Outlaw gang member held over assault

HUNT FOR SUSPECTS

A SUSPECTED Rebels bikie gang member will remain behind bars charged over a brutal gang assault near Armidale.

Heath Allan Bennett, 44, failed in his bid to be released on bail in court on Wednesday after detectives swooped on Tuesday.

Bennett allegedly attacked two men in an early-morning assault at a home in Wollomombi along with two others who remain on the run.

Now police are pulling out all stops to track them down.

“It’s very, very serious. We will be taking every effort with the investigation to identify the people involved,” New England acting Inspector Stuart Gray said yesterday.

“Police are unsure of the motivation behind these assaults.”

The assaults unfolded about 3am on Tuesday at a Wollomombi home when a 53-year-old man was woken by a knock at the window.

The victim went to investigate before he was set upon by Bennett and two other men who allegedly began assaulting him.

Police said the victim cried out for help from a 31-year-old man who was asleep in the house before he, too, was targeted and attacked.

“Both victims were able to run off. One of them went into the bush area and another one drove off in a vehicle,” acting Inspector Gray said.

“We were advised of the incident, some time after it had occurred.”

Police set up a crime scene at the home and called in forensics to examine the area while the two men were taken to Armidale hospital for treatment of lacerations, bruising and a fractured nose. They were later released.

“About 2.30pm on Tuesday, detectives arrested Bennett in Wollomombi. He has now been charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company and one charge of aggravated break-and-enter and commit an indictable offence,” acting Inspector Gray said.

Bennett was refused bail in Armidale Bail Court on Wednesday morning and has been remanded to front court next week.

Detectives have taken charge of the investigation and have released a description of two other men who are wanted for questioning.

Both are described as being about 170cm tall, both of solid build with dark hair.

Anyone with information on the incident should conduct Armidale police on 6771 0699 or Crime Stoppers.

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