Three members of the Bandidos bikie gang have admitted to sparking two "gratuitously violent" brawls at a suicide prevention fundraiser at the Minmi Hotel before subsequent police raids allegedly uncovered firearms and drugs.
Four members of the gang, Blair John Kelly, 36, who police say is the sergeant-at-arms of the Newcastle chapter of the Bandidos, Harley Lamotte, 30, Dylan Alwyn Griffin, 30, and Koda Warren Tredinnick, 26, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday accused of starting two wild brawls during a function at the Minmi pub on the afternoon of February 18 this year.
Police say Kelly was asked to leave by a staff member about 4.10pm after he refused to comply with directions and broke a sign.
He responded by sculling a beer and smashing the glass, which triggered a wild melee during which a number of patrons were assaulted before Kelly and his group left in a car.
But about 6.45pm, Kelly and the other men returned to the hotel and Kelly headbutted a security guard while other members of the group bashed a number of patrons, including knocking one 33-year-old man unconscious with a "coward punch".
The group then left again.
Kelly, Lamotte and Tredinnick on Thursday pleaded guilty to two counts of affray over the two brawls after prosecutors agreed to withdraw two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company.
Kelly and Lamotte, who remain behind bars, also pleaded guilty to participating in a criminal group, while Tredinnick pleaded not guilty to that charge.
Meanwhile, Mr Griffin represented himself and pleaded not guilty to two counts of affray, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company and participating in a criminal group.
The four men will next appear in court in February for a two-day special fixture when they will either face a hearing for the defended charges, a disputed facts hearing or be sentenced.
In the wake of the brawl police launched an investigation and referred the matter to Strike Force Raptor North, the region's anti-bikie squad, who in March arrested six people and raided properties at Cardiff, Edgeworth, Gillieston Heights and Newcastle West.
Strike Force Raptor officers allege they seized five firearms - including a loaded shotgun and a loaded rifle with a silencer attached at Edgeworth and a semi-automatic firearm and two pistols at Cardiff - as well as cannabis and MDMA.
At the time of the arrests, Raptor North co-ordinator Detective Inspector Peter Walke said police would not tolerate unprovoked acts of violence.
"These alleged brawls and assaults occurred in a public bar with innocent bystanders caught up in the middle, this is completely unacceptable behaviour," he said.
"As a result of these warrants, police also seized five firearms and drugs - uncovered as a result of police being called to investigate a brawl.
"Raptor North officers are continuing to take a strong approach to targeting OMCG activity in the Hunter. When you are a member of such a club, you need to expect that you will be under added scrutiny from police. This sort of violence is not on."