27 January 2023

Comanchero Axel Sidaros refused bail over alleged knife for sharpening pencils

| Albert McKnight
Fire in garage

Petrol spread in the carport was lit as the intruders fled the former Comanchero commander’s home on 28 June 2018. Photo: ACT Policing.

A bikie who has been on parole for his role in a home invasion and gunfight is now back behind bars, in part over allegedly possessing a knife he claimed to use for sharpening pencils.

After a division arose among the Canberra Comancheros, Axel Sidaros had gone to the home of the gang’s former commander, Peter Zdravkovic, 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.

The ACT Supreme Court found Sidaros guilty of several charges and sentenced him to almost 10 years’ jail before this was reduced to seven years on appeal in 2021 with a non-parole period that meant he could be released in July 2022.

The 28-year-old was on parole on Wednesday (25 January) when he allegedly sped at 107 km/h in an 80 km/h zone and had a knife with a 10 cm blade in a scabbard hidden in a necklace.

READ ALSO ‘I wish I never had you’: mother choked, assaulted her seven-year-old son

Court documents say after police pulled him over on Drakeford Drive at about 9 pm, he allegedly said he’d had a “crisis” with his girlfriend and asked, “can ring [sic] my Dad if you’re going to arrest me?”

His father then called him and during their conversation, Sidaros allegedly said he’d been pulled over by police so he was “probably in a bit of sh-t”.

It was also alleged Sidaros had possessed an AR-style gel blaster rifle without authorisation on 25 November 2022, when he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (27 January) and applied for bail.

When opposing bail, the prosecutor alleged Sidaros claimed he was using the knife to sharpen pencils as he worked as a carpenter.

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

The prosecutor argued that was not a convincing reason to carry a knife in a scabbard around your neck.

“There was simply no reason to have a knife,” he said.

But Sidaros’s lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith of Kamy Saeedi Law, said if not for other matters, the alleged speeding would just have resulted in an infringement, while also saying the gel blaster was “not capable of propelling lethal projectiles” and there was no suggestion it had been used.

READ ALSO ‘We’re both gonna die tonight’: Man gets more than four years’ jail for strangling woman

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the alleged matters were concerning due to the repeated possession of “what might be considered a weapon” against the background of his role in the 2018 home invasion.

She said it seemed no bail conditions could prevent more alleged offences.

Bail was refused. Sidaros, from O’Malley, was charged with possessing a knife without a reasonable excuse, exceeding the speed limit, and possessing a prohibited firearm without authorisation.

He indicated a not guilty plea to the latter charge but no plea to the others. His next court dates were set for 2 February and 9 March.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.