Australasian biker news

Home Bike News Rides  Events Tech Links


Ex-bikie Mark Sandery out of jail in three months after weapons conviction

Mark Sandery

Former Finks bikie gang member Mark Sandery, father of child who was shot in Semaphore, outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court in 2011. Source: adelaidenow


FORMER Finks bikie Mark Sandery will be released from prison in three months regardless of the outcome of an appeal against his conviction for possessing a high-powered assault rifle.

Sandery, 42, was convicted of possessing an SKS semi-automatic rifle and 700 rounds of ammunition at his former Semaphore home, despite a judge's ruling that there was "reasonable doubt" he knew about the weapon.

District Court judge Sydney Tilmouth today sentenced Sandery to 14 months prison for possessing the weapon and ammunition while under a court order not to possess firearms.

Judge Tilmouth found Sandery guilty because of a quirk in South Australian firearms laws which reverses the traditional onus of proof, requiring a defendant to prove they were not aware of the presence of a weapon.

Sandery's lawyers argued their client had no knowledge of the gun and was living in a safe house in Melbourne after his 11-year-old son had been shot in the leg by intruders at the Semaphore house two months earlier.


Judge Tilmouth said Sandery had failed to prove, on balance, he did not have control of the property because he had been there two days before the raid. The judge found the former bikie's evidence was "unsatisfactory in many respects".

The court today heard Sandery had engaged top Adelaide silk David Edwardson QC to appeal against his conviction in the Supreme Court.

Judge Tilmouth said he would sentence Sandery on the basis that he had no knowledge of the weapon, which the court heard had another man's DNA but not Sandery's.

"You are to be sentenced on the basis that you did not have direct knowledge of the firearm and therefore that it was not a deliberate offence," he said.

With time already served, Sandery will be released from prison on August 20.

Sandery, who was once convicted over the infamous 1996 Yatala prison riots, breathed a sigh of relief and gave two thumbs-up to supporters as he left the dock.

He was repeatedly refused bail awaiting trial on the firearms charges after judges ruled he was a risk because of comments to news crews threatening retribution against the men who shot his son.

One man has been charged over that incident and is awaiting trial in the District Court.


Hit Counter