Rebels' bikie assaulted officer

AN organiser of the Rebels’ Motorcycle Club Tattoo and Bike Show held at Six Mile Oval in March last year was found guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court for obstructing one police officer and assaulting another at the event.

Police aware of the event, which showcased motorbikes, hotrods and tattoo artists, conducted an operation at the entry targeting drink and drug driving, licence offences, defective and unregistered vehicles.

They set up a diversion lane off to the side of the entry to conduct the checks, which irritated the show’s organisers and Tony Allen Jardine took it on himself to alter police operations.

The court heard the Rebels did not expect a strong police presence and Jardine was upset at how the police operation was ruining the event. He moved some of the witches hats set up by police for traffic control and when spoken to by one of the officers, he became aggressive and was charged.

Jardine pleaded not guilty and when the matter went to trial this week, defence solicitor Greg Wildie put it to the magistrate that police had set up an illegal roadblock and therefore were not in execution of their duties.

He said that under the Transport Act police needed authorisation from a commissioned officer to set up a roadblock and that permission was not sought by the Gympie Police.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said the operation was conducted using a diversion lane and under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act there was a provision that authorised police to conduct traffic operation to perform random checks on vehicles and drivers.

Jardine said he didn’t think police were doing the right thing and was trying to improve the situation for show patrons however, the court heard he was told three times to move away and warned he would be arrested.

After hearing “credible evidence” from witnesses and the defendant, Magistrate Maxine Baldwin found there was no reasonable doubt Jardine pushed an officer in the chest and a scuffle followed in which all involved fell to the ground. She found Jardine guilty of both offences.

“He comes to court with less criminal history than some 15-year-olds. (My client) does not fall into the category of a big bad bikie,” Mr Wildie said in his submission on penalty.

“If you want to run police operations I suspect you’ll have to do something I suspect is not in your character — join the police service,” Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said when she handed down her guilty verdict. Jardine, 48, of Blueberry Drive, Black Mountain was fined $600.

Gympie Times

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