‘T-shirt’ brothers fail to get bail

11-07-2018 by admin

Jack McLean

A magistrate has urged the speedy resolution of a case involving two members of the “T-shirt gang” for the sake of one alleged offender’sbaby daughter.

John O’Callaghan made the comments in refusing bail for brothers Jack, 23, and Tom McLean, 21.

The pair were committed to stand trial last week over more than 80 North East burglary, theft and arson offences linked to Jack and more than 70 to Tom.

Mr O’Callaghan quickly pronounced his decision to keep them behind bars after a lengthy application before the Wodonga Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

But he was just as quick to plead to the defence and prosecution for some way to expedite the matter.

“This case will take some time to be resolved,” he said.

“I would express the opinion that I am very concerned about the delay in this matter for two young men.”

Mr O’Callaghan then highlighted the fact that Jack McLean had a baby daughter, just seven-months-old, with who he had had limited contact, given she was one month when he was arrested last November.

He said the girl was “a darling” who through no fault of her own had missed out on time with her father.

While favourable towards the brothers’ prospects for rehabilitation, this did not sway Mr O’Callaghan in determining bail.

Defence barristers spoke of a largely circumstantial case against the brothers.

But Mr O’Callaghan disagreed, pointing to what he considered the great strength of the police case.

He said a “tipping point” in his decision was the fact that of the 18 firearms police alleged were stolen by the gang, 17 were still in the community.

Earlier, informantDetective Senior Constable Ray Causer said police were convinced the brothers knew of the weapons’ location as not a single firearm stolen had turned up elsewhere.

“I believe these firearms are still in the family’s hands,” he said.

Sen-Constable Causer gave evidence of how he saw a threat against him written on a wall in the Wodonga police cellswhen the brothers were the only people in custody.

Mr O’Callaghan said this also influenced his decision.

Police opposed bail on several grounds, including their opinion the McLeanswere a recidivist criminal family who had acted as a single unit to commit the offences over which the brothers were charged.

Two other gang members are due to front court on Wednesday.

Magistrate John O’Callaghan

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