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Bikie Troy Mercanti hit with five-year pub and club ban

Troy Mercanti

PROHIBITION: Notorious bikie Troy Mercanti banned from entering pubs or clubs for five years. Source: PerthNow

NOTORIOUS bikie Troy Mercanti has been banned from pubs and clubs for five years after a ruling by the WA Liquor Commission - despite being in jail.

In its decision, published on Tuesday, the commission cited Mercanti's 31 recorded criminal and traffic offences between 1986 and 2008, including four convictions for assault and five disorderly convictions as basis for the order.

The commission's report, headed by chairman Jim Freemantle, states that: ``Mr Mercanti's behaviour demonstrates violent and unprovoked attacks on vulnerable people, a complete disregard for the law, the safety of other people and a lack of remorse''.

``A prohibition order is not about punishing the respondent, it is about protecting the public,'' it said.

``Violence in and about licensed premises is of increasing concern tot he community.

``In reviewing the evidence submitted on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, the commission can only conclude that it is not a matter of coincidence that a significant level of violence seems to frequently occur in Mr Mercanti's presence.''

Mercanti is serving a 28-month sentence in Casuarina Prison after being found guilty of assault causing grievous bodily harm to 26-year-old Gregory Fistonich, by throwing a punch that broke the victim's jaw at the Geisha Bar in Northbridge in May 2007.

The commission's decision is effective from August 24, despite Mercanti being in jail. If forced to serve his full sentence he would not be released until April 2, 2011.

In a statement, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan welcomed the decision.

``Troy Mercanti has a serious criminal record and a propensity for violence and is exactly the type of person who should be banned from licensed premises,'' Mr O'Callaghan said.

``Pub and club patrons need to be protected from such people and that is precisely why prohibition orders were introduced.

``WA Police will continue to lodge Prohibition Order applications against anyone who engages in violent behaviour in, or around, licensed premises, no matter who they are.''

Mercanti, a former sergeant-at-arms with the Coffin Cheaters, defected from the club last year and is now a member of the Finks an interstate outlaw motorcycle club trying to establish a foothold in WA.

Under the Liquor Control Act, the Police Commissioner can apply to the Director of Liquor Licensing or the Liquor Commission to prohibit a person from entering or being employed at a licensed venue because of their criminal convictions or suspected involvement in serious and organised crime.

Anyone who fails to comply with a prohibition order can be fined $10,000.

In sentencing Mercanti in December 2008 for the Geisha Bar attack, District Court Judge Mary Ann Yeats described his criminal record as ``unusual'' because of the number of acquittals and discontinued cases for violent assaults.

Six months earlier, Mercanti was fined $2000 after pleading guilty to assaulting fisherman Dean Robert Daley, 36, at the Coolbellup Hotel in June 2007 after he punched him in the face and another man Warren Douglas Goedhart smashed a bar stool over his head. Goedhart was jailed for a year.

But in October 2007, Mercanti walked from court when two assault charges against him were dropped after a melee between three Coffin Cheaters and security staff at Fremantle's Harbourside nightclub, in which a bouncer was stabbed. Mercanti was awarded $10,900 in costs.

He was also acquitted in May 2006 of shooting a rival Scorpion Boys gang member in retaliation after he was stabbed at Metro City nightclub in Northbridge.


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