22 May 2015

Further court action unlikely in gang case

5:34 am on 22 May 2015

A lawyer representing Nelson's Red Devils motorcycle gang doubts the Crown will appeal a High Court decision to throw out drug charges against the gang.

Twenty-one members were facing charges that have now been quashed because of a botched undercover investigation.

In the High Court in 2012, Justice Simon France dismissed the charges because of police misconduct, which included faking a search warrant and having an undercover officer appear in court under a false name.

The Court of Appeal subsequently reinstated the charges, but in a judgment issued yesterday Justice Collins again dismissed them.

Lawyer Tony Bamford said, given the history of this case, it would be surprising if the Crown decided to pursue it further.

"I would suspect that if the Crown were to consider appealing, they would have to recognise that there have been three Courts that have really described the conduct involved as egregious.

"And now we have a factual finding that this egregious misconduct was really critical, and part and parcel in the case that was brought against these defendents.

"Fundamentally, that is the concept that the prosecuting authorities are not allowed to bring charges when they're basing them on illegal actions effectively," Mr Bamford said.

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