburb of Wetherill Park in December 2009. In his opening address to the jury, Crown prosecutor Ken McKay said Mr Da-Pra's mental state at the time of the alleged murders would be a crucial issue in the trial. Mr McKay said that Mr Da-Pra believed that a bikie group had made threats against his family and that, if he killed his father and himself, somehow his mother would be spared. He said that, after committing the killings, he had presented himself at Fairfield hospital, reeking of petrol and with a pad of paper that held a confession. Mr Da-Pra then went to the hospital car park, sat in a petrol soaked car and set it alight. He was pulled from the vehicle by police and survived, but suffered serious burns. The court heard that Mr Da-Pra's fears about the bikie group were a delusion. But psychiatrists who interviewed him after the killings found that he had an appreciation of what he had done. Mr McKay said that he also "had a recognition that what he was doing was wrong". He had told a psychiatrist that he went to the home of the girl and her grandmother to establish an alibi for his father's death by making it look as if there had been a home invasion. Mr McKay said Mr Da-Pra had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. The court heard that, when ambulance officers arrived at the home of the 12-year-old girl and her grandmother, the older woman was unable to say who had attacked her because her vocal cords had been partly severed. "She used her finger to draw an 'R' shape in the air ... to indicate it was the accused." The grandmother is expected to give evidence in the trial. The trial, before Justice Robert Shallcross Hulme, continues.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Police arrested two suspected bikie gang members in raid on a house in Blacktown

POLICE seized a loaded .45 calibre revolver and 97 grams of ‘ice’ when an alleged Nomads bikie gang member and an alleged associate of the Rebels bikie gang were arrested in a raid at Blacktown last Wednesday. Members of the Gangs Squad’s Strike Force Kinnarra set up to investigate eight shootings between the Nomads and Hells Angels in mid-April, raided a Tulloch Street house at 4.20pm. Police said no charges had been laid over the firearm pending ballistic testing to determine if it is linked with any crimes. A spokesman said equipment and chemicals used in the manufacture of ice were found in a garage and a set of knuckledusters, a 13-cm knife, ammunition and two grams of methylamphetamine were found in car at the premises. Police also found a wallet with a driver’s licence and several identification cards for another man which police say was stolen. A 27-year-old man who lives at the Tulloch Street address, faces two charges of supplying and two charges of possessing 97 grams of methylamphetamine. He didn’t appear during his mention at Blacktown Court last Thursday and was refused bail to re-appear on May 17. A 31-year-old alleged associate of the Rebels from Penrith, pleaded guilty to possession of two grams of methylamphetamine, possession of the metal knuckledusters and ammunition but not guilty to custody of the knife and possession of goods believed to be stolen (the driver’s licence and ID cards). He was given strict bail conditions to re-appear on May 31, including an undertaking not to associate with any member of an outlaw motorcycle club or his co-accused, report at Penrith police station three times a week and a $2000 surety. Strike Force Kinnarra is also investigating shootings at five homes and businesses at Merrylands, Baulkham Hills, Granville and Northmead in the early hours of April 17, two shootings at Rouse Hill and Bella Vista on April 20 and a shooting at a unit block in Merrylands on April 23. It has arrested 10 people, including two men charged in relation to the shooting at the Merrylands unit block.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Britons fined for penguin theft

Two British tourists from Wales have been fined a thousand Australian dollars for stealing a penguin named Dirk from a theme park in Brisbane. The two men, Rhys Jones and Keri Mules pleaded guilty to snatching Dirk in a drunken prank last month. Duncan Kennedy reports from Sydney.

In a bloody battle between two warring neighbours in Australia today, one man's arm was almost severed with a chain saw, while another had a finger chopped off with a Samurai sword.

Surgeons were later trying to save the arm of the chain saw victim, Mark Jorgenson, 29, while his neighbour Troy Thornton, 26, was being treated after losing his finger to the Samurai sword.

Police who rushed to the small town of Minto, south west of Sydney, found pools of blood in the street and Mr Jorgenson crying in pain from his almost-severed arm.

