Bikie boss makes bail - but then he's arrested again
August 18, 2011 - 12:47PM
Felix Lyle ... no bail. Photo: James Alcock
The Hells Angel bikie boss who took a month to find someone to post his bail on fraud charges was charged with extortion offences just hours before his release.
Felix Lyle, 54, the president of the Sydney chapter of the Hells Angels, was about to walk from Long Bay jail when police sat him down.
They charged him with demanding money with menaces and participating in a criminal group.
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He faced Burwood Local Court today and did not apply for bail, which was formally refused.
"He was about to come out yesterday afternoon and he's been interviewed by other detectives," his solicitor Martin Ricci said.
"And at about four o'clock yesterday afternoon he was charged with a further offence.
"He's absolutely shocked and vigorously denies it."
The charges relate to an incident on July 8, when five men demanded cash from the owner of a car yard on Parramatta Road, Burwood, in Sydney's west.
Five men, aged 24, 26, 27, 29 and 30, were arrested. All are said to be bikie gang members.
Four days earlier, several luxury cars were stolen from the yard, police say.
Mr Lyle has been in custody since July 22 on unrelated charges and was granted bail, but was required to post a $100,000 surety bond as a condition for his release.
The officer in charge had refused to vary the condition, Mr Ricci said, and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had indicated it would oppose a lesser amount.
But Mr Ricci successfully applied last week to have the surety amount reduced to $20,000.
Whoever posted Mr Lyle's bail was required to have no criminal record, not to have ever been a bankrupt and not to have provided bail in a continuing criminal matter.
"Out of the blue on Tuesday afternoon an acceptable person had put up the deposit - I was unaware he was going to do it," Mr Ricci said.
Another condition required Mr Lyle to surrender all passports, which Mr Ricci was ready to do on his behalf to the police officer in charge.
"There was obviously something going on because the cop was being difficult and couldn't meet me," Mr Ricci said.
"And then he finally 'fessed up and said detectives are trying to interview him about this other matter.
"So everything had been met and then they'd interviewed him in relation to this other matter and he was then charged with that and taken to court this morning."
Mr Ricci said Mr Lyle's chances of being bailed on the extortion charges were "quite good".
"It's just an extortion matter," he said.
"I can't imagine we'll struggle too much.
"It's not as if he's on bail committing offences."
Mr Lyle is due to face Burwood Local Court again next Wednesday.