Friday, 22 July 2011

Bikies deny extorting Raymond Terrace tattooist for 'protection

Three members of a Newcastle bikie gang pleaded not guilty yesterday to almost 30 extortion charges relating to thousands of dollars in payments for protection that were allegedly made by a Raymond Terrace tattooist.
One of the men, who police allege is a senior member of the gang, pleaded not guilty in Newcastle District Court to attending the William Street business with another senior member in May 2010 and demanding payments.

They are accused of making threats before agreeing to accept weekly payments in exchange for protection three days after the parlour opened for business.

The three men who appeared yesterday, but who cannot be identified because of other court proceedings, will face trial in October.

All three pleaded not guilty to the charge that they made threats to damage property while acting as a criminal group between May and September last year.

Two of the men who are accused of collecting most of the payments pleaded not guilty to 25 charges.

They will face trial for 12 counts each of demanding money with menaces and 12 counts of receiving the proceeds of crime.

They are accused of attending the business on an almost weekly basis 12 times between May 13 and September 7, 2010, to collect sums from the owner ranging from $150 to $750.

The tattoo parlour owner allegedly paid more than $2500 to the club.

Police arrested the gang members in September last year following a special investigation into the club.

Other members of the gang are awaiting trial for an unrelated matter.



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