Ex-bikie boss Toby Mitchell has avoided jail for assault after CCTV footage showed him repeatedly hitting a man at a regional Victorian pub.
Mitchell was on a charity ride with his former Mongols mates in November 2021 when the group stopped at the American Hotel in Echuca to celebrate his 47th birthday.
Security vision from the bar shows Mitchell and a patron speaking outside in the beer garden before he strikes the man twice in the face.
Mitchell’s barrister Damian Sheales told a court Mitchell had been approached by the drunk punter who then made inappropriate comments about his girlfriend. He also blamed Mitchell’s behaviour on his PTSD.
Mitchell was originally sentenced two months’ imprisonment, however on Tuesday County Court Judge George Georgiou quashed that, and replaced it with a one-year community correction order and a conviction – but no time in custody.
Toby Mitchell, (pictured in 2018) a prominent member of the Mongols OMCG since April 2019, last week announced he would be leaving the bikie lifestyle forever
The prosecution had argued the ex-bikie first hit the punter with a closed left fist, before slapping him with his right hand.
CCTV from the American Hotel wasn’t clear, with Judge Georgiou unconvinced Mitchell’s first hit was a punch.
Video released by the court shows the patron, dressed in a green singlet, appearing to follow Mitchell away from a table where the two speak, before the ex-bikie strikes him.
He falls back, as people watch from a nearby table, before he walks back to Mitchell where he hits him again.
Prosecutors argued each strike caused the man to fall, however the judge said the second only saw him stumble.
‘While the victim’s behaviour does not justify or excuse the appellant’s conduct and that a wiser head would have walked away, I find the incident occurred in the heat of the moment without any premeditation,’ Judge Georgiou reportedly said.
Security vision from the bar shows Mitchell and a patron speaking outside in the beer garden before he strikes the man twice in the face
Mitchell (pictured) had a colourful three years with the gang and has never been far from the headlines after having multiple attempts on his life since 2011
Mr Sheales said in court last week the man was ‘very drunk’ and was talking to Mitchell about his upcoming court appearances, before being ‘foul-mouthed’ towards the young woman.
‘It’s one thing to be drunk and a pest, and to approach someone like Toby Mitchell, who you don’t know,’ Mr Sheales said.
‘He slaps you, or hits you, and there’s no suggestion of injury. He walks back up, to what end? What’s his purpose?’
When the man returned seconds later Mitchell slapped him to the ground and left the pub, but not before asking the manager to erase the CCTV footage of the assault.
The court also heard three different bikie presidents demanded the footage be deleted, with one threatening a pub worker.
‘If I don’t go back without it being deleted, you don’t know what will happen,’ the prosecutor told court one of the presidents said to the employee, before the bikie allegedly threatened to ‘rip out the hard drive’.
Video released by the court shows the patron, dressed in a green singlet, appearing to follow Mitchell away from a table where the two speak, before the ex-bikie strikes him
Mitchell (pictured) one again found himself under the spotlight after an embarrassing video emerged in October 2020, showing him being knocked-out by a homeless man
Mr Sheales told the court the assault was ‘garden variety’, with the victim not filing a complaint and simply getting back up to his feet and leaving the pub.
Mitchell pleaded guilty to common assault and failing to assist police when they later asked him for access to his mobile phone.
Mr Sheales’ claimed in court that the assault was the result of Mitchell’s PTSD, developed over years as a prominent bikie and being shot in 2011.
Judge Georgiou acknowledged the condition as well as his early guilty plea, saying jail time wasn’t the only suitable penalty.
Victoria Police couldn’t help but share some video of their own after Mitchell had posted videos of his birthday in Echuca
His shock departure from the Mongols comes just months after he celebrated his birthday in style, with roadside shots (pictured) and a flashy birthday cake
Mitchell, who was until recently a prominent member of the Mongols gang since April 2019, recently week announced he would be cutting ties with the group.
While the motivations behind the sudden exit remain unclear, it was suggested the 47-year-old had finally grown tired of the bikie lifestyle after years of public brawls, arrests, and stints behind bars.
Mitchell kept the Mongols in the headlines after taking over as president in late 2020, with the unwanted media attention understood to have caused a divide.
Another motivator behind the shock departure is pressure from alleged senior Mongol members, including Nick ‘The Knife’ Forbes and Phillip Main, the Herald Sun reported.
One senior Mongols member said Mitchell was ‘booted’ from the motorcycle club over claims he was associating with a police witness.
He claimed Mitchell was voted out over accusations he was ‘running with dogs’ who included a police witness in the manslaughter case against club member Lachlan Floyd.
Toby Mitchell was paraded by police in a video shared with the media upon his arrest in December
Floyd was jailed for six-and-a-half years over the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend’s partner Stuart Townsend in February 2016.
‘Mitchell was booted last night for running with dogs even after being repeatedly warned,’ the insider told the Courier Mail.
‘There was a 100 per cent vote against him, even from people who are loyal to him.
‘He thought he was bigger than the club but we don’t tolerate bad behaviour and he’s gone bad.’
While some disagreed with Mitchells’ departure, it was rumoured key players had grown tired of his publicity constantly casting a dark shadow on the club.
Mitchell was formerly a senior member of the Bandidos, an arch-rival of the Mongols, but defected in 2013 and took over as president in September 2020.