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.

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