Fight: Two neighbours battled each other with a chainsaw and samurai sword - ending with a severed arm and a chopped off finger

Fight: Two neighbours battled each other with a chainsaw and samurai sword - ending with a severed arm and a chopped off finger

Detectives are investigating claims that after the two men argued over loud music and reckless driving, Mr Thornton went to Mr Jorgenson's house with the chain saw. 

Mr Jorgenson grabbed the Japanese sword and the bloody battle began. Detective Chief Inspector Mark Brett described the result of the confrontation as 'horrific'.

He said: 'A chain saw is a serious weapon which inflicts pretty brutal injuries. 

 

 It's very disturbing…a chainsaw and a Samurai sword are serious weapons.' It is too early to say who'll be charged, he added.

After paramedics said that Mr Jorgenson's arm was so badly damaged that they believed it would have to be amputated, his father Laurie told Sydney's Daily Telegraph that the brawl with the next-door family started in the afternoon following complaints about noise.

Warring: The men were taken to hospital in an ambulance, and are now being treated for their wounds

Warring: The men were taken to hospital in an ambulance, and are now being treated for their wounds

Mr Thorton's mother, Wendy, confirmed that her son did wield the chain saw, but said he grabbed it to defend himself.

'They (the Jorgensen family) had machetes and bats and we had nothing so Troy grabbed the chain saw,' she said.

The two families agreed they had been involved in an ongoing war but Mr Jorgensen said sorting it out with a chain saw was extreme. 'Fists maybe, but this is just over the top,' he said.

Mr Thornton's family explained that he had been staying at the house to comfort his sister Nicole, who had recently lost her partner when his small boat overturned on a river.

Police said they had been called to Fenton Crescent, Minto, following reports a person armed with a chain saw had entered a house.

Forensic officers set up a crime scene as detectives began interviewing both families at length.

Chainsaws are powerful cutting machines that can be powered by a two-stroke motor, electricity, compressed air or hydraulic power. They are used mostly for felling trees and lopping thick branches.

The cutting part of the oblong-shaped device consists of a chain with small sharp cutting teeth. Some specialised machines are used to cut through concrete.

Many companies insist that operators should be certified or licensed to work with chain saws.

The terror that chain saws can bring when used against people was emphasised in the 1974 movie The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - considered so horrific that it was banned in several countries.




Images have been released of a man wanted for questioning the Gold Coast shootings

Images have been released of a man wanted for questioning the Gold Coast shootings.PHOTO: Images have been released of a man wanted for questioning the Gold Coast shootings.(Queensland Police: supplied)

Queensland Police have released images of a man they believe may be able to assist them them with inquiries into Saturday's double shooting on the Gold Coast.

A man with outlaw motorcycle gang connections was shot at the crowded Robina Town shopping centre, along with a woman who police believe was an innocent bystander.

The gunman, described as a muscular man of Pacific Islander appearance with a tattooed neck, remains at large but police are combing through video footage to try to track him down.

Three of the images released by police depict a man with a black hoodie, while two of the images show the same man in a white shirt.

The incident is the latest in a series of violent attacks across Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The gunman is reported to have walked up to the male victim and shot him in the right bicep before fleeing the scene. It is believed the 45-year-old woman was shot in the pelvis.

Both victims were taken to the Gold Coast hospital and are in a stable condition.

The Queensland Government says it will deploy extra police and boost funding to combat the recent wave of bikie-related violence.

In the past businesses owned by the Bandidos and the Hells Angels have been targeted and shots have also been fired into the Gypsy Jokes clubhouse at Everton Hills.

Robina shooting victim not talking

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says a man injured in a Gold Coast shopping centre shooting yesterday has so far refused to co-operate with police. The injured man is due to be released from hospital today. Police have said the male victim has links to bikie gangs and Mr Atkinson says it's been a long held culture of outlaw motorcycle gangs not to talk to police and to resolve matters between themselves. Mr Atkinson has released five images of a muscular, tattooed man caught on security camera who's believed to be the offender and police hope the public can identify him. A woman, who was an innocent bystander was also injured in the shooting at The Robina Town Centre shopping complex, and is expected to remain in hospital for some time.

A member of the Bandidos bikie gang was reportedly with his children when he was shot by a man suspected of being a fellow bikie.

