John Trigg, of Hobart, with a
sketch of his son Sean Trigg, who was killed when intervening in
a domestic dispute last year. Picture: Nikki Davis-Jones
THE father of a bikie killed
while intervening in a domestic violence incident has demanded
an apology after police used his son’s name as part of a bid to
shut down an Outlaws Motorcyle Club clubhouse.
John Trigg, who has served as a
former Assistant Federal Auditor General and Northern Territory
Chief Auditor, asked for the apology after the man responsible
for his son’s death appeared again in court last week.
Sean Leslie Trigg, 48, an Outlaws
Motorcycle Club member, of St Marys, was killed in June last
year after he ran into a Bridgewater house to help a female
friend who was being assaulted by Matthew James Linton. Sean was
declared dead in the kitchen of 10 Wallace St after being
stabbed 18 times.
Linton, 35, was last month found
guilty by a jury of manslaughter after pleading not guilty to
the murder and will be sentenced this week.
John Trigg is now asking for an
apology from Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine, after
police used Sean’s death as part justification to fight a liquor
licence application the club was seeking from the Licencing
Police objected to the renewal of
a special liquor permit for the Outlaws Motorcycle Group’s
Bridgewater premises and referred to Sean’s death as one of the
justifications not to grant the liquor licence.
In the objection – obtained by
the Mercury – Tasmania Police Inspector John Ward used
the incident as one way to justify the club’s links to organised
crime in order to have the licence rejected.
It was one of two incidents used
as justification from a Tasmanian perspective.
Another five news articles from
mainland agencies were used from a national perspective.
“Outlaw OMCG member Sean Leslie
Trigg was murdered in June 2014,” Mr Ward said in the objection,
which was filed before the manslaughter verdict.
“A person has been remanded in
custody to appear in the Supreme Court on 1 September 2014,
charged with murder and common assault for allegedly punching a
woman in the face.
“The victim was a member of the
Outlaws OMCG .... further the incident took place within sight
of the Bridgewater chapter.”
The licence was ultimately
Mr Trigg said if his son was not
a bikie, he would have been lauded for the bravery he showed
which ultimately led to his death.
“If a Sandy Bay lawyer who
happened to be a member of the Athenaeum Club had similarly
intervened in a domestic violence incident and some of the
people involved had been to the Athenaeum Club that day, I very
much doubt that would be presented to the Licensing Commissioner
as evidence to get rid of the liquor licence for that club,” he
Police Minister Rene Hidding.
“In fact I would think he would
have been given a posthumous bravery award.
“The facts are the same – only
the club memberships differ.”
Mr Trigg also has a letter from
Police Minister Rene Hidding – whom he has known since his days
as president of the Hamilton Branch of the Liberal Party 20
years ago – which states: “it seems clear to me that your son
was a good, loving son, brother, father and grandfather who
acted in an accountable fashion as a citizen – and paid a
terrible price for doing so.
“I can only hope that I and the
other males in my family would act in a similarly accountable
fashion faced with the same circumstance.”
Mr Trigg requested an opportunity
to discuss the matter with Mr Hine.
However, after a series of
letters was handed to Tasmania Police staff – with some police
correspondence back to him apparently lost in transit – he
received a letter from Assistant Police Commissioner Donna Adams
defending the submission to the Liquor Board.
“While not all people visiting
premises by OMCGs or associated with members of OMCGs are
engaged in criminal activity, Tasmania Police holds that the
public interest is not served by a liquor permit being issued to
the Bridgewater Chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club,” Ms
Tasmania Police Assistant
Commissioner Donna Adams.
The Assistant Commissioner added
that she understood the submission had caused Mr Trigg and his
family distress but that was not the police’s intention.
“I am confident the submission to
the Commissioner for Licencing was appropriate under the
circumstances,” she said.
These sentiments were echoed by
Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling.
“Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are one
of the most high-profile manifestations of organised crime,” he
“Against this context, relevant
facts were provided to the Commissioner for Licensing as part of
Tasmania Police’s objection to the Bridgewater Chapter of the
Outlaw Motorcycle Club’s application for a liquor license.
“We consider the submission
appropriate under the circumstances.”
Mr Hidding also agreed with Ms
Adams’s sentiments in a letter to John Trigg and his wife Anne.
He said that, despite the
circumstances, the submission was warranted.
“It may assist you to understand
that it is the strong public position of the Commissioner of
Police that no motorcycle club should hold or be granted a
liquor license – and he has considerable support in the public
sector given some of the appalling evidence available and the
criminal histories of key individuals,” he said.