Jury dismissed as trial aborted

THE JURY has been dismissed from a trial in which five men with alleged ties to the Rebels Motorcycle Club are accused of threatening the owners of a Maryborough business.

Day three of the proceedings was expected to start yesterday morning but the defence called for a mistrial following television and print media reports which they claimed could prejudice jurors.

Judge Hugh Botting ruled that under the circumstances he would dismiss the jury.

It is not known what will happen next but the trial could be transferred to Brisbane.

Adam Warwick McCrea, Gary Wayne Hyland, Mark Darran Berghofer, Sean Edwin Foster and Peter Ross Hill are accused of threatening Maryborough couple Khris and Emma Bust in an effort to deter them from opening a body piercing business.

The charges stem from a meeting which allegedly took place between the five co-accused and the Busts prior to the store's opening in 2008.

On Tuesday the court heard that in the lead up to the opening, Mr Bust had received a call from a man who identified himself as “Big Adam”.

Mr Bust said the man told him Maryborough was his turf and to stay away.

Following the phone call Mr Bust allegedly contacted someone in Brisbane who he knew to be associated with the Rebels and was told Adam McCrea wanted to meet with him.

Mr Bust told the court he then phoned McCrea, who seemed surprised to hear from him, and eventually arranged to meet him at the store in Kent Street.

He said on the day of the meeting McCrea turned up to the store with his co-accused and stood over him in a threatening manner before telling him not to open his store.

Defence barrister Rick Taylor argued there was no proof the man who called himself “Big Adam” was McCrea, and that the reason the men had visited the store was because they were concerned Mr Bust may have been affiliated with a rival motorcycle club.

The five have been allowed at large until their next appearance in court on a date to be set.

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