The shooting is the latest in a string of related attacks during the week across south-eastern Queensland. The state's police commissioner says the bikie conflict is the "worst" he's ever seen it and he's calling on his interstate colleagues to help. In New South Wales where a bikie feud has been underway for several weeks police carried out a massive operation on the weekend to seize illegal firearms and continue their pressure on bikie gangs.

Melbourne man extradited over Queensland 'bikie war' shootings

man accused of shooting two people in a busy Queensland shopping centre will be extradited to Queensland. Mark James Graham, 26, of Keilor, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court this afternoon where he made no application for bail. Deputy chief magistrate Duncan Reynolds remanded him in the custody of Queensland Police to face Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday. Advertisement: Story continues below An innocent female bystander was one of two people shot at Robina Town Centre on Saturday afternoon, in an incident that is believed to be linked to a feud between outlaw motorcycle gangs. According to an extradition warrant, Graham is likely to face three charges including attempted murder, acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding. A two-day suppression order prohibiting the publication of images of Graham or depictions of any identifying features was also issued. A similar order is likely to be sought in Queensland after the defence said identity would be an issue if Graham faced trial. Graham was arrested by heavily-armed officers from the Special Operations Group and Taskforce Echo, which investigates illegal motorcycle gangs, in Melton about 8.20pm yesterday. The arrest followed a joint investigation by Victoria Police, Queensland Police and the Australian Federal Police. The 53-year-old woman who was struck by a stray bullet at the shopping centre was taken to the Gold Coast Hospital where she was treated for a bullet wound to her pelvis. A Bandidos member, named by police sources as Jacques Teamo, was also shot in the left bicep in front of his two children. Mr Teamo, who has since been released from hospital, is believed to know his attacker but is refusing to talk to police. The shooting is believed to be part of a revenge attack on Mr Teamo, whose Mermaid Beach East Coast Ink tattoo parlour was shot at last week. Yesterday, Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Stewart told the ABC that police intelligence suggested the Hells Angels and Bandidos were involved in an escalating turf war, as well as other outlaw bikie gangs.

Gold Coast bikie gangs avoid police raids

IT has been two years, 10 months, and 14 days since police last raided any of the eight bikie clubhouses on the Gold Coast. That is 1049 days -- 149 weeks -- since police attempted to strike the gangs in the heart of their organisations. Even senior police officers are shocked it has been so long since they tackled the bikies head-on at their clubhouses. The last time was on June 18, 2009, when the Nomads clubhouse at Worongary was raided. Three men were arrested after Gold Coast detectives hit the club in the dawn raid, seizing drugs, weapons and ammunition. While there have been long-term operations targeting the gangs, none has involved taking on the headquarters of the bikies. With eight outlaw gang clubhouses within the Gold Coast city limits, critics say it is time the highly fortified buildings were hit. The Queensland Police Union said the public needed to see police tackle the gangs head-on -- particularly after the double shooting at Robuna Town Centre on Saturday. A Victorian man was arresovercast night over the shooting and faces extradition to Queensland. Union president Ian Leavers said it was time the management of the South East Police Region supported troops when it came to the bikie war. "Police need to have the resources and the support to tackle the bikie menace," Mr Leavers said. "What the public need to see right now is police out there tackling this problem. They need to see police hitting the bikies hard." Senior police also said it was time police went "on the front foot". "That is a ridiculous amount of time for the bikies to be left to their own devices in the clubhouses," one officer said. "Almost three years is simply unacceptable. We need to be out there turning these people over and making life uncomfortable for them to do business. "It's more than listening to a telephone intercept. They need to be winning the war in the eyes of the public so that people feel safe. "Right now, the public does not see police actually doing very much at all, other than holding press conferences." Serving police pointed to the recent Hells Angels National Run, when more than 200 patched members of the gang descended on the Gold Coast. While police monitored every stage of the run, enforcement was kept to traffic tickets. "They actually asked for extra police to monitor the bikies and give them jaywalking tickets if they crossed the road at the wrong time," the officer said. "Jaywalking tickets -- that's hardly tackling the outlaw gangs. "It's a joke."

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