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Members of Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club face court

The throbbing sound of the Harley Davidson pierced through the monotonous humdrum of cars travelling along Shellharbour Road that December day.

Hogging the middle lane as he headed north at a leisurely pace through Barrack Heights, the motorcycle's rider was apparently a visitor to the region, or so the famed gold lettering and distinctive skull embossed on the back of his leather vest indicated.

He was from south of the border - a Victorian - and was wearing his state of origin proudly.

But it wasn't long before the public exhibition gained him some unwanted attention.

Three other patched-up riders approached him from behind, boxing in the rider so he was forced onto the shoulder where he came to a halt.

As the riders dismounted their bikes and turned to face each other, it became clear the situation was a hostile one.

"Get your vest off, we're taking your vest," one of the group demanded of the lone rider.

When the man retaliated, the remaining two riders wrestled him to the ground.

One of the riders grabbed the lone rider's thumb and pulled it back, causing pain to shoot into the man's arm.

"Enough is enough," the lone rider said.

"Let me go and I'll get my vest off myself and you can have it. I can get another one next week."

Apparently satisfied with the victory, the trio took possession of the vest, remounted their bikes and departed the scene, leaving the lone rider by the side of the road.

To add insult to injury, the incident was broadcast to several high-ranking members of the club by those responsible 10 days later.

"[The rider] was seen riding north on Shellharbour Road with VVMC colours. He was pursued and forced over to stop. He was given the opportunity to remove his vest but refused. He was taken down and his vest removed."

Sean Patrick Robinson, from Albion Park, and Neil McLaughlin, from Haywards Bay, faced Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday charged with assault over the incident.

The pair are members of the VVMC - the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club.

Robinson was the Sergeant at Arms of the Veterans Motorcycle Club Sydney chapter.

They claimed through their lawyers that the rider they'd stopped had been expelled from the Victorian chapter last year for bad behaviour and they'd become angry when seeing him continuing to wear the colours.

"They made a mistake ... out of a misplaced sense of loyalty," one of the men's lawyers said.

The court heard both men had no criminal history and exemplary military service records, including tours of duty in Vietnam, East Timor and Somalia, however both suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their combat experiences.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart agreed to release both men on 12-month good behaviour bonds, telling them to find non-violent ways to settle their disputes in the future.


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