Melbourne lockdown protester locked up

·2-min read

An anti-lockdown protester has been jailed for throwing a heavy bollard at a mounted officer and hitting a police horse in the head during separate protests in Melbourne.

Ex-Hells Angels bikie Dennis Basic, 42, was sentenced to 26 months and 14 days in prison on Tuesday for a dozen offences including assaulting an emergency worker, animal cruelty and recklessly causing injury.

"Your attacks on two police officers and a police horse in two separate incidents nine months apart show a continued disregard for the law and disrespect towards those charged with enforcing the law," Judge Douglas Trapnell told Victoria's County Court.

Basic attended a CBD protest, in breach of public health orders, in October 2020 and tried to push past a police officer at a roadblock.

He grabbed the officer, tried to get him to fight and then ripped his police-issued baseball cap off his head.

Minutes after, while wielding a "resist" flag, Basic used the flag's poll to hit a police horse in the head multiple times.

He was charged over these offences, with officers searching his home and finding a number of illegal weapons and fireworks.

Then, while on bail, Basic attended another anti-lockdown protest in July 2021, where he picked up an orange traffic bollard.

He threw the bollard across the crowd and hit Senior Constable Christine Brown on her head and shoulders, while she was mounted on a horse.

She said there was a risk she could have fallen off the horse, which would have resulted in a riderless horse running through the crowd.

"She had to put real effort into controlling her horse, presenting a real danger to the public," Judge Trapnell said.

The judge labelled Basic's behaviour towards police as "unwarranted, disrespectful and appalling" and said the attacks were dangerous, unprovoked and "completely lawless".

"That police were the target in all instances increases your moral culpability and emphasises the importance of deterrence in sentencing."

Basic, who appeared via videolink, pleaded guilty to assaulting police, animal cruelty, throwing a missile to endanger and recklessly causing injury.

He also admitted to illegally possessing batons, flick knives, capsicum spray and unauthorised fireworks, committing offences while on bail and breaking public health directions to attend the protests.

Judge Trapnell said Basic's rehabilitation prospects were "highly problematic" as he had a history of violent offending.

He was previously jailed for assault, armed robbery, recklessly causing injury and weapon offences.

"Your prior criminal history demonstrates that you have manifested... a continuing attitude of disobedience of the law," he said.

Basic must serve 20 months in jail before he is eligible for parole, with 326 days already served to be included in his sentence.

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