Bikies burned off Coast man's tatts


A FORMER bikie who refused to name fellow Finks members who burned off his club tattoos with an iron in a brutal ritual assault has been jailed.

The 34-year-old father, now based on the Gold Coast, was sentenced in the Southport District Court to 12 months in jail with parole after two months for four counts of failing to answer questions from Australian Crime Commission investigators.

Defence barrister John Fraser said the man had been attacked by Sydney-based Finks Motorcycle Club members when he tried to withdraw from the club on February 2, 2008, to begin a new life in Queensland.

He told the court the man, who has not been named due to fears for his safety, was ambushed at a Sydney clubhouse where he was handcuffed, whipped with pool cues and had his Finks tattoos burned off with a clothing iron and acid tipped on the wounds.

Mr Fraser said other gang members forced his wife from their family home before ransacking it and his office building, causing a financial loss estimated at $1 million.

The court was told threats were made against the man's life and against his wife and children.

Federal investigators stepped in after the man was taken to the Concord Hospital serious burns unit, where he received skin grafts for his injuries.

Mr Fraser argued his client refused to answer investigators' questions about the incident and his involvement in the club as he had a 'very real' fear of retribution.

He said the horrible irony was that by refusing to answer, his client was being punished instead of his attackers.

"He, the victim, faces going to jail and the perpetrators remain at large," he said.


Judge Clive Wall QC said criminals would always remain at large until victims spoke out against them.

He said a fear of retribution could not be used an excuse to deter criminal liability or it would undermine the power of the crime commission to investigate criminal activities.

But in sentencing he accepted the man had suffered considerable physical, emotional and financial damage.

"I accept your fear of retribution is real and is supported by what happened to you in the past," he said.

Judge Wall convicted and sentenced him to 12 months jail for each charge to be served concurrently.

He set a release date after two months and ordered him to pay $3000 recognisance and remain under a good behaviour bond for two years.