Trouble with the Tramps

LEGAL FIGHT: Tramps Motorcycle Club solicitor John Suta and president Ronnie Harding were at the Firearms Appeal Committee hearing last week.

THE possibility of the Hells Angels taking over the Tramps is causing conflict within the Wangaratta motorcycle club, according to a Victoria Police lawyer.

Barrister for the Chief Commissioner, Gerard Maguire, said although the Tramps remain one of the last three independent motorcycle clubs in Victoria, president, Ronnie Harding, has a close friendship with the outlaw motorcycle gang.

“The landscape has changed over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the rise of the big three clubs,” Mr Maguire said.

His comments were made on the last of a five-day Firearms Appeal Committee hearing in Melbourne yesterday, where eight Tramps members were appealing the police decision to strip their firearms licences.

The case was adjourned for the parties to send written submissions and the result will not be known for weeks.

Mr Maguire said the Hells Angels also had enough influence to direct the Tramps to attend a meeting of bikies at the Satan Soldiers clubhouse in March.

Police allege bikies went on to storm the Diablos clubhouse and shoot Bandidos sergeant-at-arms, Toby Mitchell, but the Wangaratta men deny any involvement.

Mr Maguire said they are still not fit people to hold firearms licences because of 30 years of alleged violence within the club and association with outlaw motorcycle gangs that involves them having a similar system of club rules and patches, minus the notorious “one percenter” patch.

More on this story will appear in Monday’s Wangaratta Chronicle.

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