Bandidos bikie's friends prompt extra police in court for sentencing over violent 2013 rampage

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Extra police were stationed at a Southport courtroom while a former Bandidos bikie was sentenced to six years' jail for a violent rampage on the Gold Coast nearly four years ago.

More than a dozen associates of Leonard Toalei were in court for the sentencing of the 29-year-old, who shot the window out of a taxi, stole a milk truck and bashed two people in Southport on June 11, 2013.

Toalei today pleaded guilty in the District Court at Southport to 13 charges.

They included assault, threatening violence, motor vehicle and weapons offences.

Footage played to the court showed Toalei sitting in the back of a taxi before he twice discharged a shotgun.

The court heard he then flagged down a passing milk truck, bashed the driver and dragged him out of the vehicle.

Toalei then drove off in the truck and crashed into security bollards a short distance away.

Security footage filmed inside a Surfside bus then showed Toalei board the vehicle and punching the driver in the head before exiting.

 

His dramatic arrest was captured by a news cameraman in Scarborough Street, Southport, a few minutes later.

It showed a police officer and his dog, Bosun, trying to detain the 118-kilogram man.

He was only brought under control when more officers arrived at the scene and a taser and baton were used to control him.

After viewing the arrest footage, the New Zealand-born defendant was described by Judge David Kent as, "an extremely powerful individual".

Crown Prosecutor Nick McGhee told the court Toalei had shown no remorse for his actions or his victims.

'I was a true soldier': Toalei

Two letters, written by Toalei to friends while in custody, were tendered to the court.

In one letter the defendant said" "What I did [rampage] was going down no matter what."

The prosecutor said Toalei's letter indicated he was looking for members of the Finks gang, a rival bikie club based on the Gold Coast.

"I went by myself as a true soldier," Toalei wrote.

In a second letter, the defendant indicated he was drug-fuelled on the night of his arrest.

"I was too racked up to feel anything," he said.

"I'm surprised they didn't shoot me."

Defence barrister Sarah Thompson told the court her client's behaviour was erratic and chaotic and could not be explained.

She added her client suffered from a series of mental health issues and was on medication including large doses of lithium.

When asked about Toalei's connections with a bikie gang, Ms Thompson said, "he has been affiliated with the Bandidos," adding he had the word "Bandido" tattooed on his face.

Toalei has indicated that when released he intends to have the facial tattoos removed to help him gain employment as a renderer.

'You are an ongoing danger to the community'

Prosecutor McGhee said Toalei had an appalling criminal history, which included an assault on a security guard at a leagues club in 2011.

"He's an ongoing danger to the community," he said.

Judge Kent heard Toalei was a talented junior rugby league player but his behavioural issues prevented him from developing as a player.

"You are a large, powerful and extremely violent man," Judge Kent said.

He sentenced Toalei to six years in prison with an immediate parole eligibility because the former bikie had already served more than three years in pre-sentence custody.

Toalei spoke to his lawyer prior to sentencing and said he was a changed man.

"When I grew up all I wanted to be was a gangster, now I want to be a man," Toalei said.

"This is my last stint."

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Thomas Forbes
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abc.net.au




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