National Bandidos president granted bail

BANDIDOS national president Jason Murray Addison has been granted bail after a judge ruled there was no evidence he posed a risk to the community ahead of his extortion trial.

The former Sunshine Coast chapter president, who now resides in Victoria, was arrested last month and charged with four offences including extortion, dishonesty and stealing.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Thursday that Mr Addison, 50, allegedly threatened to harm a former Bandidos member and forced him to sign over his Sunshine Coast stonemasonry business.

The court heard the alleged victim, who was booted from the Bandidos for attending a Crime Commission hearing, was the one who introduced Mr Addison to the motorcycle club and the two had been best friends for years.

Crown prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge told the court that Mr Addison posed an unacceptable risk to the community, especially surrounding the possibility of interfering with witnesses.

She said the fact that he was the Bandidos national president meant he had a lot of influence of other members.

"The Crown submits that the business was only handed over due to the nature of the threats," she said.

"By virtue of his position in the criminal organisation, he has other members at his disposal who could act in order to ensure Mr Addison gets the desired outcome in this matter."

Ms Wooldridge said Mr Addison had not been charged under the controversial VLAD laws, but still faced the possibility of spending up to 14 years behind bars if found guilty of the extortion offences.

Defence barrister Saul Holt said there was no evidence that Mr Addison posed a flight risk, a risk of reoffending or a risk to the community if he was released on bail.

He said Mr Addison had next to no criminal history and he was willing to adhere to strict bail conditions to ensure his release.

Justice Jean Dalton agreed, saying there was no evidence before her to suggest Mr Addison posed any type of risk to the community if he was released on bail.

She said there was no evidence she could see to suggest Mr Addison should not be released on bail, except for the Crown saying that because he is an office bearer in a criminal organisation he was more likely to break the law.

Justice Dalton granted Mr Addison's bail application albeit under strict conditions which included reporting to police three times per week, posting a $50,000 surety, surrendering his passport and having no contact with anyone involved with the case.

- APN NEWSDESK.

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