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Far from smashing bikie menace, anti-bikie laws helped create three-year court saga

FAR from the straightforward smashing of the bikie menace with pink jumpsuits and solitary confinement promised by then-premier Campbell Newman, the anti-bikie laws have created a 3˝-year saga in the shape of the Yandina Seven.

It finally reached trial this week as the Yandina Five case after Paul Jeffrey Lansdowne had his matter adjourned and Dan Whale was last week delisted.

There was CCTV evidence the prosecution said showed the men at Yandina Hotel on November 1, 2013, associating with each other in contravention of the law.

The tape and video recordings stretch on for more than a day and the paperwork continues for hundreds of pages.

By Thursday, barrister Sam Di Carlo was challenging the interview his client Eric Fehlhaber gave to police, arguing he had been induced to confess to being at the pub with two of the other men, and also that he had not been allowed to talk in private to his lawyer.

Yesterday it became the Yandina Three.

Magistrate Annette Hennessy rejected the claim Fehlhaber had been induced to a “partial confession” but chucked out the interview because a police oversight meant he had not been able to talk to his lawyer in private.

The crown then dropped the case against him and Joshua Carew.

Lawyers for the remaining trio, Scott Michael Conley, Patrick Francis Moloney and Steven Michael Smith, could not get to their feet quick enough to argue their clients had no case to answer.

Magistrate Hennessy adjourned the case to decide.

The VLAD-related suite of laws have been a magnet for trouble. There was a High Court challenge in November 2014. Then the Labor Government introduced major changes, with bikies still unable to wear their colours but the anti-association changed to the NSWs anti-consorting model.

The case drags on.