Case over King Street nightclub brawl deferred
December 4, 2011
Brunswick shooting victim Toby Mitchell was due to face court on assault charges stemming from a brawl at King Street nightclub Centrefold Lounge. Photo: Andrew De La Rue
SERIOUS assault charges against the Bandidos bikie gang enforcer who was gunned down in Brunswick last week have been deferred as victims and witnesses refuse to co-operate with police.
The case has been pushed back to August next year, after several staff at King Street strip club Centrefold Lounge recently told police they would not give evidence against Toby Mitchell and two other Bandidos members.
Five staff were injured in a wild brawl that erupted in the club about 6am on Sunday, October 24, last year.
They were taken to hospital with injuries ranging from a broken jaw to cuts and bruises. Several are still traumatised by the attack.
Mitchell and two other men handed themselves in to police the following Monday and were charged.
Police will rely on closed-circuit television footage of the incident, which has been seen by The Sunday Age.
The footage clearly shows Mitchell, who has a shaved head and prominent facial tattoos, assaulting a barman, before bashing a manager with a bar stool.
The venue's security staff are believed to have fled next door.
Another senior Bandidos member was involved in a fight with a security guard two weeks ago in front of Tramp nightclub, also on King Street.
Peter Iwaniuk, owner of strip clubs Centrefold Lounge and The Men's Gallery, called for police to ban people from entering venues if they had been charged with a violent offence.
''It's too easy for them to come in and intimidate staff. We need tougher police controls on these gangs, which are often a front for criminal organisations,'' Mr Iwaniuk said.
Mitchell is recovering in Royal Melbourne Hospital after surgeons used keyhole surgery to remove a kidney last Thursday. The former heavyweight kickboxer has refused to assist a police investigation, after he was shot three times by two gunmen near the gang's Brunswick clubhouse.
A police spokesman would not comment on the assault charges against Mitchell.