Darwin Hells Angel will be reunited with his club friends after the Supreme Court lifted a ban on seeing them or attending their clubhouse
Adrian Lyle Cook, 57, appealed the ban imposed by the Local Court after he was charged with drug and weapons offences late last week
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Police alleged they had seized ammunition from a “holding room that was littered with Hells Angels paraphernalia” including the motorcycle jacket of sergeant-at-arms and convicted drug dealer Phil O’Shea during a raid on Cook’s house.
But his lawyer, Shane McMaster, argued there was “no nexus between his offending and his membership of the Hells Angels” and the room was simply an armoury he had used to secure lawfully owned guns in the past.
His strong room was the model strong room in Darwin,” he said. “Police were routinely sending other people … looking at setting up their own … to his residence so they could inspect what he’d done because it was so well done.”
Mr McMaster said Cook’s firearms licence was revoked after he joined the club for the “camaraderie” and he now only had two other friends in Darwin who were not members.
He said his client would defend the charge of illegally possessing the ammunition and would likely not get his day in court until the end of the year.
That is a very long time on bail conditions that include you not being able to see your friends,” he said.
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Mr McMaster said the bail conditions were effectively a punishment for his lawful membership of the club.
The legislature has seen fit not to outlaw, as it were, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and in my submission it is not proper to use the Bail Act as a way, effectively, to really usurp that,” he said.
Prosecutor Long Nam Ha argued the Crown wasn’t seeking to stop Cook from seeing friends but just “this particular class of person”, some of whom were sentenced prisoners
In removing the non-association conditions, Justice Jenny Blokland said: “As ill advised as I might think that is for a grown man to belong to a club like that I accept that it is not an offence,” she said.
Cook must stay away from guns and ammo while on bail.