Pulling gang member's beard 'perhaps unwise'

Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012

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A Taranaki judge has suggested that the alleged victim of a serious assault in a New Plymouth pub last month was unwise to pull the beard of a gang member.

In the New Plymouth District Court yesterday Auckland Hell's Angel Dennis Bernard Vermeulen, 45, appeared on a charge of injuring an Inglewood man with intent.

A second Hell's Angel gang member faces the same charge.

The two parties had been in Peggy Gordon's bar on the weekend of the national tattoo festival in New Plymouth last month when the alleged attack occurred, leaving the victim in hospital.

Vermeulen's lawyer, Paul Keegan, said the victim had pulled the beard of his client.

Judge Allan Roberts asked if Vermeulen was patched at the time of the alleged attack. Mr Keegan replied that his client was wearing a sweatshirt and was "also surrounded by his friends". The judge remarked it was perhaps unwise behaviour to pull a gang member's beard.

Mr Keegan said Vermeulen had no previous convictions for violence. He asked that the alcohol restrictions on his client's bail conditions were removed. Alcohol was not a factor in his client's alleged offending, Mr Keegan said.

Vermeulen's co-accused, Richard William Collier, 28, a Henderson painter, did not appear.

Vermeulen is to reappear on January 7.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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