Biker gang trial concludes with lightened sentences
One of the largest gang trials in Denmark’s history wrapped up on Tuesday at the Eastern High Court with relatively light sentences for 14 Hells Angels members and associates.
The trial, which last week saw the release of Brian Sandberg, the one-time leader of the Hells Angels, resulted in a combined 112 years of prison to the 14 bikers. That was a lighter sentence than they received last year in Glostrup City Court.
A fifteenth man, who was found guilty by the Glostrup court, was acquitted by the Eastern High Court.
The lengthiest sentence went to Danny Olson, who received 15 years and three months, while the lightest went to Mads Petersen, who was given one year behind bars.
Sandberg was acquitted on two counts of attempted murder but found guilty of ordering an August 2009 attack that was at the heart of the trial. With the Eastern High Court finding him not guilty on the attempted murder charges, the former biker, who claims to have left the Hells Angels in August for personal reasons, was released based on time served.
The historic trial was built largely around the testimony of a turncoat witness known only by the initials MFP.
Based on the testimony of MFP, who confessed to five attempted murders and two assaults and decided to break the gang’s code of silence and co-operate with the police, 15 of 16 gang members were sentenced to a total of 135 years in prison last September by the Glostrup court on charges of attempted murder, a 2009 group attack at Brorsons Kirke and weapons charges. They immediately appealed their sentences, which ultimately resulted in them getting off lighter at the high court yesterday.
Because he had turned against his former comrades, MFP had to be put under heavy protection due to threats against his life.
Some 30-40 associates of the Hells Angels were outside of the court on Tuesday, and a few of them harassed members of the press. Someone cut a wire on TV2’s camera and DR’s reporting van had a tyre slashed. No-one was arrested for the vandalism acts, and police reported that they were able to disperse the crowd with no problems.
But for Peter Skaarup of Dansk Folkeparti (DF), that wasn’t enough. He has called on the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne) to make sure such a thing doesn’t happen again.
“It’s never been seen before that bikers go after the media,” Skaarup told DR News. “The justice minister needs to make sure that there are so many police officers on hand that this sort of thing doesn’t happen and the press can do their jobs in peace.”
DF’s call was echoed by political foes Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF).
SF’s spokesperson Karina Lorentzen Dehnhardt said that police should be allowed to create a zone around court buildings to protect from bad behaviour.
“When they show up with their [biker] patches on their backs and their unpleasant attitude, that should be enough for police to block them from the area,” Dehnhardt said.