Items seized from alleged clubhouse after two granted bail
WARRANT: Cairns Detectives
execute a search warrant at the club house. Pic:
TOM LEE Source:
A CAIRNS man yesterday was among
the first people to be charged under Queensland's new
anti-bikie laws just hours after asking police if living
next to his organisation's clubhouse could land him in
Peter Johnson and fellow Odin's Warriors
member Mark Filtness, both 47, were both granted bail in the
Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday after becoming the first
two people in the state to be charged under the legislation.
The court heard Mr Johnson was arrested on
the clubhouse driveway shortly after he had returned from
asking police if the new laws made it illegal for him to be
living at a residential property near the clubhouse.
Their defence lawyer Philip Bovey, who
successfully argued for their immediate release from
custody, slammed the new laws outside court.
Mr Bovey labelled the laws "outrageous"
and accused police of "wasting their time" with the arrests.
Detectives swarmed on the Spence St club
late yesterday, removing various items including club
paraphernalia and a large mounted crocodile head. (read
"The legislation is outrageous, it's
draconian and this is an example of what happens when you
give police discretionary powers," Mr Bovey said outside
"They sought to have (these men) remanded
in custody for potentially months because of a vague
association with a motorcycle clubhouse.
"You see lots of Cairns police wasting
their time chasing what are obviously law abiding citizens.
(My clients) feel outraged. It's like shooting a duck in
Magistrate Trevor Black admitted in court
he was still not fully across the new legislation which was
passed through Queensland parliament about 3am Thursday.
"I just downloaded something off the
internet to try to catch up with this legislation," Mr Black
The court heard the pair both live in
apartments on the same block of land, but next door to the
clubhouse itself, and had been members of the motorcycle
club for about 20 years each.
Mr Bovey told the court Mr Johnson used
the unit as a base, but worked full-time as a diesel fitter
for Rio Tinto in Weipa, while Mr Filtness was a full-time
truck driver for his own company, which contracted to a
business at Tolga.
"(Mr Johnson) has better traffic history
than I have," Mr Bovey told the court.
"A lot of effort has been spent by QPS
arresting two men with little or no history.
"They are in a position where if they are
convicted, it is a mandatory six-month custodial sentence.
One has zero criminal history, one has little criminal
Speaking in court, prosecutor Paul
McGilvray disagreed with Mr Bovey's assertion that the
premises were divided and said he objected to bail on the
grounds that the men were a flight risk because they could
obtain financial resources from the Odin's Warriors to
enable them to flee.
"Both defendants were found in a
prescribed place," he said.
But Mr Black was not convinced the men
were a flight risk or any risk to the community.
"With respect, you might think you have a
case, I might have a different view," he told Mr McGilvray.
It is believed the Odin's Warriors have a
fairly small presence in Cairns with a membership less than
The pair were both charged with being a
participant in a criminal organisation entering a prescribed
place and were granted bail under the proviso they surrender
Mr Johnson's passport was at his
apartment, which was inaccessible as police had declared it
a crime scene, forcing officers to get it for him before he
could be released.
The men are scheduled for mention in the
Cairns Magistrates Court on November 1.