Christopher Barrett, the former Bandidos national sergeant-at-arms, outside Brisbane District Court. FILE PHOTO
Christopher Barrett, the former Bandidos national sergeant-at-arms, outside Brisbane District Court. FILE PHOTO Philip Norrish

Bikie boss won't do time for strip club brawl

A NOTORIOUS Gold Coast bikie boss who knocked out the bouncer and tried to choke the club manager won't spent a day in jail.

Brisbane District Court heard Christopher Barrett had been asked to leave Fortitude Valley club Tony's in August 2015 when he ripped off his shirt to reveal a tattoo of the Bandidos insignia and screamed "You don't know who I am? I can have 50 guys down here before you know it".

The former national sergeant at arms of the Bandidos went on the violent rampage with his associate Eric Hartnett then warned terrified staff "I'll come back with my boys and f*ck you up" if they called police.

One of the dancers pounced on Barrett's back during the ordeal in an unsuccessful attempt to calm him down.

Despite all this, Barrett's defence barrister Jeffrey Hunter insisted his client was a changed man.

He said Barrett cut ties with the Bandidos after the Broadbeach riot that broke out amid tensions surrounding the former Newman government's anti-bikie laws. He said any claims of his links to the club on the night of the attack were "empty threats".

He said Barrett and Hartnett had gone to dinner on the Gold Coast with their wives in the hours before the attack and blamed his "over-reaction" on too much tequila.

The pair's arrest was originally heralded as a victory by gang squad police who claimed the strip club staff would not have been brave enough to speak up before the government introduced its tough new laws that have since been scrapped.

Crown Prosecutor Victoria Trafford-Walker said staff would have believed Barrett's claims he was still the gang boss.

She called for a sentence that reflected the community's denunciation of the "protracted intimidation, aggression and violence" used in the attack.

But Judge Paul Smith said he was "impressed" by Barrett's change in attitude, his regular attendance at anger management counselling and the large number of character references tabled in his favour.

He said it seemed Barrett was a "family" man who was remorseful for his actions but warned he would not be given another chance if he re-offended.

Barrett was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended immediately.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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