Hayden James Bubner: Alleged Comanchero treasurer accused of involvement in murder plot

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One of the South Australian men who was allegedly involved in a murder plot has asked to be released on home detention bail. Picture: Olivier Morin / AFPSource:AFP

A South Australian man’s alleged involvement in a plan to assassinate a bikie associate in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs has been detailed in court.

As part of Operation Ironside, Hayden James Bubner, 33, was one of a group of five men charged with conspiring to murder and participating in a criminal organisation over an alleged plot to shoot a fellow gang member with a machine gun on The Parade at Norwood last November.

According to SA Police, the alleged planned attack was to take place the day after Melbourne Cup day in 2020 once the gang’s associate left a cafe that he was to be lured to.

The Magill resident appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court via video link on Wednesday. It was alleged he was a senior member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang, namely the treasurer.

The court was also told he allegedly played a “significant role” in running the gang’s operations and directed its “high level”, “wholesale” drug trafficking activities.

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The alleged murder plot involved the Adelaide suburb of Norwood. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

According to the prosecutor, the alleged murder victim was also a Comanchero member that was a “rival” to Mr Bubner and his four co-accused — whose identities are suppressed — and the charges against the group related to “a power struggle” between the two groups within the organisation.

The court was told Mr Bubner’s alleged role in that murder plot was to source the submachine gun that was to be used to kill the victim in a drive-by shooting involving a motorcycle.

The prosecutor said the weapon was hidden at a Morialta reserve near Rostrevor on November 4, 2020. He said undercover police located it there as well as a backpack that contained ammunition and a jerry can of petrol.

The court was told that once it was examined by officers and placed back, police saw a person suspected to be one of the defendant's co-accused collect the firearm on November 7.

Following Mr Bubner’s arrest in June, two of his mobile phones that had the AN0M application installed were seized from his home.

“The evidence will reveal that the planning went beyond mere discussion and planning,” the prosecutor said.

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“On the prosecution case, (evidence) on him having those mobile phones and accessing and using the AN0M platform is very compelling.”

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Mr Bubner was charged with conspire to murder as part of Operation Ironside. Picture: Olivier Morin / AFPSource:AFP

Mr Bubner’s lawyer Kris Handshin QC said the prosecution drew “compulsory assertions” about his client's alleged involvement, but there was no evidence that showed how they came to that conclusion or proved Mr Bubner’s participation.

The lawyer also argued police observations made between November 3, 2020 and January 23, 2021 relating to the charges — including those at the reserve — did not directly relate to the defendant.

“This case is actually built on a very shaky foundation,” Mr Handshin said.

“It is striking that having reviewed these devices, looked at images and messages that traversed the charge period … there is not a single message or reference to a single conversation that supports the proposition that Mr Bubner knew of, was party to and participated in a conspiracy to murder.”

Mr Handshin asked for his client to be granted home detention bail and said there were several “irrelevant matters”, like Mr Bubner’s alleged position or activities within the Comancheros, mentioned in an affidavit provided to the court.

But the prosecutor said he was “entirely” against any form of bail and argued Mr Bubner had prior convictions, including breaching bail.

“Those prior convictions are further reasons why the court may refuse bail, but even without those convictions, on the seriousness of the alleged offending alone, no bail should be granted.”

Magistrate John Wells agreed to order a home detention report but warned it did not mean it would be granted.

Mr Bubner is due to reappear in court later this month.

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