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Comanchero treasurer Mark Ahern left blood at scene of Kittens strip club fire, court told

Published in 1%er News and All News

A senior member of the Comancheros outlaw motorcycle gang in Victoria left blood outside a Kittens strip club, in Melbourne's south-east, when it was set alight earlier this year, a court has been told.

Mark Ahern, 32, has applied for bail in the Melbourne Magistrates Court after being charged in February over the fire at the Caulfield strip club, which caused at least $900,000 damage.

The court was told the Berwick man is the treasurer of the Comancheros in Victoria, the outlaw motorcycle gang police believe is behind a number of drive-by shootings at the Kittens club in South Melbourne since late last year.

In opposing the bail application, prosecutors told the court it was believed Ahern and another person entered the Caulfield strip club through vents in the roof before setting it alight with petrol.

Ahern has not yet entered a plea.

Detective Senior Constable Ben Shawyer from the Echo taskforce said Ahern's blood was found on a fence and the lid of a bin at the rear of the club after the bikie cut his forehead in the attack.

He told the court the club's managers had moved homes out of fear and one had hired personal security.

Bikie's mother 'disappointed' he joined Comancheros

Ahern is being investigated by police over other serious offences but police said there was no evidence directly linking him to the drive-by shootings at the strip clubs.

The court heard he was linked to an extortion attempt on a man whose stolen car was used in one of the shootings.

Ahern's lawyer Phillip Dunn QC told the court stringent conditions could allay concerns his client would pose a risk to the community if released on bail.

The mother of the accused, Lorraine Ahern, told the court she was very disappointed when her son joined the gang, which she believed he came into contact with while in prison.

"I told him if he did become a Comanchero he would be disinherited which we've done," she said.

But Ms Ahern gave an undertaking to the court she would report any of her son's breaches of bail to police.

"I just wish you could put a GPS tracking device on him," she said.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani reserved her decision on the bail application until next week.

She told the court it was of "grave concern" that Ahern's fingerprints had been found by police on ammunition for a high-powered rifle.

Writer: Emma Younger