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The worlds most ridiculous trial?
The prosecution on Wednesday called several police officers who outlined intercepts and raids involving some of the men dubbed The Yandina Seven.
When questioned by defence barristers, the officers said those questioned had been co-operative and none had tested positive to alcohol or drugs.
The long-awaited case, delayed by a State Government review of the criminal association legislation, relates to an alleged meeting at the Yandina Hotel on November 1, 2013.
Joshua Shane Carew, Scott Michael Conley, Eric Ferdinand Fehlhaber, Patrick Francis Moloney and Steven Michael Smith are charged with being knowingly present in a public place with two or more people who were participants in a criminal organisation. They have all pleaded not guilty. Co-accused Paul Jeffrey Lansdowne has had his matter adjourned until April 28, while Dan Whale was last week delisted with a plea pending.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Todd Fuller QC, called a number of officers to give evidence relating to alleged ties between the men and an outlaw motorcycle gang.
Senior Constable Richard Whatman told the court he had identified Steven Smith outside the Hervey Bay Rebels’ clubhouse on February 2, 2013, where the accused was taking part in a “Poker Run’’ (group ride).
Fellow officer, Senior Constable Chris Wheeler identified Scott Conley at the same event and said Conley had stated he was “an associate of the Rebels’’.
Detective Sergeant Craig Bowman testified that Steven Smith and Paul Lansdowne were identified as being part of an event celebrating the opening of the Rebels’ Beenleigh clubhouse.
Detective Senior Constable Tim Harris said that when issuing a search warrant at Conley’s Yandina address on July 4, 2013, he noted the living room contained five or six boxes of shirts with the Rebels logo. When questioned, Conley told police the items were only sold “within the club’’.
Senior Constable Wes Hopper told the court he had observed Eric Fehlhaber wearing his Rebels’ jacket while questioning him at the BP service station in Longreach on September 26, 2013.
Senior Constable Cindy Berganin told the court she had intercepted Patrick Moloney at Glass House Mountains last year riding his Harley Davidson in gang colours.
Sen Const Berganin was also involved in interviewing Yandina Hotel staff, telling the court they had identified the accused via photo boards following the alleged gathering in 2013.
The same staff members, called to give evidence Wednesday, were less sure of who they saw, saying much time had passed since that evening.
They said they were aware of Rebels at the pub, but they rarely wore their colours and there had never been any trouble.
The trial continues.