News Item: (CAN) Bacchus members get jail terms as judge labels club a criminal organization
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by ace
Friday 09 November 2018 - 01:01:23

Criminal organizations such as the Bacchus Motorcycle Club “represent an elevated threat to civil society,” a Halifax judge said Wednesday in putting three of its members behind bars for committing crimes on behalf of the club.

Patrick Michael James, 51, of Dartmouth; Duayne Jamie Howe, 49, of Grand Desert; and David John Pearce, 44, of High Level, Alta., were found guilty in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in June of threatening, intimidating, extorting and harassing a man who wanted to launch a motorcycle club in the Halifax area in 2012.

Justice Peter Rosinski also ruled that Bacchus met the Criminal Code definition of a criminal organization and that the trio committed the offences “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with” the club.

The judge sentenced each man on two counts of extortion and stayed the remaining charges.

James was sentenced to three years in prison, Howe received two years in prison and Pearce got 18 months in jail.

Because Pearce’s sentence is at the low end of the range for extortion, the judge ordered that he serve half of his sentence — rather than the standard one-third — before he is eligible for full parole.

Howe and Pearce will be on probation for three years after they serve their custodial sentences.

The judge ordered all three men to have no contact with the victim, referred to as RM in the decision, and six other civilians while they’re behind bars or on probation. The identities of those seven people are banned from publication.

“Intimidation, extortion, harassment, threatening behaviour and physical violence are the ‘stock in trade’ of such criminal organizations,” Rosinski said.

“It is critical that members of such groups and their associates be profoundly … deterred,” both specifically and generally.

It’s the first time an outlaw motorcycle gang in the province has been declared a criminal organization by a judge.

James was sergeant-at-arms of the Halifax-Hants County chapter of Bacchus at the time of the offences, while Howe was secretary-treasurer and Pearce was a full member.

According to the evidence at trial, the victim attempted to start his own motorcycle club and later a chapter of the Montreal-based Brotherhood Motorcycle Club.

James was furious in late August 2012 after he saw Facebook pictures of RM and two friends in Montreal wearing one-piece Brotherhood patches on their vests.

James texted RM and then visited him at work the next day wearing his Bacchus colours. He threatened RM and told him he had to destroy the Brotherhood patches and give them to him within a day. James also insisted that the Brotherhood post on its Facebook page that it did not have a chapter coming to Nova Scotia.

The complainant and the Brotherhood both complied with James’s demands.

On Sept. 14, the complainant rode his motorcycle to a Bikers Down Society fundraiser in Lower Sackville, where he was confronted by Howe and Pearce and accused of disrespecting Bacchus. The complainant was told that he would be beaten up if he ever rode a motorcycle or attended any motorcycle events in Nova Scotia.

The victim and his wife sold their motorcycles and never rode again.

The judge said Bacchus members considered themselves to have the authority to decide who could start or maintain an independent or existing motorcycle club in Nova Scotia and the punishment for anyone who did not respect their self-appointed power.

Bacchus perceived RM’s conduct as harmful in a material way to the club’s interests, Rosinski said.

“Therefore, they visited their self-appointed power of punishment on RM,” he said.

“Such interference with the liberties of citizens, and the extrajudicial imposition of purported punishment, requires that proportionate criminal sanctions be imposed to deter (Bacchus) leadership, its members and others of like mind and inclination.”

Crown attorney Glen Scheuer had asked for prison terms of five to six years for James and 4.5 to 5.5 years for the other two men. Defence lawyers argued for a two-year prison sentence for James, one year in jail for Howe, and six months behind bars for Pearce.

While on probation, Howe and Pearce must abstain from consuming drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol and from owning, possessing or carrying any weapon.

The judge prohibited them from being in the company of or communicating with anyone associated with Bacchus, the Darksiders, Highlanders, Vagabonds, Para-Dice Riders, Hells Angels, the Charlottetown Harley Club “or any other self-identifying 1% motorcycle club.”

They also cannot possess, wear or display any clothing or paraphernalia affiliated with any of the motorcycle clubs named in the probation order.

Rosinski compelled all three offenders to provide DNA samples for a national databank and imposed firearms prohibitions that will be in effect for 10 years after their release from custody.

This news item is from White Trash Networks
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