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Hells Angels overthrows Lost Breed motorcycle gang in Nelson

A patched member of the Lost Breed motorcycle club in Nelson.
A patched member of the Lost Breed motorcycle club in Nelson.

The Lost Breed motorcycle gang is no more.

The Hells Angels has stamped its mark on Nelson by overthrowing the long-standing outlaw club and ending its 39-year run.

It is understood the Lost Breed disbanded in late December when at least one senior member defected to the Hells Angels.


Sources said the Lost Breed was "no longer", a senior member had become a "turncoat" and many of the older members had left the club.

They said the clubhouse in Stoke had been closed and "stripped out" and the Lost Breed patches had been burned.


It is understood a senior member of the Lost Breed, accompanied by several others, walked into the clubhouse wearing a Hells Angels patch.

The Hells Angels gained a foothold in Nelson through the Red Devils Motorcycle Club.
The Hells Angels gained a foothold in Nelson through the Red Devils Motorcycle Club.

Lost Breed members who were there at the time are understood to have "folded" and the takeover happened peacefully.

The Lost Breed Wikipedia page has been updated to include the club's end date of December 21.

It is understood the Lost Breed clubhouse in Echodale Industrial Estate has been taken over by the Hells Angels.

A man at the clubhouse on Thursday declined to comment.


A police source said they had heard a "rumour" that the Lost Breed had been overthrown by the Hells Angels, but it was "unsubstantiated". 

"It's only surfaced over the last few days."

The police said the purpose-built clubhouse would be a "sweetener" for any gang that wanted to establish itself in Nelson.

The Lost Breed formed in Nelson in 1976. It was known as a motorcycle club to its members and an outlaw motorcycle gang to police.

The gang had headquarters in Washington Valley and Haven Rd before moving to Fuji Court, Stoke.

The members were highly visible in Nelson throughout their heyday, but gained less public attention in their later years.

The gang's most high-profile moment was a violent clash with visiting Highway 61 members from Wellington at Nelson's annual mardi gras in 1979. Four gang members were injured and 21 Lost Breed members and associates were arrested.

In May 1997, then Lost Breed vice-president, Guy Henman, 27, was shot and killed in a confrontation in the Lud Valley, near Nelson.

And at 2am on St Valentine's Day, 1998, a car bomb blew out about 20 windows at the Lost Breed's Haven Rd headquarters.

The gang has been linked to drugs, violence, and public sex but, in 2009, it spoke out against family violence and methamphetamine.

Sources said the Lost Breed membership was ageing and the gang had become more of a social club in recent years.

"The impression I have is that most of the original members either had defected to other clubs or those that still remained were becoming really quite marginalised or getting too old," one source said.

"Their reputation from the 70s and 80s is all that's left. They're not a gang anymore, really."

Police gang figures for June this year showed the Lost Breed had an estimated 11 patched or prospect members in Nelson Bays and the Hells Angels had only four.

The Hells Angels taking over the Lost Breed will likely impact on membership numbers.

In September, Detective Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan said the Lost Breed and Hells Angels were the most established gangs in the region.

The Hells Angels gained a foothold in Nelson through the Red Devils Motorcycle Club, which emerged in the city in March, 2009.

The Red Devils was considered a "puppet gang" of the Hells Angels and, in 2014, became a "hang around chapter", meaning members were allowed to wear Hells Angels' insignia. 

A police undercover investigation between September 2009 and March 2011, known as Operation Explorer, aimed to disrupt the expansion of the Red Devils in the region.

The operation resulted in 21 patched members and associates being arrested and charged with a range of offences.

However, all of the defendants were acquitted in June and July when a High Court judge found that evidence for a majority of the charges was improperly obtained by police.

It is understood the Hells Angels then ramped up its activity in Nelson and was in the process of establishing an official chapter.

A thesis published in 2010 by Canterbury University sociologist and gang expert Jarrod Gilbert predicted that the outlaw motorcycle club scene would amalgamate.

"Through the fall of numerous outlaw clubs, however, a natural equilibrium may be achieved; in effect, balancing supply and demand with fewer clubs servicing a smaller pool of prospective members," he wrote.

"In this way, the outlaw club scene may consolidate around the surviving clubs."

Former members of the Lost Breed have declined to comment.