Police patrol Ballarat court as nine Finks bikies appear to face charges over Haida Bar raid

Police officers stand guard at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Police officers stand guard at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

NINE outlaw bikies have appeared in court charged over the recent raid and burglary of a Ballarat nightclub in which police said Finks outlaw motorcycle "gang insignia" was used to intimidate patrons and staff.

The men, some of whom are on bail, appeared under heavy police guard in Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday for committal mention hearings. 

Two other men will face court over the alleged raid in November, while three bikies remain at large, the court heard. 

The nine who appeared in court on Thursday will face a 10-day committal hearing in February next year. 

That hearing is expected to hear from more than 20 witnesses, some of whom were patrons allegedly attacked by the gang at Haida Bar on June 5. 

A Taskforce Echo detective on Thursday told the court that 15 Finks bikies, all wearing gang clothing, "forced" their way into the nightclub shortly after midnight. 

The detective said the bikies assaulted a security guard before assaulting staff and patrons and stealing cash from a register. 

He said the bikies threatened staff to turn off CCTV cameras and tried to remove the cameras. 

The detective said the raid was planned, with Finks bikies travelling from Tasmania, Sydney and Adelaide and Melbourne to help their Ballarat counterparts. 

"They used that presence, that clothing, that intimidation... to intimidate people and then assault people," the detective told the court. 

"(There is) clear evidence that they're associated with criminal activity."

The detective said the Finks outlaw motorcycle club hadn't been prominent in recent years, until the Ballarat incident. 

"The Finks motorcycle club had all but died out in Australia," he said. 

"There is evidence to suggest that they are trying to revamp themselves."

The men charged over the raid include Graham Hudgson, 34, of Wendouree, Chad Salvemini, 35, of Wendouree, Anthony Martelli, 38, of Smythes Creek, Sean Kennedy, 27, of Colac, Antonio Ursida, 36, of Ottoway, South Australia, John Napolitano, 42, of Monbulk, Alexander Morgillo, of Tasmania and Koshan Rashidi and Sargon Namat, both of New South Wales. 

All are charged with offences including aggravated burglary, robbery, affray, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and five counts each of unlawful assault.

Source: The Courier