Five alleged outlaw motorcycle gang associates jailed for meeting in a Sunshine Coast hinterland pub should learn on Thursday whether they will spend Christmas behind bars.
The alleged Rebels associates applied for bail in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday, the same day that Justice Martin Daubney granted bail to a confessed bikie charged over a Gold Coast brawl after a Supreme Court hearing in Brisbane.
Father-of-four Luke John Saggus, 32, was charged at the weekend with riot over the Broadbeach fight which sparked a state-wide crackdown against criminal bikie gangs.
Justice Martin Daubney said his links to the Bandidos don’t warrant ongoing detention for a minor offence.
The alleged Rebels associates were arrested last week and charged under new laws with being participants in a criminal organisation and being knowingly present in public places with two or more people who are participants.
Steven Smith, Scott Conley, Joshua Carew, Dan Whale and Paul Lansdowne face a minimum of six months’ jail if found guilty.
CCTV footage from the Sunshine Coast hinterland hotel where the alleged meeting took place last month was played in the court.
Prosecutor Sarah Farnden said the hotel was a well-known Rebels haunt, according to police.
The court heard Lansdowne, Carew and Smith were on bail on drug trafficking charges, while Carew was also serving a suspended sentence for couriering cocaine.
Lawyers for the five argued their clients were not flight risks and the circumstances of the alleged offence were not serious.
“There’s nothing but a few people at a hotel,” James Godbolt, for Lansdowne, said.
Lawyer David Stevenson, for Smith, Conley and Whale, added that Conley and Whale were the sole breadwinners of young families and Christmas was around the corner.
He also cited a recent Supreme Court judgment that found solitary confinement, which is now mandatory for bikies in Queensland prisons, carried a high risk of psychological harm.
Chief Magistrate Tim Carmody said he would hand down his decisions in all five cases on Thursday morning.
At the Supreme Court, Justice Daubney dismissed prosecution arguments that Saggus presented a flight risk after his family, who were in court, offered up a $100,000 surety.
Justice Daubney also ruled Saggus’s admitted Bandidos membership was not reason enough to keep him locked up ahead of his next scheduled court appearance in January.
Outside the court, Saggus’ lawyer Tim Meehan said his client would contest the charge and was “very relieved” about the bail decision.
“The charge that has been preferred against my client by the police and the specific allegations are, in the grand scheme of things, not particularly serious,” he told reporters.
“The only reason he had to show cause in order to be granted bail was because he was a member of the Bandidos.”