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A Canberra bikie will spend Christmas in jail after allegedly blackmailing and threatening another man to sell nearly 50 grams of MDMA he himself had trafficked.
Alex Bourne appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court today on charges relating to incidents from earlier in December.
The court heard Bourne was a member of the Canberra chapter of the motorcycle gang the Comancheros and that his role within the group was a standover man who collected debts for drug trafficking.
Police told the court Bourne had allegedly told the victim the only reason he had not broken into his house, tied him up and stuck a gun in his mouth was because the victim had CCTV cameras around his property.
The court also heard the victim had admitted to trafficking drugs, but was so worried for his safety after the alleged blackmail he had come forward to police.
Police also said there were several other people who had reported being threatened or intimidated by Bourne and were too concerned for their wellbeing to make formal statements.
Bourne's lawyer, Paul Edmonds, argued that other than the word of the victim, who was a confessed drug trafficker, there was no evidence Bourne would threaten him if released on bail.
"The evidence is almost entirely reliant on the word of the man who is, by his own admission, a large-scale trafficker in the ACT," Mr Edmonds said.
Mr Edmonds also said Bourne's association with the motorcycle gang was not illegal, and he should not be presumed a criminal because of that association.
"We're not in Queensland, it is not an offence to be a member of such a club in the ACT," he said.
But Magistrate Bernadette Boss disagreed, noting the victim's particular lack of convictions for dishonesty.
"In relation to the evidence at this point [the victim] has no known convictions and perhaps, significantly, has no convictions for dishonesty," Magistrate Boss said.
"Given the great fear of retribution and the threats alleged to have been made to the complainant and the history of drug use and violence … it seems in those situations if released on bail [Bourne may interfere] with a witness."
Magistrate Boss denied bail and remanded Bourne in custody until his next court date early in the new year.