Cairns men handed good behaviour bonds for bikie charge
Mark Filtness and Peter Johnson, both 51, were arrested outside the Odin’s Warriors clubhouse on Spence St in October 2013, just hours after the new laws were bought into effect.
The case has lingered in the court system for years awaiting a review of the laws by the Labor Government.
The pair were charged with being a participant of a criminal motorcycle gang and entering a prescribed place which carried a minimum six-month jail sentence when they were initially charged.
LEGAL EXPERT DOWNPLAYS LIKELY PUNISHMENT FOR ALLEGED CAIRNS BIKIES
But the legislation was modified last year to exclude the minimum sentence and the men received six-month good behaviour bonds in the Cairns Magistrates Court today.
Magistrate Sandra Pearson said there was “very little criminality involved” in the men’s offending.
The court heard they had been renting apartments attached to the bikie clubhouse, but not directly part of it.
Defence solicitor Philip Bovey said the pair had packed up and emptied the clubhouse after the laws were introduced before Johnson went to Cairns police station to confirm they had acted correctly.
He returned home to find police waiting for him and speaking with Filtness.
Mr Bovey said his client’s lives had been affected dramatically by the “draconian” laws with Johnson losing his job due to adverse publicity after their charging and both men being forced to pay onerous legal costs as the case dragged through court.
The court was told this was the only case of its kind to be prosecuted in Queensland since the introduction of the LNP’s laws.