However, prosecutors have urged the Supreme Court
to reject the group’s asserted change of heart, saying records of
their time in prison tell a different story.
They claim lists of visitors, phone calls and
letters received — as well as money paid into one man’s account —
show they continue to live as they always did, even in prison.
Corey Dettmann, Bozidar Cekic, Dean Richard
Ciantar, Paul Paunovic and Mostyn Carmello Rex Niemann faced
sentencing submissions in the Supreme Court today.
The men — members and prospective members of the
now-defunct gang — pleaded not guilty at trial to one aggravated
count of causing serious harm with intent.
They each denied a further, aggravated count of
Bozidar Cekic and Mostyn Niemann
outside the District Court.
Prosecutors alleged the offences occurred at the
Finks’ “north side” club rooms in Salisbury on February 13, 2013
against senior Finks bikie Charles Bonnici.
They further alleged it resulted in the theft of
Mr Bonnici’s gold neck chain worth $67,200.
Prosecutors alleged the group
used pool cues, a vacuum cleaner, a table and bolt cutters during a
planned assault designed to enhance their standing within
the now-defunct gang.
Injuries sustained by Mr Bonnici — who did not
give evidence — included two collapsed lungs, brain swelling and
Three days into the trial, Chief Justice Kourakis
dismissed the aggravated theft charges.
Giving evidence, Cekic said the assault
was not pre-planned but was a one-on-one brawl
sparked by Mr Bonnici making the group wait in the heat for
a Finks meeting.
In his evidence, Dettman — a former
Sergeant at Arms of the club — said the chain
was cut from Mr Bonnici’s neck because he needed assistance
Chief Justice Chris Kourakis
rejected their evidence as “inherently improbable”
and found each member of the group guilty.
Today Martin Anders, for Cekic, 24, said
his client’s new outlook on life should be a primary
consideration in sentencing.
“My client was a young man at the time and
it is his sworn evidence that he has no intention of
patching over to the Mongols Motorcycle Club,” he said.
“Prosecutors will oppose this based on
material supplied to them by prison authorities (that) runs
some hundreds of pages.
“If we were afforded some time to take
instructions, before submissions proceed today, that should
be adequate to address this issue.”
Heath Barklay, for Ciantar, agreed.
“My client wants to make a break from any
association with motorcycle clubs, indeed he has made that
break, and that’s been done for some time,” he said.
Lawyers for the other men also asked for
Chief Justice Kourakis granted counsel an
hour’s adjournment to speak to their clients, but warned the
matter not be able to proceed.
“The accused may wish to make the
submission they ceased any association with the club after
these events and do not have any intention of resuming those
connections,” he said.
“If that submission is made in mitigation,
the onus to prove that on the balance on probability rests
“It will not be enough to say that from
the bar table, and may have to be the subject of evidence.”
Following the adjournment, Mr Anders said
Cekic’s brief time as a Fink represented a period in which a
“very talented young man lost his way” in life.
“As teenagers, we all make errors of
judgment — some more profound than others,” he said.
“As we enter our twenties, we reflect upon
those errors and think differently ... that’s precisely the
situation Cekic is in now.
“He wants to right the wrongs he has
committed and elevate his family’s name to the good position
it once occupied.”
Mr Barklay said Ciantar, 24, had “spent
half his life in jail” for offences of violence and became
associated with the Finks through his friend,
former footballer Dylan Jessen.
He said Ciantar had severed all ties with
just as Jessen had and, like his friend, had no
intention of joining the Mongols.
“He’s fully aware, now more than ever,
when he looks back on his life, what a complete muck he has
made of it,” he said.
“He feels he is a complete idiot for the
decisions he has made in his life.”
David Edwardson, QC, for Dettmann, said a
long penalty placed his client at risk of becoming
He said Dettmann, 42, had “spent 16 of the
past 20 years” in jail.
“He recognises all the wrong choices he
has made are, to a large extent, because his identity has
been shaped, since he was a young boy, by the prison
system,” he said.
“He has been on a criminal treadmill.”
Mr Edwardson said Dettmann was a Fink from
July 2010 until 2013, but shared “a lifelong friendship”
former Fink, now Mongol Mark Sandery that predated
He said his client would not join the
Mongols, but would maintain that friendship.
He said Dettmann would also continue to
benefit from the support of his girlfriend, whom he
considered “the most important and significant” part of his
Mr Edwardson said none of the five men
should be sentenced more harshly because they were Finks at
the time of the offending.
He said that, despite the efforts of the
State Government, being a member of the Finks was not
illegal and the group had not been declared a criminal
“There’s absolutely no basis at all for
any of these men getting a high penalty because of their
association with a group that was not unlawful,” he said.
He noted prosecutors had filed application
for Dettmann to be declared a serious repeat offender,
exposing him to the risk of a harsher-than-normal jail term.
Andrew Williams, for Niemann, said his
client had been a nominee member for just two months when
the offending occurred.
He said Niemann, 26, was a respected and
recognised boxer who had participated in world championships
as an amateur and had a 6-1 record as a professional.
Mr Williams said that one loss occurred in
a cruiserweight championship bout, and had robbed Niemann of
“He took it very hard and he lost his way
at that time,” he said.
He said Niemann had befriended Cekic while
training, and it was through him that he became a Finks
“Let me be clear: he has no aspirations to
maintain any association with any club, be it the Finks or
the Mongols ... he wants to get on with his life and pursue
his sporting interests,” he said.
“My client is a very good candidate for
rehabilitation ... he had never been in prison before, and
this was a salutary lesson for him.”
Anthony Allen, for Paunovic, said his
client had battled drug addiction and the trauma of a
dysfunctional childhood throughout his life.
He said Paunovic, 40, had risen above his
demons once before and lived a law-abiding life prior to the
clubhouse incident, proving he could rehabilitate.
“Whilst he has an extensive criminal
history, there’s still a glimmer of hope for this man ...
he’s not to be consigned to the scrapheap of recidivism,” he
Chief Justice Kouakis said that was only
part of the issue he needed to consider.
“The question is not whether they are
members (of outlaw clubs) or feel strong ties of affiliation
now, but rather what will happen in the future,” he said.
“If they are maintaining contact (with
club members) now, that’s not going to give me as much
confidence as if they were completely ‘clean’.
“On the other hand, it does not
necessarily mean they are going to get back into the clubs
... I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t know.”
The group will be sentenced at a later
understands all five men had filed appeals against the