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Finks bikie jailed for 15 months

Troy Mercanti

Bikie Stephen Wallace refused to answer if he knew Troy Mercanti, a former member of the Coffin Cheaters who defected to the Finks. Source: PerthNow

A Finks bikie has been jailed for 15 months for refusing to answer questions before the Australian Crime Commission.

Stephen John Wallace, 49, pleaded guilty to five offences of failing to answer questions at an examination in Perth in October 2009.

Wallace had made an affirmation to tell the truth but then refused to answer five questions including whether he was a member or associate of the Finks, if he had been "patched'' in July 2009, and if he knew fellow infamous bikies Frank Condo or Troy Desmond Mercanti.

In sentencing today, District Court Chief Judge Peter Martino told Wallace he had had a choice during the examination.

"You could comply with your legal obligations and answer questions, or you could choose to break the law and not answer questions,'' he said.

"You chose to break the law.''

Judge Martino noted Wallace had a long criminal record, including convictions for importing heroin into Australia.

He also considered that Wallace had served two years in prison for contempt of court by failing to answer questions before WA's Corruption and Crime Commission.

Judge Martino said general deterrence was an important factor.

"People must know that if they refuse to comply with their lawful obligation to answer questions at an examination before the Australian Crime Commission appropriate penalties will be imposed,'' he said.

Wallace was sentenced to 15 months in prison but could be free after just five months if he gives a $5000 undertaking to behave for two years.

If he breaches the undertaking, he will have to serve the rest of the sentence.


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