Canberra bikie to spend Christmas in jail for
allegedly trafficking MDMA, blackmailing man to help sell it
A Canberra bikie will spend
Christmas in jail after allegedly blackmailing and threatening another man
to sell nearly 50 grams of MDMA he himself had trafficked.
Alex Bourne appeared in the ACT
Magistrates Court today on charges relating to incidents from earlier in
The court heard Bourne was a member of the
Canberra chapter of the motorcycle gang the Comancheros and that his role
within the group was a standover man who collected debts for drug
Police told the court Bourne had allegedly
told the victim the only reason he had not broken into his house, tied him
up and stuck a gun in his mouth was because the victim had CCTV cameras
around his property.
The court also heard the victim had
admitted to trafficking drugs, but was so worried for his safety after the
alleged blackmail he had come forward to police.
Police also said there were several other
people who had reported being threatened or intimidated by Bourne and were
too concerned for their wellbeing to make formal statements.
Bourne's lawyer, Paul Edmonds, argued that
other than the word of the victim, who was a confessed drug trafficker,
there was no evidence Bourne would threaten him if released on bail.
"The evidence is almost entirely reliant
on the word of the man who is, by his own admission, a large-scale
trafficker in the ACT," Mr Edmonds said.
Mr Edmonds also said Bourne's association
with the motorcycle gang was not illegal, and he should not be presumed a
criminal because of that association.
"We're not in Queensland, it is not an
offence to be a member of such a club in the ACT," he said.
But Magistrate Bernadette Boss disagreed,
noting the victim's particular lack of convictions for dishonesty.
"In relation to the evidence at this point
[the victim] has no known convictions and perhaps, significantly, has no
convictions for dishonesty," Magistrate Boss said.
"Given the great fear of retribution and
the threats alleged to have been made to the complainant and the history of
drug use and violence … it seems in those situations if released on bail
[Bourne may interfere] with a witness."
Magistrate Boss denied bail and remanded
Bourne in custody until his next court date early in the new year.