A FORMER Sunshine Coast Bandidos president with a criminal history dating back to the '90s will walk free from jail after securing bail before his pending extortion trial.
Blair Robert Thomsen, 45, was charged last December with two counts of extortion and stealing, stemming from offences allegedly committed in 2011 and 2013 on the Sunshine Coast.
It is alleged Mr Thomsen, along with Bandidos national president Jason Murray Addison, 50, threatened another Bandidos member in a bid to get him to sign over his business, home and motorcycle.
The Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Friday the alleged victim was summoned to the Bandidos clubhouse in January last year under the guise of farewell drinks.
It was there the victim allegedly was told he had to surrender his bike, before Mr Thomsen, along with others, drove the victim home where they took possession of the motorcycle.
The court heard the bike was later re-registered under Mr Addison's name.
Crown prosecutor Sarah Farndon told the court that Mr Thomsen was still an active member of the Bandidos and posed a risk of interfering with witnesses if released.
She told the court Mr Thomsen's criminal history included convictions and time behind bars for importing drugs, supplying drugs, assault and arson after he burnt down the Rebels' clubhouse in 2007.
She said the current laws did not really prevent criminal motorcycle gang members from associating.
"You have to remember that club members cannot associate in public, but those laws do not stop them from associating privately," she said.
"The Crown submits that despite being a former president, Thomsen still has a large amount of influence in the club."
Defence barrister Tony Glynn said the extortion case against Mr Thomsen was weak and there was no evidence he would interfere with witnesses.
He said it was doubtful the extortion actually took place as there was no evidence to prove any threats were made.
"The Crown maintains that just because he is a member of a criminal organisation he is more likely to reoffend compare to someone else," he said.
"The Crown's submission is one of pure guess rather than one of any substance."
Justice Ann Lyons granted Mr Thomsen bail, albeit with a host of strict conditions including reporting to police twice per week, living with family at Beerwah, surrendering his passport and not having any contact with any Bandidos members, witnesses or his co-accused.
- APN NEWSDESK.
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