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Friday, 5 September 2008

Finks and Hells Angel clash Three people shot, two stabbed and $40,000 damaged caused to the Royal Pines Resort's Grand Ballroom at Carrara ,

Brawl involving two rival bikie gangs at a luxury Gold Coast resort two years ago was the result of the attempted theft of a precious jewel, a Brisbane court has heard.Three people were shot, two stabbed and more than $40,000 damaged caused to the Royal Pines Resort's Grand Ballroom at Carrara on March 18, 2006, when members of the Finks and Hells Angels clashed at a kickboxing tournament.Dubbed the "Ballroom Blitz", the bloody incident was said to have been sparked by the defection of one-time Fink and soon-to-be convicted murderer Christopher Wayne Hudson to the Hells Angels in a move that angered his former gangmates.
But lawyers for two men involved in the melee told Brisbane's District Court yesterday bad blood and Hudson's growing drug addiction were behind the bust up, which also saw an innocent kickboxing promoter knocked unconscious after trying to intervene.
Nicholas John Forbes, 39, and Shane Scott Bowden, 36, have each pleaded guilty to bashing and shooting Hudson at the televised event, claiming the burly 30-year-old had tried to steal a sapphire from Forbes' elderly parents so he could sell it for drugs.Barrister Craig Eberhardt, for Forbes, said his client and Hudson were old friends, but things had soured in the lead-up to the incident.
"They had grown up together," Mr Eberhardt said.
"Mr Hudson had developed a significant amphetamine addiction and had been treating people very badly, including Mr Forbes' parents.
"He had tried to steal a sapphire from them to pawn to feed his amphetamine addiction."
Graphic footage shot by Fox Sports television cameras and tendered to the court showed Hudson sitting ringside with "dozens" of Hells Angels bikies when Forbes, a Fink, arrived at the table and called for him to step outside.
"Come on c---," Forbes shouted.
"Let's f---ing go."
Seconds later, Forbes is seen throwing a punch at Hudson and immediately the room errupts.Footage shows bikies - some in in full gang insignia - using chairs and drinking glasses as weapons before several gunshots ring out.Hudson is shot twice in the face and back by Bowden before being pinned against the boxing ring by Forbes and set upon by several men.As he tries to crawl away on all fours, pictures show him being dragged back and struck again.Barrister Anthony Glynn SC, for Bowden, said while it appeared Hudson was a defenceless victim, the opposite was true.
"Hudson could be a man who was extremely violent," Mr Glynn said.
Hudson is in custody in Victoria awaiting sentencing on murder and attempted murder charges after he opened fire on three people outside a Melbourne strip club in June last year.Solicitor Brendan Keilar was shot to death and Dutch backpacker Paul de Waard badly wounded after they went to the aid of exotic dancer Kaera Douglas as Hudson, her part-time boyfriend, dragged her by the hair in the middle of a city street.Ms Douglas was also fired on, losing a kidney.Bowden, who was on parole and a suspended sentence for drugs and violence offences at the time of the 2006 Royal Pines brawl, is facing up to seven years jail after pleading guilty to unlawful wounding with intent to maim and discharging a firearm in a public place.Forbes is facing six years for bashing Hudson as well as attacks on seven others during an unrelated "rampage" through a Gold Coast nightclub and shopping mall.
Mr Eberhardt said in addition to the falling-out with his long-time friend, Forbes - a hospital orderly - had also been upset at the time by an investment gone bad.
Mr Glynn, meanwhile, argued Bowden - in the grip of a drug-induced psychosis - had shot Hudson out of loyalty to Forbes, and only after Hells Angels members had produced guns and fired first.Judge Milton Griffin SC accepted neither man was responsible for starting the "Ballroom Blitz" and that other gang members had acted independently.He has reserved his sentencing decision until this morning.


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