A lawyer has accused Queensland police of going over the top after a former bikie gang member was arrested in a raid for failing to appear in court.
Queensland police’s anti-bikie squad has been accused of overreacting after a former gang member’s house was raided and he was arrested over a drug driving offence.
The 41-year-old man and two younger men were arrested on Tuesday after police from task force Maxima allegedly found an SKS semi-automatic rifle, ammunition and methamphetamines at the Northgate address in Brisbane’s north.
In a statement on Wednesday, police alleged Scott Robert Paton was a member of the motorcycle gang Highway 61 and said he had been charged with possessing ammunition and failing to appear in court.
However, when Paton faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court, the ammunitions charge had vanished and there was no mention of his gang association.
Paton’s lawyer Debbie Kilroy said her client quit the bikie gang some time ago, and he’d been charged with failing to show up in court over a drug driving offence.
Ms Kilroy told the court Paton claims never to have received the notice to appear in June following a roadside swab that allegedly tested positive for amphetamines.
He was released on bail after his case was adjourned until January 30.
Outside court, Ms Kilroy said police were reacting to a public fear of bikies that was being whipped up by news reports.
“When we see men being charged for minor offences or fail to appear warrants that are not doing anything wrong, and when 10, 12 taskforce Maxima (officers) come at them with guns, that’s a pretty scary event, not just for my client but for those in the community that witness that,” she told reporters.
A 23-year-old man charged with possessing a weapon and drugs had his case adjourned until Thursday, while a 28-year-old man who was charged with drug possession is due to appear in court next month.