Accused bikie making gang jewels, police allege

 

AN ACCUSED Villains gang member whose grandfather was executed outside his Brisbane home when he was a child has turned his hand to designing jewellery and tattoos for the gang, police allege.

Gold Coast truck driver Harley Joe Barbaro, 27, who police allege is an associate of a convicted drug trafficker, was found guilty of contravening a police order about information to access his phone in Southport Magistrates Court in June and was fined $2500.

He has appealed the conviction, arguing that Magistrate Mark Howden mistakenly ruled his excuse of legal professional privilege was not a "reasonable" excuse for refusing to comply with police.

Accused Villains gang member Harley Barbaro. Picture: Instagram
Accused Villains gang member Harley Barbaro. Picture: Instagram

The officer in charge of the search of Barbaro's Bundall home, Detective Sergeant Toni Lewis, said in her affidavit Barbaro is instrumental in designing the Villains' expensive jewellery and having it made.

"Each person in the Villains … is involved in criminal activity to varying degrees including violence and firearm offences," Sgt Lewis stated. "Evidence suggests Barbaro has instructed persons on obtaining Villains tattoos and the form they are to take. It appears the Villains are modelling themselves on OMCG gangs."

Barbaro, the brother of murdered Sydney underworld boss Pasquale Barbaro and an alleged associate of convicted trafficker Ivan Tesic, argues he didn't want to give police his phone's password because he didn't want them to see chats with his lawyer.

Prosecutors argue he should not be allowed to overturn his conviction for refusing to give the PIN to his phone.

The appeal is set to be heard on March 5.

Harley Barbaro is appealing a $2500 fine for contravening a police order. Picture: Jerad Williams
Harley Barbaro is appealing a $2500 fine for contravening a police order. Picture: Jerad Williams

Barbaro, whose Queensland criminal history includes assault and drug possession, refused to give his phone PIN during a search of his home on May 24, 2018 where police believed they would find ice, cocaine and steroids.

Barbaro is the grandson of Pasquale "Peter'' Barbaro, who was executed outside his Runcorn home in 1990.

His brother was killed in a brazen shooting in Sydney in 2016 by rival gang members, and his other brother, Rossario Dom Barbaro, killed himself on the Gold Coast in 2017.

His cousin, also named Pasquale Barbaro, was killed with criminal Jason Moran at kids footy clinic in Melbourne in June 2003. The murders were made famous in the Underbelly TV series.

His dad Giuseppe "Joe" Dom Barbaro hit the headlines in 2004 when his nine-month old baby Montana was kidnapped in Melbourne by a couple desperate for their own child, revealing Joe's secret double life.

Barbaro has a previous conviction for contravening a police order to give a password for his phone in August last year, according to submissions filed in the District Court appeal by prosecutor Amalia Baker-Smith. She argued Magistrate Howden was correct to rule that Barbaro couldn't claim legal professional privilege over the contents of his phone because his phone was never "seized" by police.