Alleged Lone Wolf out on $50k surety for Mackay charges

AN ALLEGED Lone Wolf motorcycle gang president accused of committing a "premeditated" robbery in Mackay with three other gang members will be released on bail.

Medhat Mankaryous, 34, must put up a $50,000 surety and report daily to his local police station in NSW ahead of a trial expected late next year at the earliest.

Police allege he is one of four men who flew from Sydney to Mackay, hired a truck and a car then stole items from a home.

Mr Mankaryous, who has been behind bars at Rockhampton Correctional Centre awaiting this hearing, is charged with possessing marijuana, entering a dwelling and robbery under Queensland's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws.

In Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Martin Burns asked whether Mr Mankaryous was in the truck with the allegedly stolen jewellery and other items at Ooralea in August.

Barrister Saul Holt conceded his client was in the truck where a backpack with goods was found but said there was no evidence proving the bag's owner.

"In the scheme of things, this is not a particularly serious example of (these offences) because of the absence of violence," he said.

"It's not of a level that would ordinarily lead to an opposed bail application but the issue here obviously ... is the mandatory sentencing that will follow from the VLAD circumstance of aggravation."

Mr Holt said his client could face an extra 15-25 years if the prosecution could prove membership of the criminal gang but noted the controversial Newman Government laws had never actually been applied to date.

He said the Crown claimed Mr Mankaryous was the president or an office bearer of the Lone Wolf gang.

Mr Holt said the president assertion came from a police witness in the case and there was "a serious contest to be had".

"There is a real and proper contest where credibility will be an issue and where the key Crown witness is himself an admitted recent former member of a criminal motorcycle gang," he said.

"There will be a trial."

Justice Burns said these alleged offences seemed to be a de-escalation of criminal behaviour after noting Mr Mankaryous was sentenced in 2009 for a "brutal assault" and was only released on parole in February.

"The Crown case here is that he's hopped on a plane with other people and flown up to Mackay," he said.

"There's no actual violence here but it's premeditated offending which is a serious aspect I think.

"I don't regard (the Crown case) as overwhelming but it's reasonably strong on the face of the material before me."

Mr Holt argued his client, a married father of two, had close ties to NSW and had powerful reasons, such as family members with significant illnesses, to adhere to bail to be with them.

Justice Burns said he believed the proposed bail conditions were sufficient to reduce the risk of re-offending or fleeing.

But he sought to add a curfew because he did not want Mr Mankaryous "wandering around at night getting up to mischief".

ARM NEWSDESK



Two-car crash in Gayndah, woman injured overnight

Two-car crash in Gayndah, woman injured overnight

Emergency service crews responded to a two-car crash in Gayndah

OPINION: A game-changer to replace Bundy's '5000' lost jobs

premium_icon OPINION: A game-changer to replace Bundy's '5000' lost jobs

Courtice's corner: Former MP calls for govt department relocation

Local Partners