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DJ let bikie run his SA nightclub


A WELL-KNOWN Darwin DJ allowed a member of an outlaw bikie gang to run his Adelaide nightclub while he hosted weekly wet T-shirt competitions in the Top End.

DJ Stephen Hooper, known for raunchy wet T-shirt competition "Tits Out Tuesday", allowed the bikies to take over his club knowing the venue would "realistically" be used to sell drugs, a South Australian judge ruled.

The DJ was the sole director and shareholder of Rise Nightclub, at Light Square, Adelaide from 2000 to 2006.

Judge Paul Rice banned DJ Hooper from being a licensee for 15 years because of his associations with members of the Rebels Motorcycle Gang.

Judge Rice said DJ Hooper "abdicated his responsibilities" to Rebels member Robert Vitale and his brother Anthony when he moved to Darwin in 2003 to work at Discovery Nightclub.

DJ Hooper declined to comment to the NT News, but he did say he had "never" been the licensee at Discovery Nightclub.

In 2000 DJ Hooper leased the nightclub from Robert Vitale, who owned the property. Mr Vitale and his brother both applied to be approved as responsible persons for Rise Nightclub, but police intervened and it was rejected by the Office of Liquor and Gambling.

Despite that, Mr Vitale was in charge of promotions and security at the venue. His girlfriend was the club's bookkeeper and his brother was the nightclub manager.

A police investigation in 2006 found large amounts of money from the venue was not going into the nightclub's account.

Police also found the club was a popular hang out for Rebels' members.

Police records showed that between July 2003 to July 2005 about 40 per cent of police call-outs between 3am and 10am on the weekend were to the club. In that same period 42 ambulances attended the venue.

DJ Hooper managed the club from 2000 until he went to Darwin in 2003, leaving the Vitales to run it.

In February this year DJ Hooper come under fire by the Northern Territory Licensing Commission in relation to the wet T-shirt competition TOT.

A licensing inspector accused DJ Hooper of breaching guidelines for adult entertainment by telling contestants to expose their breasts during Australia Day celebrations.


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