Jared Savage

Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Killer back in jail after footage confirms crime

Kelly Robertson in the dock before a judge at the Auckland High Court. Photo / File
Kelly Robertson in the dock before a judge at the Auckland High Court. Photo / File

A convicted killer is back behind bars after surveillance footage confirmed he was trying to establish the New Zealand chapter of a notorious international gang.

Kelly Raymond Robertson was recalled to prison after the Parole Board ruled he had breached his release conditions by meeting with patched members of the Bandidos, an American gang with a strong presence in Australia.

Robertson was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the manslaughter of Kevin Weavers in 2003 but released on parole in October 2010 after being turned down a number of times for being too dangerous.

Weavers was the president of the Highway 61 motorcycle gang and Robertson was a senior member before the death at the Manurewa club house.

Robertson stabbed Weavers in the leg, which he claimed was self-defence.

One of his parole conditions was to not associate with gang members.

But CCTV footage from Auckland International Airport proved Robertson met with members of the Bandidos, as well as a former Highway 61 member who has "patched over" to the Australian club according to Australian police intelligence.

A third set of CCTV images showed Robertson wearing a Bandidos hoodie and messages on the Bandidos' website congratulated "Bad News Brown" - Robertson's nickname - on becoming the probationary president of the New Zealand chapter.

His explanation to the Parole Board was "simply an unfortunate set of coincidences that he should go to the Airport to meet with an old friend from the Highway 61 gang, to be met by a number of men who did not know and then to learn while driving those men away from the Airport that he was being invited to join the Bandidos gang".

"That explanation is implausible and is inconsistent with wealth of information presented by the [Probation Service]," the Parole Board write in its decision released yesterday.

The Parole Board also revealed that Robertson is facing "serious drug-related charges which are not due for trial until July 2013" - but the Probation Service did not choose to apply for his recall on those earlier charges.

The Bandidos have a strong presence in Australia and are fierce rivals with other gangs such as the Comancheros, most notably in the 1984 Milperra Massacre - recently shown on TV's Underbelly series - which left seven shot dead.

The Bandidos are the second Australian gang to come to these shores after the Rebels established a presence here last year.

Many of their patched members are already facing serious criminal charges.

Who are the Bandidos?

American motorcycle club with strong links to Australia, who are trying to establish themselves has a new player here in New Zealand.

Who is Kelly Robertson?

A former Highway 61 gang member who spent nearly 7 years in prison for killing the club's president. Released on parole in late 2010, "Bad News Brown" is now the probationary president of the New Zealand chapter of the Bandidos.

Where to from here?

Brown has been recalled to prison until his manslaughter sentence ends in February 2014. The arrival of the Bandidos will be watched with interest by the Rebels, a rival Australian gang with chapters here, as well as established clubs like the Hells Angels and their allies the Head Hunters.

- NZ Herald

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