Three Victorian men, including two
Hells Angels bikies, freed on bail after arrested under
THREE Victorian men, including
two Hells Angels, who took a Gold Coast holiday only to
wind up in solitary confinement under Queensland's bikie
gang crackdown, have been freed on bail.
Supreme Court Judge James Douglas found
there were questions about the strength of the case against
Darren Keith Haley, Daniel Morgan Lovett and Kresimir Basic,
who were charged under anti-association laws.
The men, who police encountered in Surfers
Paradise on an outing to buy ice cream, spent almost three
weeks in lockdown in conditions their lawyer outside court
compared unfavourably to "the new dog kennels at the RSPCA".
They are charged with knowingly being in a
public place in a group of three more participants of a
criminal organisation after Queensland police received
intelligence from Victoria linking the group to the Hells
Angels and Comancheros bikie gangs.
Two others in the group, Bane Alajbegovic
and Dario Halilovic, were freed last week after the Crown
conceded they could not prove their ongoing involvement in
the Comancheros and its case against them was weak.
The court heard Haley and Lovett were both
self-confessed members of the Hells Angels but Basic denied
membership of any gang.
Basic is also charged with being in a
Hilton hotel room with Alajbegovic and Halilovic but Judge
Douglas noted it was arguable whether a hotel room was a
He said the men, who have been in solitary
confinement since January 9, would "suffer financially by
continued detention" ahead of a likely trial in May.
Solicitor Chris Hannay told The
Courier-Mail outside court the men had been kept in filthy
4m X 5m concrete cells for 23 hours a day.
"I'd compare it to dog kennels - the new
RSPCA is much better," he said.
Defence barrister Stephen Courtney said
Haley, 33, had no criminal history and lived with his
parents, partner and two young children while running a
business with five employees.
Lovett, 30, who had gained permission from
Victorian authorities to travel to Queensland on holiday,
was married with one child and expecting another.
He was on bail for burglary and drug
production charges in Victoria for which his parents had put
up a $200,000 surety.
Basic, 31, is a self-employed panel beater
with a criminal record but not jail time.
He is on bail for drug trafficking charges
in Victoria but last August was granted permission to travel
Prosecutor Vicki Loury said there was no
suggestion the men were a flight risk or had appeared in
public "in furtherance" of the activities of the criminal
organisation of which they are allegedly participants.