Yandina Five member released on bail despite drug charges
AN ALLEGED Sunshine Coast bikie associate has been granted bail despite facing serious drug trafficking charges committed while on a suspended jail sentence.
Joshua Shane Carew, 30, was arrested and charged last year under the state's tough new anti-bikie laws after being caught on CCTV having a beer with four other alleged bikie members or associates at the Yandina Hotel on November 1.
Under the new laws, it is a criminal offence for members of a declared criminal organisation to associate in a group of three or more.
Queensland Police allege the group, dubbed the Yandina Five, have strong ties with the Rebels Motorcycle Clubs at the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay and Beenleigh.
Carew, who has been in solitary confinement since his arrest, was granted bail on today in the Brisbane Supreme Court ahead of his next court appearance in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on March 24.
Justice John Byrne said in his written judgment there was not a risk Carew would fail to appear at his next court date, despite expressing concerns about the possibility of reoffending.
"However, there is a risk that the applicant would commit a serious drug offence if released on bail," he said.
"Neither his bail undertaking nor suspended imprisonment has deterred him from reoffending in the recent past.
"Moreover, on release, there would likely be a continuing association with his father-in-law (Michael Smith, father of co-accused Stephen Michael Smith) which would increase the danger."
Justice Byrne said with the trail only 10 weeks away he believed this was insufficient time from Carew to offend.
" The applicant's anxiety not to return to solitary confinement is a substantial incentive not to commit offences," he said.
" All considered, the risk of reoffending, though real, is not unacceptable."
Justice Byrne in his judgment outlined Carew's extensive criminal history.
"Unbeknown to the sentencing judge, while the applicant had been on bail in respect of the cocaine supply, on April 27, 2012, he committed three other offences involving unlawful possession of amphetamines, explosives and a loaded semi-automatic pistol," he said.
" He was convicted of those offences in the Sandgate Magistrates Court in January last year.
"In July, 2013, the applicant was again admitted to bail, this time on a charge of trafficking in methylamphetamine between January 1, 2010 and July 4, 2013.
"That offence is, therefore, alleged to have been committed during the operational period of his suspended imprisionment."