5 April 2023

Comanchero Axel Sidaros back in jail after being caught with 'serious knife'

| Albert McKnight
people in balaclavas holding guns

Several intruders were outside the Calwell home on 28 June 2018. Photo: ACT Policing.

A bikie has been sentenced for being caught with a “serious knife” hanging around his neck while on parole for his role in a home invasion and gunfight.

Axel Sidaros had stayed out past his curfew and was speeding home from his partner’s place on 25 January 2023 when police pulled him over in a random traffic stop, the ACT Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday (4 April).

He was about five months into a two-year parole order and the officers realised he was in breach of this parole. When they arrested him, they discovered he had a knife in a scabbard hanging from a necklace around his neck.

He told police it was a Stanley knife – although Magistrate Jane Campbell told the court it clearly wasn’t – and he was a carpenter and used it to sharpen pencils for work.

In 2021, ACT Supreme Court sentenced Sidaros to almost 10 years’ jail which was reduced to seven years on appeal, with a non-parole period that meant he could be released in July 2022.

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That sentence was related to a division among the Canberra Comancheros, following which Sidaros had gone to the home of the gang’s former commander, Peter Zdravkovic, in Calwell, with several others on 28 June 2018 while carrying a shotgun.

A gunfight erupted before one of the intruders set fire to cars as they fled. Zdravkovic, who had been at home with his wife and child, was shot in the hand and needed a finger amputated.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Campbell told the court that there was no suggestion of outlaw motorcycle gang involvement in the possession of the knife.

Sidaros’ father, Canberra McDonald’s mogul Hani Sidaros, wrote a letter to the court that described his son as “loving and caring”.

Magistrate Campbell told the 28-year-old that while his father spoke very highly of him, she expected his father was “biased towards” him because his actions in the home invasion were “not consistent with someone who is loving and caring”.

knife and sheath

The knife seized from Axel Sidaros in a photo was tendered to the court. Photo: ACT Policing.

While the prosecutor described his knife as a “tactical weapon”, the magistrate said she didn’t understand what that meant and commented, “It looks like a serious knife”.

Sidaros’ lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith from Kamy Saeedi Law, said his client had used the knife for two days before he was caught with it and noted it hadn’t been hidden “in any nefarious way”.

Mr Kukulies-Smith also said his client had his parole cancelled in early February 2023, in part due to this offence, and had been returned to custody.

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Sidaros, who spent eight days in custody before his parole was cancelled, had been living at his family home and working as an apprentice carpenter before his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to and was convicted of a charge of possessing a knife without a reasonable excuse.

Magistrate Campbell fined him $600 with no time to pay, which means his time in custody would be used to pay the fine.

As his conviction cancelled his parole order, he will stay in custody for the length of that order, which is about two years and five months until August 2025, unless he is again released on parole.

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