Bikies put up Hells Angel tattooist
in court battle against Campbell Newman’s criminal gang
MEET the “straw man” Queensland
bikies are banking on in a high-stakes bid to knock down
the Newman Government’s criminal gang laws.
can reveal that Hells Angels tattooist “Steffen” will be the
face of a High Court challenge by peak body the United
Legal sources said the Poland-born bikie –
who is believed to have no businesses, properties or major
assets – is a “smart” choice for legal action that could
cost the loser up to $500,000.
The tattooist has no recorded criminal
convictions but is barred from working in his former home
state of NSW under laws banning bikies from the industry
there from last year.
He has not been arrested for any crime
under Queensland’s bikie crackdown but risks being again
banned from the profession here when similar laws come into
effect in July.
TEST CASE: Hells Angel Steffen, who has no
criminal convictions, will challenge
Queensland’s bikie laws in the High Court.
The bikie is one of only four known
card-carrying Hells Angels in Queensland.
The controversial bikie
laws are biting back, with a new poll
showing the Premier's sales pitch isn't
Steffen, who settled in Australia after
his family fled communist Poland, is understood to have been
a Hells Angel for about five years.
A legal source said the UMC was
“effectively putting up a straw man” for a case in which the
State Government was “highly likely” to seek to recover
legal costs if the bid failed. As a “straw man” with few
assets, Steffen would have little to lose.
It is understood the UMC, which is funding
the challenge with the help of public donations, including
some from union sources, is poised to lodge its challenge
The UMC’s legal team includes Ken Fleming
QC, who helped Dr Jayant Patel successfully defend a
manslaughter charge in 2013, and barrister Wayne Baffsky,
who helped a NSW Hells Angel vanquish similar anti-gang laws
Mr Baffsky said all court cases involving
the new laws – including arrests under anti-association laws
– would likely be postponed until the High Court case was
Members of the Finks club still have an
unpaid costs order hanging over them after their
unsuccessful High Court challenge to the previous Queensland
government’s criminal organisation laws last year.
It is not clear if the order will be
enforced, as the club no longer officially exists in
Australia after most members joined the Mongols.