Robert “Fred” Widdifield was brought from prison as a witness in the civil trial to determine if three Hells Angels clubhouses in east Vancouver, Nanaimo and Kelowna should be forfeited to the B.C. government.
When asked by government lawyer Brent Olthuis if he had a criminal record, Widdifield said: “I was convicted on a hearsay rule and I was given five years for being a Hells Angel.”
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies declared Widdifield an adverse witness in part because of his hostile demeanour on the stand. Davies also referred to a pretrial interview Widdifield did with a lawyer for the civil forfeiture office in which he claimed the Nanaimo clubhouse had been “stolen” from the Hells Angels when it was seized in November 2007.
Widdifield “retired” from the Hells Angels in June 2014, something referenced in an affidavit his lawyer filed last summer as part of his appeal in the extortion case.
He lost that appeal of his extortion sentence in February.
Olthuis suggested the affidavit was an attempt by Widdifield to distance himself from the Hells Angels to improve his chances on appeal and to show that “any influence the club may have had on you was no longer an issue. Is that fair?”
Replied Widdifield: “I don’t know how you want to spin this thing. But what the hell are you trying to say?” Davies intervened and told the retired biker to answer the question.
Widdifield admitted Friday that he has occasionally socialized with current Nanaimo Hells Angels despite swearing in his affidavit that he doesn’t maintain contact with any of them.
Asked Othuis: “In what sort of setting would you see them?”
Replied Widdifield: “At a restaurant or at a bar maybe. … I may have lunch with one or two of them.”
He also admitted that he had attended the house the chapter is now using for its meetings “maybe once or twice.”
Asked about the conflicting information in his affidavit, Widdifield testified: “I guess I lied about that.”
Olthuis asked Widdifield if he retired from the Hells Angels “based on any concern for the influence the chapter had on your life.”
“No,” Widdifield said. “I was 62 years old. I had been doing it for 40 years — since I was 23 years old. It was time to retire.”
Hells Angels lawyer Greg DelBigio asked Widdifield if he socialized with Nanaimo bikers after his retirement because they were Hells Angels or because they were old friends.
They had been his friends for decades, he said.
“Nanaimo is a pretty small place,” Widdifield said. “You can bump into people at different places. Some people I have known since I was six years old.”
Earlier Friday, Olthuis read parts of Widdifield’s earlier pretrial interview with government lawyers.
Widdifield described joining the Satan Angels motorcycle club in 1978 and then being part of the “patch-over” to the Hells Angels in 1983.
He agreed that he was once a director of the company that owns the Nanaimo clubhouse property and had been a party in the government’s lawsuit against the Hells Angels.
And he alleged the police might have stolen a computer from the clubhouse “when you raided the place” in November 2007.
Canada - BN.