Ballarat man bailed after nightclub raid by Finks

A WENDOUREE man facing 13 charges over a weekend Ballarat nightclub raid has been bailed.

Graham Hudgson, 34, was released on $1000 surety and given very strict bail conditions by magistrate Gerard Lethbridge in Ballarat Magistrates Court this morning.

He is facing 13 charges including unlawful assault, possess prohibited weapon, robbery and affray.

Seven extra police filled the courtroom as Hudgson was brought into the dock by Senior Sergeant Neale Robinson.

Security was also tight at the front entrance with anyone attending the court, including solicitors, subjected to a bag search and a metal wand scan by security guards.

In granting bail, Mr Lethbridge ordered Hudgson not to associate with members of outlaw motorbike gang the Finks, not enter the Finks clubhouse, to report to Ballarat police station daily and to obey an 8pm to 9am nightly curfew.

He must also live at a Wendouree residence, surrender his passport or any travel documents, not leave Victoria or Australia, not enter any licensed premises, not contact witnesses in the case and not associate with his co-accused.

Hudgson was also ordered to obey six intervention orders, lasting three years each, taken out against him this morning.

Mr Lethbridge said he was granting bail due to Hudgson's "relatively limited prior history over 10 years or so", his family, the fact there could be a significant delay in his case coming to trial and because of his "strict and stringent" bail conditions.

"Any breach by the alleged of these conditions, you can expect him to be arrested and remanded back into custody," Mr Lethbridge said.

Hudgson was supported in court by two females, including his partner.

Earlier in the day, police requested a closed court for Mr Lethbridge to hear a submission on how Hudgson should be brought into court.

Mr Lethbridge granted the request under the Open Courts Act section 28, with the court closed for about five minutes.

Hudgson's 13 charges, including five counts of unlawful assault, two of possessing a prohibited weapon without explanation or approval, and one each of aggravated burglary, robbery, affray, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and possessing methamphetamine, were adjourned for a committal mention on September 11 at Ballarat Magistrates Court.

A further charge of theft of a motor vehicle was adjourned until July 7.

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