A HIGH-RANKING Finks bikie has been found not guilty of attacking rival outlaw motorcycle gang members with a baseball bat during a wild brawl at a Wallsend service station.
Adam Luke Gould, 32, was acquitted of affray, using an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and having custody of an implement in a public place in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday after Magistrate Les Brennan found he could not be certain the person he saw on CCTV footage wielding a baseball bat was the heavily tattooed Mr Gould.
The brawl between the Finks and Nomads erupted about 8.10pm on December 9 last year when the gangs coincidentally arrived at service stations across the road from one another.
CCTV footage played during the hearing showed one of the Finks leading a group across the road towards the Nomads, while another member of the Finks removes a baseball bat from the backseat of his car and puts it down his pants.
Then CCTV footage from the service station on the eastbound lanes of Thomas Street showed the Finks bikie wrestling with a Nomads bikie over the baseball bat.
The Finks bikie gains control and two Nomads back away, one of them arming himself with a squeegee mop.
Then the Fink swings the bat and hits the Nomad in the left side of the head, causing a cut to his head.
When spoken to by police, the Nomad, 26, said: “I fell over and hit my head.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Nomad did not cooperate with the police investigation.
In fact, none of the witnesses agreed to give evidence, leaving the prosecution to rely on only the CCTV footage of the brawl to prove their case.
Nonetheless, they said the Finks member who crossed the road first, wrestled with the Nomad and swung the bat was Mr Gould, submitting he was identifiable by the numerous tattoos on his face.
But Mr Brennan wasn’t so sure.
“I have seen the accused before, probably in court, I don't know,” Mr Brennan said.
“Other than that I don't know him.
“What he has done to his face is fairly unforgettable, with tattoos.
“He is not alone in having done that to himself.
“The person I saw on the screen appeared to have some markings on his face and head.
“On my part I couldn't say it was the accused.”
After the decision, Mr Gould’s solicitor, Zemarai Khatiz, applied for professional costs, claiming the police had failed to investigate the matter properly.
“The case against the defendant was doomed to fail, due to the lack of evidence and lack of investigation,” Mr Khatiz said.
“There was no way that the prosecution was going to get a conviction on that CCTV by itself.”
Mr Brennan agreed, awarding $5720 in costs to Mr Gould.
Mr Gould had spent some time in custody before he was granted bail.
He was charged in January, around the time a Hunter anti-bikie squad began to crackdown on the region’s outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Since then there have been a number of tit-for-tat attacks between the two gangs, drive-by shootings, numerous police raids and arrests.
A number of Nomads bikies remain before the courts in relation to a weekend of violence in March, which culminated in the gang’s clubhouse at Islington being hit with a hail of gunfire.