A 10-minute long brawl in a Canberra strip club has landed an alleged key member of the Comancheros bikie club behind bars.
Queenslander Paea Talakai, 27, pleaded guilty to being involved in the brawl in the Capital Men’s Club last year, during the Comancheros’ national run, which was held in Canberra.
But he denied being a member of the Comancheros motorcycle gang, despite police claims he is a senior member of the club’s Queensland branch.
His sentencing was delayed because he wanted to contest the police claims.
Talakai told the court while he was once a prospective member of the Bandidos, he had no interest in joining the Comancheros, despite accepting an invitation to the club’s national run last year.
“I just thought it would just be a new experience,” he said.
“I just wanted to see what it was about.”
He said he had been invited by a man he had only met once, but would not say who that was.
“I am not a member and I am not comfortable answering the question when it might give me problems down the road,” he said.
Prosecutor Anthony Williamson quizzed him on why he had been photographed wearing a jumper reserved for full Comanchero members while he was in Canberra, knowing that non-members would invite reprisals by wearing the clothes.
“You knew there was a risk of violence by wearing a Comancheros top when you are not a member and you wore it anyway,” Mr Williamson said.
Mr Williamson was scathing, telling the court Talakai’s explanation did not add up.
“His evidence is utterly ridiculous,” he said.
Magistrate Glenn Theakston agreed, saying “his evidence to my mind was not credible”.
“In the circumstances I find it very difficult to accept his denials.”
He found Talakai was a member of the Comancheros at the time of the brawl, and handed down a five-month jail sentence and four months on a good behaviour order.
Talakai hugged his partner as he was taken from the court.