Man cleared of assaulting police officer at Fourth Reich Motorcycle Club’s annual open day

Peter Busuttil (inset, left) and James Howell depart Wollongong courthouse at an earlier appearance stemming from the October 2015 raid at the Croome Lane club grounds (main picture).

Peter Busuttil (inset, left) and James Howell depart Wollongong courthouse at an earlier appearance stemming from the October 2015 raid at the Croome Lane club grounds (main picture).

A man accused of assaulting a police officer at the Fourth Reich Motorcycle Club’s annual open day has had the charges against him dismissed and is preparing to pursue legal costs. 

More than 30 officers led by NSW Police outlaw motorcycle gang team Strike Force Raptor descended on the Albion Park club’s October 10, 2015, bike show. 

Peter Nicholas Busuttil was manning an entry gate at the Croome Lane clubhouse when he was arrested and charged with an assault – a push to the chest – upon the Raptor officer in charge, Detective Inspector Darren Beeche.

Busuttil, of Thirroul, fought the charges from July 27, 2016, when a hearing began in Wollongong Local Court. On Thursday Magistrate Mark Douglass dismissed both charges. 

James Howell, a member of Busuttil’s legal team, welcomed the outcome. 

“The decision was the right one,” he said. 

“It’s taken Peter almost two years to clear his name and he’s very happy that he was able to get the right result in the end, particularly in light of the overwhelming evidence that we were able to call … in terms of independent witnesses [there] on the day, which the magistrate determined were credible and reliable. They supported Peter’s story that he wasn’t assaulting [police].

“The police behaviour was thuggish and that was totally inappropriate.”

Busuttil was one of 16 people whose names and pictures were circulated at the open day, on a consorting notice issued by Strike Force Raptor. 

“The following persons are convicted offenders,” read the notice, which was tendered as part of court proceedings. “Consorting with convicted offenders is an offence”. 

The matter returns to court on September 15 for a submissions on costs. 

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