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Down but not out, 'Bad' Bandido has his day in court

April 11, 2012

 

TATTOOED on the left side of Toby Mitchell’s shaven head are the words ‘‘Sargent De Arms’’. Underneath are the words ‘‘Bad Company’’. And on his left thumb is ‘‘666’’, considered to be the number of the beast. By any measure Mitchell, 37, remains an intimidating figure despite needing a walking stick to get around since he was shot five times in the back in November last year. Mitchell, enforcer for one of the most notorious bikie gangs in Australia, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday on three driving charges. The Bandidos sergeant-at-arms pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while his licence had been suspended and one count of driving an unroadworthy vehicle. Magistrate Lance Martin said he decided not to jail Mitchell after taking into account his ongoing health problems in the five months since he was ambushed and gunned down. Mr Martin said Mitchell’s 10previous convictions for similar offences meant he would normally have received an immediate jail sentence. The magistrate said that Mitchell’s driving record showed he held court orders in contempt and had little regard for other road users, but significant weight had to be given to the injuries the bikie had received in the shooting and his early guilty plea. Mr Martin sentenced Mitchell to four months’ jail wholly suspended for 24 months, disqualified him from driving for six months and fined him $400 plus court costs of $67.70. Defence lawyer Theo Magazis told the court Mitchell had grown up in South Melbourne and left school after year10 to work as a labourer. Mitchell developed an interest in weightlifting and went on to become a champion kickboxer but his career ended when he broke his hand. Mr Magazis said Mitchell was working as a personal trainer when shot outside Doherty’s Gym, next door to the Bandidos clubhouse, in Weston Street, Brunswick, on November 28. Mitchell was shot five times in the back and suffered serious, life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital where he spent a significant amount of time in the intensive care unit before stabilising and being transferred to the hospital’s recovery unit. Mitchell then suffered a setback with continuous and uncontrollable bleeding from the liver. The bikie lost one kidney, had significant damage to his liver and little movement in his right wrist where one of the bullets hit him. Mr Magazis said there was a striking difference between the man who appeared in court yesterday and the man prior to the shooting. Mitchell had gone from a ‘‘very strong, fit, motivated young man’’ to someone who had been left with ‘‘significant health issues to deal with’’. He is now taking 10 different medications, needs to have fluid constantly drained from his liver and sees his doctors regularly. He has little feeling in his hip. The shooting had taken both a physical and emotional toll on him.

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