Alleged bikie's 'charity work' reason to set him free
A 33-YEAR-old alleged associate of the Rebels Motorcycle Club has been sentenced to jail for six months, but released immediately on parole, after pleading guilty to possessing tainted property - more than $8000 in cash.
The guilty plea by Lorne James Campbell, 33, attracted a three-month jail term but also triggered a three-month suspended sentence for a previous offence.
Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan, in sentencing Campbell, told him that the community was better served "by your remaining in it". "(You can continue) to work, continuing your involvement with those charitable organisations," she told him.
The $8000 was forfeited.
Campbell last month became a test case for the state's new bikie laws, when he was released on bail.
Ms Callaghan said then she was unconvinced evidence before the court proved he was a Rebels associate.
Under the new laws, members of outlaw bikie ganges can be retained in custody without bail.
Campbell faces several charges in relation to shots fired at a Mooloolaba tattoo parlour.
He is due to reappear to face those matters on November 29.
Campbell has a clothing label called FTP - F… the Police.
His FTP Facebook site features comments such as "You Snitch, You Die. Simple.''
Many of his posts end with OMERTA for LIFE or OMERTA is not a crime.
Omerta espouses a 'code of silence' for those involved in certain activities or groups.
Campbell has a large FTP tattoo on his forehead and a smaller one on his right cheek.
He has another one which reads I4NI or an Eye for an Eye.
HOW THE CASE UNFOLDED YESTERDAY
BENCH: Mr Campbell, you've pleaded guilty today to one charge of possession of tainted property, the tainted property being a sum of money, namely, $8,480.70.
This was not an early plea but it was certainly a timely plea, in that you didn't put the Courts and Prosecution to the expense of having a trial. But it can't be seen as an early plea.
I have before me your history, and the most important entry on your history is the possession of tainted property matter that was dealt with on the 11th of March 2013, and that was a sum of money of $36,900, for which you received a three-month suspended sentence, suspended for nine months. I must take that into account.
The Prosecution submitted that the appropriate penalty would be a period of two months for this and that I ought to fully activate the suspended sentence and those terms should be cumulative, which would be a total of five months, and that you should actually serve a third of that.
Your barrister submitted a term of four to five months, but argued for a parole release date, being today.
Placed before me also are a number of references, and there's a couple that I specifically want to refer to: one from Joseph Panisi, who refers to your - you've been involved in boxing for some time, but it seems of recent time that you've become organised in the involvement of that being used for charitable purposes.
And you're involved in organising a charity fight for the next promotion, and that's been scheduled for November the 29th in Townsville.
That will be raising moneys for two charities: the Movember appeal and the Fight Against Child Abuse Australia.
Also in the references is a reference from the senior director from the Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia, and I do very much take that into account.
It seems that you have been using that boxing for positive purposes, because there are also a number of references from people who you've given assistance to in that area.
So I very much take all of that into account. A number of cases have been placed before me and I must say, quite frankly, I didn't find any of them really helpful.
I want to make a couple of comments: first of all, I do accept the submission by the Prosecution with regards to why these sentences ought to be cumulative. I accept that. It is appropriate.
This offence has been committed whilst you've been on a suspended sentence for a similar offence, so the terms of imprisonment that I'm going to give to you are going to be cumulative.
First of all, I am going to fully activate the wholly suspended term, and that is three months, and the Prosecution submitted two months.
I am of the view that it ought to be three months, so in total there will be a period of six months imprisonment. Then comes the question of whether or not you ought to serve actual time.
Now, I've considered the Prosecution's submission where they submitted that you ought to serve a third on their submission of the five months, which would be about six weeks.
I don't think there's a lot to be gained by that, whereas you are currently running a company. That company is involved in the promotion of some charitable boxing events, and you yourself are involved in organising boxing events for charitable organisations.
I am of the view that the community - I know it's the second time that you've actually committed this offence and I am - when I thought about whether or not you ought to serve actual time, I reached the conclusion that you ought not.
And I am going to not suspend the terms of imprisonment; I am going to have a parole release date of today, so that you will have hanging over your head a term of six months imprisonment for that period of six months.
I think that the community is better served by your remaining in the community, continuing to work, continuing your involvement with those charitable organisations and whilst having that period of imprisonment hanging over your head.
That will provide you with, as the Prosecutor says, with the key to the jail door, basically.
So that's what I intend to do and they're the reasons for it. On the offence today, you're sentenced to three months imprisonment, to be served cumulatively.
Parole release date: 13th of November 2013. I will activate fully the suspended sentence, to be served cumulatively, and the parole release date is the 13th of November 2013. Conviction is recorded.
And I think - and then I've got to - we've got to then determine what's happening with these other - sit down. Thanks, Mr Campbell.
SNR SGT BRADLEY: Just for completeness, your Honour, it might be appropriate to make an order for the funds to be forfeited to the Crown.
BENCH: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I forgot about that. Thank you. I order the funds be forfeited to the Crown. Okay. Now, what's happening with these other charges?
MR JAMES: Your Honour, firstly, my client's got a new address to note on his bail.
MR JAMES: It's unit 8, number 25 Lows Drive, Pacific Paradise.
MR JAMES: And in relation to those matters, I'd be asking that - I understand that they were listed for committal mention on the 28th and they were brought forward with this matter today. If they could be
BENCH: 29th, actually.
MR JAMES: 29th.
MR JAMES: If they could be adjourned for a month - the final part of the brief was only provided to my instructors this week and I am yet to see all of the brief, to give some advice.
BENCH: On a Monday?
MR JAMES: Whatever
BENCH: I think I'll put it back into the call-over.
MR JAMES: Thank you, your Honour.
BENCH: Say, the 15th of December.
MR JAMES: Thank you, your Honour.
BENCH: You may have to sign new bail if you're on - let me have a look at your bail. No. You're on - I think it is. I think these four charges, it's separate bail.
That's got its own bail. Yeah. The bail - so the address is changed, bail varied to note the new address as per the charge sheet.
And the bail will be enlarged. Okay. So - well, I note the new - I don't know whether - would he have to sign new bail? If there was a bail address on the bail.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [indistinct]
BENCH: Yeah. Unless otherwise to
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: [indistinct] residential address [indistinct].
BENCH: Yes. You'll have to wait outside and sign the new bail. Okay.
MR JAMES: Thank you, your Honour.