Man pleads guilty in bar brawl linked to Hells Angels gathering

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A barroom brawl in Kenosee Lake said to have links to a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club gathering led to a guilty plea from one participant on Thursday.

Richard Jerome Bandet, 44, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon during an appearance at Regina Provincial Court. The Crown stayed a second charge alleging assault causing bodily harm.

After hearing brief submissions, Judge Anna Crugnale-Reid agreed to impose the six-month suspended sentence jointly requested by Crown and defence counsel. The sentence involves a probation order containing a number of conditions, including that Bandet not contact the person he assaulted.

Crown prosecutor Steve Robertson told the court a large fight broke out amongst a number of people — more than a dozen, court heard — in the early morning hours of May 20 last year.

Describing the situation alternately as a “melee” and a “fracas,” defence lawyer Kevin Hill said his client got into it after a bunch of his friends became involved. During the brawl, Bandet swung a chair at another person, although it wasn’t alleged the complainant was injured as a result.

While few details were provided in court, RCMP at the time described the incident as being related to an annual Hells Angels event that took place over the May long weekend in the southeast Saskatchewan resort community.

The RCMP didn’t identify the business involved, stating only that it occurred on Lake View Street. Two men reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the fight and required medical treatment.

In the days following the brawl, police put out a call to the public for information about the incident, requesting photos or audio or video recordings that might have been taken.

In July, the RCMP announced charges had been laid against five people: Bandet of Regina; Daniel Adam Becker, then 34, of Regina, accused of assault; Howard Cedric Cormier, then 52, of Moose Jaw, accused of assault; Javis Martin Watson, then 35, of Regina facing three counts of assault; and Andrew Blair Waugh, then 29, of Regina, accused of assault causing bodily harm.

On Thursday, Robertson said the Crown has since stayed charges against all but Bandet and Cormier. Cormier’s assault charge remains before the court.

In accepting the jointly recommended sentence, Crugnale-Reid said she accepted comments from counsel that it was an alcohol-influenced situation that “got out of hand.”

“Fortunately, there weren’t injuries, based on what I’ve heard, as a result of your actions,” the judge said to Bandet.

Bandet, who court heard has a minimal record, was ticketed in 2007 for allegedly wearing his Hells Angels colours in a Moose Jaw bar. The Crown later stayed that charge.

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