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Friday, October 19, 2018

Finks MC: High ranking member pleads guilty to 1st ever order

Newcastle, NSW (October 19, 2018) BTN — Toast with beetroot and feta, a flat white, two months in jail and the state's first ever conviction for breaching a Serious Crime Prevention Order.

Former high-ranking Finks bikie Troy Vanderlight only ordered the first two when he sat down for a light lunch with the president of the Gladiators Port Stephens chapter at the Heritage Gardens cafe at Ashtonfield in August.

Police photograph Troy Vanderlight's Finks vest during raids earlier this year. 

But when Strike Force Raptor investigators got a tip-off, it turned out that the time in jail and the conviction for contravening the order, imposed by the NSW Supreme Court in April in an unprecedented attempt to put a stop to the Hunter's violent bikie “civil war”, were also on the menu.

Vanderlight was one of five Finks, as well as five Nomads, hit with the strict 12-month orders, which banned them from associating with any member of any bikie gang.

And ironically, Vanderlight was meeting with the Gladiator to discuss how he could attend a funeral without breaching the orders.

“He was breaching the orders to see how he could avoid breaching the orders,” Magistrate John Chicken said on Friday.

Vanderlight, 27, who police allege was the Newcastle president of the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang, and who twice had his house shot up during the tit-for-tat attacks earlier this year, had pleaded not guilty to contravening the serious crime prevention order and two other charges after his arrest outside the Ashtonfield cafe on August 17. He was due to face a hearing in Maitland Local Court on Friday, but pleaded guilty to contravening the order - the first of its kind in NSW - after prosecutor Benjamin Bickford agreed to withdraw the other two charges.

Mr Chicken said there was nothing to suggest the lunch meeting on August 17 was for a “nefarious purpose” and noted the conflict earlier this year had not involved the Gladiators.

Mr Chicken also said a discrepancy in the NSW Supreme Court orders meant he could not be satisfied that Vanderlight was the Newcastle president of the Finks. That fact reduced the objective seriousness of the offence and he ordered Vanderlight serve an 18-month community corrections order, the new equivalent of a good behaviour bond, that Mr Chicken said would test Vanderlight’s claims that he was no longer a member of the Finks.  

Vanderlight remains in jail, refused bail on charges of affray and participating in a criminal group relating to an alleged brawl with a member of the Newcastle Nomads in a car park of Charlestown Square in January this year.

And, despite serving his time for breaching the Serious Crime Prevention Order, Vanderlight might be destined to live under even more stringent conditions, with the matter listed again in the NSW Supreme Court next Thursday to vary the conditions against him. 


Ready Panhead

Harley-Davidson Panhead Chopper

Sleeping In

He needs a House Mouse to take care of things

Devils Henchmen MC: Celebrating 40 years of Brotherhood

Washdyke, New Zealand (October 19, 2018) BTN — Some might see them as unorthodox but the Devils Henchmen MC say they're maturing as the Timaru club revs up to celebrate 40 years. They will mark the milestone this long weekend and say there's plenty of life left in the club - despite an ageing membership.

The club has gained notoriety over the years - specifically in the early 90s - when gang tensions intensified in South Canterbury, capturing national attention. On the eve of their birthday, club members maintain there have been misconceptions over the years.

"Everyone is getting older and wiser; no one is getting any younger," club member Bryn Cox said.

The Devils Henchmen are celebrating 40 years over Labour Weekend. Bryn Cox stands at the gates 
of the club's Washdyke headquarters.

Founding members of the Devils Henchmen in 1978, from left, Smiley, Bird, Pogal and Woody

The Devils Henchmen MC during a ride in the 1970's.

Things have changed and he acknowledges periods of violence.

He said the club still can't get past the stigma of past problems.

Devils Henchmen MC member Bryn Cox stands at the gates of their Washdyke headquarters.

"We are not gang members, we are motorcycle club members." 

The celebrations kick off on Friday with a ride around South Canterbury on Saturday, and live entertainment in the evening.

The club is expecting 300 to 400 people from around the country for the weekend, he said.

Some agencies are "still portraying that we are dirty bikie scum and drug dealers", he said.

The club's Washdyke headquarters, photographed by John Bisset in 2004.
Cox has been a member for 19 years and started hanging around the club in 1981 - aged 19.

"It's my family.

"These are my brothers, their wives and children are my family too."

At 40, the club is maturing and more savvy, he says. "We are tax paying members of the Timaru public."

The club still has a healthy membership, he said.

While protesters took to the streets of Timaru to drive the destructive and highly addictive drug methamphetamine out of the district last month, the Devils Henchmen banned the drug "very early", he said. "We seen what it was doing to other clubs."

Founding member John (Woody) Woodhams says the motorcycle club scene has changed a lot in the past 40 years. "It's a lot more streamlined and polished now. We used to sleep on the sides of roads, now it's the motel or camping ground."

Woodhams, 68, said he is one of the lucky ones. "I don't drink, smoke or take drugs."

Woodhams was introduced to motorcycle clubs in 1970 when he met a member of the Antarctic Angels in Invercargill and rode to Timaru where there were about five motorcycle clubs.

"It's all about motorcycles at the end of the day.

"A motorcycle club is an organisation. In large the police would like to see all motorcycle clubs and street gangs gone; it's not going to happen."

Woodhams acknowledges the club's ageing membership. "Some of us are getting so old now we are drawing a pension. "We are getting long in the tooth but we are still quite fit.

"If you can survive all the trouble of when you are young then you develop more tolerance at the end of the day." Tolerance is a virtue, he said. "Instead of smacking someone in the head you tend to give them a warning.

"All we can do is try to present a good image but you are fighting a tide."  

Co-founding member Smiley said club membership is about trust and honesty. "The biggest one is respecting each other. "The whole scene has changed, we haven't changed as people. "We all stand for camaraderie and respect each other."

Sergeant Grant Lord, of Timaru, said police are aware of the anniversary celebrations and had attempted to contact the club. "We have attempted to contact the Devils Henchmen and they have not responded in relation to what their celebrations entail," Lord said.  

"It's not unusual for police to maintain contact with gangs or clubs when they have activities including celebrations and funerals. The Devils Henchmen have always had an event over Labour Weekend and we have always policed them." 

Story and Photographs by: Al Williams and John Bisset

SOURCE: Stuff NZ