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'Road gang' robbery accused denied bail

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Genevieve Gannon

More than 20 years after he allegedly disguised himself as a road worker so he could rob an Armaguard truck of $2.4 million, a man known as Percy No Mercy will spend Christmas behind bars.

Pasquale Lanciana, who has been charged over the notorious "road crew" heist, had his application to be bailed on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and money laundering denied on Wednesday.

The 59-year-old wanted to be released so he could care for his 92-year-old mother, who he lives with, the court heard.

Justice Bernard Bongiorno said because the Crown alleged Lanciana was armed at the time of the 1994 robbery, the onus was on him to show the court he did not pose an unacceptable risk to witnesses or the public.

He failed to do this.

Lanciana is alleged to be a member of an organised criminal syndicate.

He is accused of being in the gang of men who dressed as road workers to divert and rob an Armaguard truck that had been at the Reserve Bank in June 1994.

Prosecutors say that in a covertly recorded conversation from July, Lanciana told a witness "the worst case scenario is that everyone gets killed".

Daryl Brown, for the Crown, said Lanciana admitted his involvement in the robbery to a witness who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Another witness had money that could be linked to the crime, he said.

"What can be established is that some of the notes cashed by Witness O were at the Reserve Bank on the day that the Armaguard truck left," Mr Brown said.

Defence barrister Adam Chernok told the Victorian Supreme Court the line about "everyone being killed" was open to interpretation.

The witness to whom it was said has never expressed concerns about their safety, Mr Chernok said.

He said there was a case for his client to answer, but the prosecution had not shown any evidence Lanciana was likely to threaten or interfere with witnesses.

Lanciana has a supportive family and partner, and does not have any problem with alcohol or drug abuse, Mr Chernok told the court.

"Risk has not been made out to a sufficient level," he said.

Justice Bongiorno disagreed and denied the application.

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