29 Sep 2015

Bikers' ice cream charges melt away

9:13 am on 29 September 2015

Charges against alleged Australian biker-gang members, who were detained after buying ice cream, have been dropped.

Chocolate ice cream (file photo).

Chocolate ice cream (file photo). Photo: AFP

Five men from Victoria were held for three weeks after being seen buying ice cream while on holiday on Queensland's Gold Coast.

Under anti-association laws it is illegal for more than two alleged bikers to be in public together.

The charges were reportedly dropped due to a lack of evidence.

Daniel Lovett, Bane Alajbegovic, Dario Halilovic, Kresmir Basic and Darren Haley were charged under the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act (VLAD) laws.

The VLAD was brought in in 2013 to help dismantle organised crime groups.

The men did not appear at Southport Magistrates Court on Monday.

Their lawyer, Bill Potts, addressed the media saying over NZ$550,000 in taxpayer funds was spent prosecuting the case.

"Their only sin, their only crime, was to buy an ice cream in a public place," Mr Potts said outside.

"The great controversy here was whether it was going to be choc top or vanilla. There was no crime, there was no planned crime.

"Quite frankly, it has been a political stunt right from the beginning to make the people feel safe, rather than give them the actuality of safeness."

A new state Labor Government was sworn in this year, and a review into the VLAD laws - which were introduced by a previous state government - is expected in December.

- BBC

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs