Ex Rugby league star Craig Field guilty of manslaughter of Kelvin Kane

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Big fall from grace for this ex league star, he was doing what most thugs do, but didn’t get away with it this time.

Craig Field guilty of manslaughter of Kelvin Kane outside Kingscliff Hotel in 2012

Tue 9 Dec 2014, 3:34pm

Former rugby league player Craig Field outside Lismore Court.

Photo: Craig Field has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Kelvin Kane. (ABC North Coast: Margaret Burin)

Former rugby league star Craig Field has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of a man outside a hotel in northern New South Wales in 2012.

Field, 41, admitted to punching 50-year-old Kelvin Kane outside the Kingscliff Hotel but his defence team argued he did not deliver the blow which caused a fatal brain haemorrhage.

The former Rabbitohs, Manly and West Tigers half-back pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Kane.

Field told the court during his trial that he threw the punch because he feared he was about to be hit.

The defence and prosecution agreed the fatal blow connected with the left side of Mr Kane’s jaw, but there had been conflicting evidence about where the punch thrown by Field landed.

Field told the court his punch grazed Mr Kane’s right temple.

The court also heard another man, Shaun Fathers, could have thrown up to six blows towards the deceased.

But Mr Fathers told police during the investigation none of his punches connected with Mr Kane’s body.

The prosecution told the court medical evidence supported the proposition of a single punch being landed.

Field was refused bail and his sentence date will be set on Monday.


Craig Field trial: Third man’s punches crucial in murder case against former rugby league star, defence argues

Thu 4 Dec 2014, 3:16pm

The role of a third man involved in a scuffle outside a hotel on the New South Wales far north coast is emerging as a crucial factor in the murder trial of a former football star, defence lawyers say.

Craig Field, 41, has admitted to punching 50-year-old Kelvin Kane outside the Kingscliff Hotel in 2012 but his defence team has argued he did not deliver the blow which caused a fatal brain haemorrhage.

The former Rabbitohs, Manly and West Tigers halfback has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Kane.

Field told the court he threw the punch because he feared he was about to be hit.

The defence and prosecution agreed the fatal blow connected with the left side of Mr Kane’s jaw but there had been conflicting evidence about where the punch thrown by Field landed.

Field has told the court his punch grazed Mr Kane’s right temple.

But today the jury heard a third man, Shaun Fathers, could have thrown up to six blows towards the deceased.

Earlier in the trial the prosecution quoted a police interview with Mr Fathers in which he admitted to throwing punches but denied any of them connected.

The prosecution told the court medical evidence supported the proposition of a single punch being landed.

No clear picture of incident, defence says

Defence barrister Tony Bellanto told the court there was divergence in the evidence about how Mr Kane fell, whether it was forward, sideways or crumbling.

He said the case was clouded in uncertainty and there was no clear picture of what happened.

Mr Bellanto likened the differing witness statements to magnets which had the effect of repelling each other.

For the second time in as many days he gestured towards his client while addressing the jury.

“This man is not a murderer,” Mr Bellanto said.

“He’s not a person who should be found guilty on manslaughter on this evidence because he didn’t do anything which involved criminal liability.”

Both sides have told the jury medical evidence backed their version of events and have agreed Field at times acted as a peacemaker as tempers frayed during a drinking session that began in the afternoon and lasted into the night.


Murder case against former NRL star Craig Field a ‘terrible irony’ – barrister

Wed 3 Dec 2014, 4:39pm

The defence barrister representing a former rugby league star has told the Supreme Court there is a terrible irony in the murder case against his client.

Craig Field is accused of murdering 50 year-old Kelvin Kane during a scuffle outside the Kingscliff Hotel in 2012.

The prosecution has told the court all the medical evidence points towards the blunt force of a single punch causing a fatal brain haemorrhage.

A witness has told the court he heard a massive, bone-shattering punch connect then saw a man fall to the ground like a rag doll.

There has been conflicting evidence about where Field’s punch landed, and the defence has argued that a second man also punched Mr Kane during the scuffle.

Field has pleaded not guilty, and told the court he threw the punch because he feared he was about to be hit.

Both sides agree the former Rabbitohs, Manly and Wests Tigers halfback was at times acting as a peacemaker as tempers frayed during a drinking session that began in the afternoon and lasted into the night.

Defence barrister Tony Bellanto told the court it was a terrible irony that of the two people who showed the least amount of aggression in the whole episode, one was sitting in the dock and the other was deceased.

He described the evidence against his client as a ‘Clayton’s case’.

At one stage he pointed towards Field and told the jury ‘this man is not a murderer, and he’s not a person who could be convicted of manslaughter on this evidence.’

He will continue his closing argument tomorrow.


Former NRL star Craig Field tells jury he threw a single punch to Kelvin Kane, because he was scared of being hit

Tue 2 Dec 2014, 5:43pm

Former rugby league star Craig Field has told the jury in his murder trial he threw a punch outside a hotel in northern New South Wales because he was scared of being hit himself.

The former Rabbitohs, Manly and Wests Tigers halfback today took the witness stand for the first time.

He is standing trial for the murder of 50-year-old farmer Kelvin Kane.

The jury has heard the men were involved in a scuffle in the carpark of the Kingscliff Hotel in July 2012.

Field today said he was not looking to hurt anyone, but threw a single punch because he saw Mr Kane’s hand cocked and was afraid he was about to be hit.

“I shit myself,” he said.

“I found myself in a predicament I wasn’t comfortable in and didn’t want to be in.

“It happened too quickly for anyone to say anything.

“My thought was that I had to protect myself.

“He (Mr Kane) didn’t fall directly onto his back.

“His knees buckled and he just fell down.”

Field has pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution has alleged the blunt force of that blow was enough to cause a fatal brain haemorrhage.

But the defence has told the court Mr Kane was punched by another man, Shaun Fathers, just seconds earlier.

It called an expert in forensic medicine, Professor John Hilton, who said he had seen similar cases where victims kept functioning for almost a minute before collapsing.

The jury will hear closing arguments from both sides tomorrow and is expected to retire to consider its verdict on Thursday.


Former NRL star Craig Field charged with murder

July 16, 2012
Charges against the former rugby league star are upgraded to murder after the alleged assault of a 50-year-old man in Kingscliff

Former NRL player Craig Field has been charged with murder after a man he allegedly assaulted on the NSW north coast died in hospital, police say.

Kelvin Kane, 50, was found unconscious outside the Kingscliff Beach Hotel on Marine Parade, Kingscliff, by police and paramedics about 9.15pm yesterday. Police allege that he had been punched on the head before falling to the ground.

Mr Kane was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and taken to Tweed Heads Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition this morning, a hospital spokesman said. He was placed on life support but died this afternoon, Tweed Heads Local Court was told.

Accused ... former Souths player Craig Field.Accused … former Souths player Craig Field. Photo: Steve Christo

Shaun Fathers, 41, and Field, 39, were arrested at a Kingscliff home and taken to Tweed Heads police station, where they were charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm this morning before Mr Kane’s death, police said.

The charges for both men were upgraded to murder this afternoon. Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor Tom Ivey did not apply for bail for Field in court, AAP reported.

Both men will remain in custody until they appear before Lismore Magistrates Court on August 21 through a video link.

Kelvin Kane ... died after allegedly being punched by Craig Field.Kelvin Kane … died after allegedly being punched by Craig Field. Photo: Sarah Coulton, Queensland Country Life

A hotel staff member said this morning there was a fight but would not comment any further.

Roy Bartholomew, who sold cattle for Mr Kane last week, said he was a “man’s man” who “loved company and loved life”.

“He’s very open and relaxed and happy-go-lucky,” Mr Bartholomew said, adding that Mr Kane bred Charolais cattle and Charolais and Brahman cross cattle in Queensland, where he owned some property.

Mr Kane’s relative said this afternoon that his family were too upset to speak publicly.

Police appealed for anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Field, 39, started his league career with Souths in 1990 and was promoted to captain in 1994 before leaving them in 1996. He spent two seasons at Manly before joining Balmain Tigers, which became Wests Tigers in 2000. He was dropped from the club by 2002.

He had a playing and coaching stint with Pia in France in 2002 and 2003 before returning to Australia. Field had most recently been the head coach of the Cudgen Hornets A Grade side in the Gold Coast/Tweed Rugby League competition.


 

 

 

The Milperra Massacre


MILPERRA MASSACRE, FATHERS DAY AT THE VIKING TAVERN SEPTEMBER 2 1984

UPDATE JAN 22 2014 These  pics recently fell into my hands and as I get so many requests about any recent images of Jock this is the best you are every going to get!

William 'Jock' Ross - Founder and Supreme Commander of the Comancheros Motorcycle Club (circa 1965 to 1984) click to enlarge

William ‘Jock’ Ross – Founder and Supreme Commander of the Comancheros Motorcycle Club (circa 1965 to 1984) click to enlarge

JOCK ROSS AND HIS MISSUS VANESSA “NESS” ROSS Visit the COMANCHERO MEMORIAL UP THE COAST AT Palmdale Memorial Park and Crematorium. To protect some younger family members I have altered them out of the picture. Click the image for a larger view

jock-ross memorial visit

JOCK ROSS AND HIS MISSUS VANESSA “NESS” ROSS Visit the COMANCHERO MEMORIAL UP THE COAST AT Palmdale Memorial Park and Crematorium. To protect some younger family members I have altered them out of the picture

WAY DOWN THE BOTTOM AFTER THE PHOTO OF LEANNE  WALTERS, THE 14YR OLD GIRL WHO WAS ALSO KILLED THAT DAY, ARE GRAPHIC IMAGES OF THE COMANCHEROS AND BANDIDOS BIKIES KILLED THAT DAY…

CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED…

IF SOME OF THESE WANNA BE “NIKE BIKIES” SAW THESE PHOTOS MAYBE THEY WOULD THINK TWICE ABOUT INKING UP AND CARRYING WEAPONS THINKING THEY ARE MOVIE STARS

UPDATE 18/06/12

I have been swamped with searches and queries on current day pics of the main players since the TV show has been aired. Not surprisingly the ones who are still alive, are living their lives in a much different way to how the did 30 years ago. The main ones I get and for Jock Ross and Snoddy Spencer. If anybody has links to other pics let me know via the comments or an email and I will post them. Same goes for any video footage on youtube or elsewhere…

Some new ones I came across via and reader.cheers

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Here is one I have been sent in the last few days,of Snoddy, who killed himself in jail following the massacre. 

Snoddy Spencer back in the day

The aftermath was devastating for all

The Milperra Massacre was a firearm battle between rival motorcycle gang members on September 2 (Father’s Day) 1984, in Milperra, a south-western suburb of Sydney. Seven people were killed: six motorcycle gang members and a fourteen year old female bystander.

The massacre

The massacre had its beginnings after a group of Comancheros broke away and formed the first Bandidos Motorcycle Club chapter in Australia. This resulted in intense rivalry between the two chapters.

An advertised “British motorcycle swap meet” was placed in a few local press releases, at the Viking Tavern, with a scheduled start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 2, 1984.

On Sunday September 2, 1984 around 1 pm, a heavily armed group of Comancheros entered the carpark of the Viking Tavern during the motorcycle part swap meet with 30 similarly armed Bandidos arriving soon after with a back-up van carrying weapons following close behind. Both sides proceeded to line up at opposite ends of the car park. William George “Jock” Ross, who had founded the Comancheros in 1968, signalled by waving a machete in the air and the two clubs charged at each other.

Police responded after receiving reports that “a man” had gone berserk with a rifle at the Viking Tavern in Milperra and “a few shots” had been fired. The first of more than 200 police began arriving but the fighting continued for another 10 minutes before they were able to stop it. Four Comancheros died from shotgun wounds, two Bandidos died after being shot with a Rossi .357 magnum rifle and a 14-year-old bystander, Leanne Walters, also died after being hit in the face by a stray .357 bullet. A further 28 people were wounded with 20 requiring hospitalisation.

Mark Pennington, one of the first policemen on the scene, was later awarded $380,000 compensation for psychological damage.

6 BIKIE CLUB MEMBERS WERE KILLED THAT DAY…4 FROM THE COMANCHEROS, 2 FROM THE BANDIDOS AND ONE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, TEENAGER LEANNE WALTERS

COMANCHEROS

  • Andy:  Andrew Thomas
  • Blowave: John Bodt
  • Bones: Scott Dive
  • Chewy: Rick Lorenz
  • Dog: Tony McCoy “Dog” was shot with two blasts to his upper right chest and face. He was hit with such force it was estimated he was dead before he hit the ground.
  • Foghorn; Foggy: Robert Lane “Foggy” was shot in the centre of the chest with a .357 magnum “Rossi” rifle. He remained where he fell and died almost instantly.
  • Glen: Glen Eaves
  • JJ: Robert Heeney
  • Jock: William Ross
  • Kraut: Kevork Tomasian
  • Leroy: Phillip Jeschke “Leroy” Was the Comanchero’s “Sergeant At Arms” and was a “hit” target. He was shot with the .357 magnum “Rossi” rifle and died instantly. Entry and exit wound indicate “Leroy” was crouching over and was shot in the back.
  • Littlejohn: John Hennessey
  • Morts: James Morton
  • Pee Wee: Garry Annakin
  • Snow: Ian White
  • Sparrow, Sparra: Ivan Romcek “Sparrow” was shot with one round of a shotgun and was shot at such close range that the cartridge wadding can be clearly seen embedded in his right ear. He died instantly with a baseball bat under his body
  • Sunshine: Raymond Kucler
  • Terry: Terrence Parker
  • Tonka: Michael O’keefe

BANDIDIOS

  • Bear: Stephen Roberts
  • Bernie: Bernard Podgorski
  • Big Tony: Tony Cain
  • Bull: Phillip Campbell
  • Caesar: Colin Campbell
  • Charlie: Charlie Sciberras
  • Chopper: Mario Cianter “Chopper” was shot with two blasts of a shotgun to his chest and died instantly.
  • Davo: William Littlewood
  • Dukes: Greg McEiwaine
  • Gloves: Mark McElwaine
  • Hookie: Steve Owens
  • Junior. Mark Shorthall
  • Kid Rotten: Lance Purdie
  • Knuckles: Phillip McEiwaine
  • Lance: Lance Wellington
  • Lard: Tony Melville
  • Lout: Rick Harris
  • Lovie: lewis Cooper
  • Opey: Stephen Cowan
  • Peter: Peter Melvine
  • Pig: Grant Everest
  • Ray: Ray Denholm
  • Roach: James Posar
  • Roo: Rua Rophia
  • Shadow: Gregory Campbell “Shadow” was shot in the throat by a shotgun and died instantly. Ironically, because of the number of charges this man’s own brother was charged with the murder.
  • Snake: Geoff Campbell
  • Snodgrass, Snoddy: Anthony Mark Spencer
  • Sparksy: Gerard Parkes
  • Steve: Steve Hails
  • Tiny: Graeme Wilkinson
  • Tom: Tom Denholm
  • Val: Vlado Grahovac
  • Whack: John Campbell
  • Zorba: George Kouratoras

Aftermath

As a result of the massacre, the New South Wales Firearms and Dangerous Weapons Act 1973 was subsequently amended. The court case following the “Milperra Massacre” was at the time one of the largest in Australian history. In total forty-three people were charged with seven counts of murder. Christopher Murphy, Solicitor, acted for the Banditos’ members charged as a result of the incident. Greg James QC, as he then was, represented all but one of the Banditos’ members during their trial, that being Colin Campbell. Greg James QC was Juniored by a number of Junior including John Korn, Andrew Martin, and Philip Young. Mr. Campbell was represented by Mr Greg Woods QC, as he then was.

During the longest joint criminal trial in NSW history, armed members of the Tactical Operations Unit were stationed in the courtroom and witnesses required armed guards from the Witness Security Unit to escort them home. More than two years later, on June 12, 1987, the jury delivered 63 murder convictions, 147 manslaughter convictions and 31 of affray. The judge in the case named the instigator of the violence as William “Jock” Ross, the “supreme commander” of the Comancheros, saying “Ross was primarily responsible for the decision that members of his club go to Milperra in force and armed”. Ross received a life sentence for his role in the violence.

Eight other members of the Comancheros gang received life sentences and 16 Bandidos received sentences of seven years for manslaughter. Interestingly, as the Bandidos arrested were charged in regards to all the deaths, this resulted in one being found guilty of the manslaughter of his own brother. Commonwealth Games gold medallist boxer Philip McElwaine was the only motorcycle club member to be acquitted at trial of the manslaughter and murder charges that were brought against him.

2007

In a repeat of the circumstances that led to the Milperra massacre, in early 2007 more than 60 members of the Parramatta and Granville chapters of the Nomads, previously affiliated with the Comancheros, defected to the Bandidos. The defection resulted in a new eruption of violence between the Comancheros and Bandidos involving fire-bombings and drive-by shootings. New South Wales Police set up Operation Ranmore to stop the violence escalating, which has resulted in 340 people arrested on 883 charges as of January 2008.

Movie plans

In 2002, Australian film maker Martin Brown produced a documentary titled 1% One Percenters Search For A Screenplay in an effort to raise interest for a big budget movie of the massacre. The documentary, first aired on 2 February 2003, follows Brown as he looks for screenwriters, funds and a director for his movie. It includes interviews with the police investigating officer, ex superintendent Ron Stephenson, Comanchero president “Jock” Ross, Bandido vice president “Bullets” and several other Milperra survivors.

Book

“Brothers in Arms” is a book by Lindsay Simpson and Sandra Harvey.

Television mini-series

A television mini-series Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms based on the book will screen on Network Ten in 2012. The screenplay was written by Greg Haddrick, Roger Simpson and Jo Martino. It is directed by Peter Andrikidis. It stars Callan Mulvey, Matthew Nable, Susie Porter, Maeve Dermody, Anthony Hayes, Todd Lasance, Luke Ford, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Damian Walshe-Howling, Nathaniel Dean and Luke Hemsworth.

A GALLERY OF IMAGES FROM THAT DAY…I HAVE OTHER VERY GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF THE DECEASED TAKE BY POLICE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS POST…

PLEASE DO NOT LOOK IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY DEAD BODIES AND BLOOD

Massacre At Milperra

Monday 3rd September 1984

Seven people are dead and 20 injured after a motorcycle enthusiasts’ picnic went horribly wrong in Sydney’s south-west yesterday. The recreation day, organised by the British Motorcycle Riders Club at the Viking Tavern in Milperra, broke out into a wild brawl just before 2.00pm. More than 30 men were arrested and police have already questioned over 500 witnesses in what is being described as ‘the Milperra massacre’. Although no charges have been laid, many are expected in the immediate future.

The Tavern’s car-park exploded into violence when two bikie gangs, the Comancheros and the Bandidos, arrived there at around 2.00pm The previously peaceful meeting turned into chaos as two shots rang out.

The crowd, including families with young children,scattered. ‘People took off in all directions. As I ran I was worried I was going to get a bullet in the back.’ said one of the British Motorcycle Association members.

The event had been organised to coincide with Father’s Day and was widely advertised. It was a regular motorcyclists’ function–a swap meet– where enthusiasts gather to exchange motorcycle parts and socialise. The organisers had planned a barbecue and hired a band to provide entertainment. The day had a family atmosphere.

Trapped witnesses say the shoot-out lasted 15 minutes

An estimated 30 shots were fired in the first 10 minutes and people hid wherever they could to avoid the crossfire.

Witnesses say the shootout lasted 15 minutes and the gangs trapped 40 bystanders inside one of the tavern bars as they fought it out.

One of the dead was a 14-year-old girl–all others slain were men. Fourteen ambulances attended the scene and armed security guards have been placed on hospital wards.

Mr Wes Graham, 23, who was on the hotel porch when the bloodbath began, saw one man shot in the head. ‘I saw another guy shoot someone in the guts, and he just keeled over and then the girl was shot. She wasn’t even doing anything.’ he said.

The police response was quick and decisive. One hundred officers were at the scene, including members of the crack Tactical response Group and the Special Weapons and Operations Team. The police could not stop the killings which had happened so quickly but were there to diffuse violent outbreaks during the afternoon as people were detained for questioning.

Members of the bikie fraternity believe that yesterday’s massacre was planned. The two gangs, the Comancheros and the Bandidos, split up 18 months ago and had been feuding ever since. ‘Reports so far suggest that these blokes had decided beforehand to sort themselves out at Milperra,’ said Mr Ross Goodman, President of the NSW Motorcycle Riders’ Association.

Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms

By Sandra Harvey

Format: Paperback, 288 pages

Other Information: 16PP b&w PHOTOS

Published In: Australia, 01 April 1989

Father’s Day 1984: seven people die in a blaze of gunfire on a sunny afternoon in a hotel car park.Among the dead, a fifteen year old girl caught in the crossfire when two heavily-armed bikie gangs, the Comancheros and the Bandidos, clash. Brothers in Arms tells the extraordinary story of this murderous outbreak, from its vicious beginnings in the closed world of Sydney’s motorcycle gangs to its inevitable end in death and imprisonment.

 

Wrecking Crew

Wrecking Crew

Caesar Campbell, Donna

Macmillan Publishers Aus., 01/09/2011 – 288 pages

Wrecking Crew’ takes you into the heart of the Bandidos, and the outlaw biker world, through the eyes, fists and boots of Caesar Campbell, founding member of the Bandidos in Australia and the club’s first sergeant at arms and legendary enforcer. Jailed for seven years after the bloody ambush at Milperra that saw two of his brothers killed, Caesar led and protected the other imprisoned members of his club inside some of Australia’s toughest jails. But when he was finally released Caesar found that the world of the outlaw motorcycle gangs was changing, and that his particular values of courage, brutal force and utter loyalty to your club were making him more enemies than friends. And with Caesar Campbell you’d rather be a friend than an enemy…

THE critics are already calling Brothers in Arms “Underbelly on wheels” but the real Milperra massacre was more like hell on wheels.

By the time Glen McNamara and other detectives screamed into the Viking Tavern carpark on that Father’s Day 28 years ago, bullets were still flying and bodies piling up.

McNamara and his colleagues were dressed in jeans and T-shirts and armed with service revolvers — hardly the safest combination for perhaps the biggest gunfight on Australian soil since the Kelly Gang’s last stand or even the Eureka Stockade.

“Bikes were overturned and cars were parked everywhere and bikies were down, injured,” recalls McNamara.

Gunsmoke hung in air that reeked of cordite and blood.

McNamara and his mates crouched between cars and advanced across the carpark motorcycle swap-meet that had turned into a battleground.

He immediately tripped over a warm, bleeding body.

Comancheros enforcer Mario Cianter had just been cut down with a shotgun blast.

“His chest was blown away and still smoking, like a burnt sausage cut open,” says McNamara.

Five other bikies were dead — and 28 injured, 20 badly.

But the worst thing about Milperra was that a 14-year-old girl, Leanne Walters, was shot dead while selling raffle tickets. She was hit in the face with a .357 round from a handgun.

Milperra produced the longest-running and one of the biggest criminal trials in our history: 42 Bandidos and Comancheros went down on 63 murder and 147 manslaughter charges.

Only one, former Commonwealth Games gold medal boxer Phil “Knuckles” McElwaine, was able to beat the homicide rap.

Television drama being what it is, unlike the book it’s based on, the depiction of this outrage on Channel 10 over the next few weeks will bear only a passing acquaintance with reality.

That’s taking nothing away from the makers, just a fact of show business life.

The truth is, of course, that like the main players in Melbourne’s underworld wars, underneath the gang “patches” the “outlaws” on their iron horses were no more than drug dealers and their hired muscle fighting over a hugely profitable trade. Still are.

The drug trade is global and so is the bloodshed it breeds.

The recent outbreak of shootings among outlaw biker gangs here mimics “wars” in North America, Scandinavia and Germany.

In each case, it’s about “new” gangs taking on old ones, mostly over drug money.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, police are still looking for the guns used to shoot Bandido heavy Toby Mitchell last November. Another episode in a never-ending and bloody story.

Father pleads ‘Don’t turn my little girl into bikie moll’

April 01, 2012

THE father of the 14-year-old girl shot dead in the Milperra bikie massacre is terrified his daughter will be portrayed as a “bikie moll” in a new television series about the tragedy.

Rex Walters at his home in Ingleburn. His daughter Leanne was shot and killed during the bikie Milperra massacre.

Rex Walters, 68, says he feels Channel Ten should have consulted him before making the adaptation of the book Brothers In Arms, which documents the deadly shoot-out between bikie gangs The Bandidos and The Comancheros, on Father’s Day 1984.

His daughter Leanne was caught in the crossfire and was the only non-bikie among the seven killed.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph about his concerns, Mr Walters said: “I really wish they had spoken to me. There have been bad things written about her in the past which aren’t true. What sort of clothes will they have her in? I still have the outfit she wore when she died – it was a lovely jumper, a belt and jeans – they weren’t the clothes of a bikie. I just want my daughter to be remembered properly.”

In the book, Leanne is described as a girl from a broken home, who got involved with the bikies because she didn’t have a family support network.

Mr Walters, from Ingleburn, admits Leanne was living away from her parents but said: “We had a good relationship — the last conversation I had with her was that she was coming to see me on Father’s Day.”

He also said stories about why she was at the Viking Tavern were untrue.

“She was there with a friend of mine. She loved his bike and wanted to go to the bike swap meet. It wasn’t because she was involved with a bikie.”

A Ten spokesman said the series focuses on the relationships between the key members of the motorcycle clubs.

BELOW AFTER THE PHOTO OF LEANNE  WALTERS WHO WAS ALSO KILLED THAT DAY ARE GRAPHIC IMAGES OF THE COMANCHEROS AND BANDIDOS BIKIES KILLED THAT DAY…CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED…

IF SOME OF THESE WANNA BE NIKE BIKIES SAW THESE PHOTOS MAYBE THEY WOULD THINK TWICE ABOUT INKING UP AND CARRYING WEAPONS…

Leanne Walters was shot and killed during the bikie Milperra massacre.

Comanchero shot dead where he stood and died instantly

Comanchero “Sparrow” was shot with one round of a shotgun and was shot at such close range that the cartridge wadding can be clearly seen embedded in his right ear. He died instantly with a baseball bat under his body

Comanchero “Leroy” Was the Comanchero’s “Sergeant At Arms” and was a “hit” target. He was shot with the .357 magnum “Rossi” rifle and died instantly. Entry and exit wound indicate “Leroy” was crouching over and was shot in the back.

Comanchero “Foggy” was shot in the centre of the chest with a .357 magnum “Rossi” rifle. He remained where he fell and died almost instantly.

Comanchero “Dog” was shot with two blasts to his upper right chest and face. He was hit with such force it was estimated he was dead before he hit the ground.

Bandido “Chopper” was shot with two blasts of a shotgun to his chest and died instantly.

Bandido “Shadow” was shot in the throat by a shotgun and died instantly. Ironically, because of the number of charges this man’s own brother was charged with the murder.

Caesar Campbell – OLD bikies never die. They don’t mellow, either.

Paul Kent

The Daily Telegraph

August 28, 2010

OLD bikies never die. They don’t mellow, either.

Caesar Campbell, the biggest and baddest of all, took three shots at the Milperra Massacre.

Between the second and third shots – a shotgun followed by a .38 – he reached over to tear the throat out of Comanchero Ivan “Sparra” Romcek, who died right there. He was 38 then. Caesar, not Sparra.

He is 64 now, sitting in the lounge-room of his home in the Snowy Mountains region, with pictures of his brothers on the wall as clean-cut young men. Then there is the other photograph, the brothers photoshopped together with their bushy bikie beards.

Here are the two sides of the man called Caesar.

Moments earlier, his son walked into the lounge room and grabbed his father by the hand and leaned over to kiss him on the forehead.

“Hey Dad,” he said.

“Son,” said Caesar.

Amid all the Bandidos paraphernalia decorating the room, sitting on the coffee table is a single sheet of paper – a hospital report from January this year. It details the two scars across Caesar’s forearm, the scar across the shoulder that bisects a tattoo and the pale scar that runs across his cheek.

“I told the cops I had a run in with sheet metal,” Caesar said, explaining the scars.

Four pieces of sheet metal, to be exact.

“I was walking a bit behind the woman,” he said, indicating his wife Donna, “and one of them decided he was going to put his hand on her shoulder. So I stepped on the four bits of sheet metal and one of them had a jagged edge and happened to get me.

“But,” he said, “the jagged edge had a piece of metal go up here,” and he pokes the soft skin under his jaw, “and it come out here.”

He points to where the steel came out through the tongue.

The obvious hazards of scrap metal are not all the dangers ex-bikies face.

Caesar has been shot more times since he left jail than he was at Milperra, when along with his brothers Shadow, Bull, Wack, Snake and Chop he took on the Comanchero in the most famous bikie brawl in Australia.

In the new book Enforcer, which Donna wrote with the help of her friend Liz – out on Monday and described by Donna as “97 per cent fact and 3 per cent fiction” – Caesar details how the war started, not because the Comanchero had split over issues of power, as was pushed in court, but because the Campbell brothers had caught Comanchero president Jock Ross having an affair with a club member.

Ross soon split the club so he didn’t have to answer charges, and the city chapter eventually patched over to become Bandidos.

Guerrilla attacks escalated until the two gangs ran into each other at the Viking Tavern on Father’s Day 1984, when seven eventually died.

Caesar was the second man shot after his brother Snake, two blasts of a shotgun putting him down next to Sparra before a Comanchero named Robert “JJ” Heeney – or maybe it was his Ol’ Lady, Caesar always thought she had more balls – shot him with the .38 that lodged under the skin in his forehead.

He can’t remember a lot of what happened next. The .22s, he said, sting, while shotgun blasts are more like being thumped with a baseball bat.

The last time he was shot was several years back when he was watering his lawn and a car rolled past, with the windows coming down. He dropped the hose and opened his arms when – crack, crack – two .22s hit him in the guts.

“Is that the best youse can f … ing do?” he yelled at the fleeing car.

It never stops for old bikies. Just two weeks ago he was having a drink at his local when it started again.

“A bunch of Lebs sitting in two cars,” he said, “and the ‘big, bad bikie’ thing came out. They got out of the cars. They were about 23, 24, and there was seven of them. I decked three and the other four didn’t want nothing to do with it.”

At a rough count Caesar, an underground fighter and the Bandidos’ sergeant-at-arms, has had about 800 fights.

That works out to be about a fight every three weeks since he had his first at 14, when his father put him in a boxing tent.

In all that time nobody has ever dropped him to as much as a knee. He used to worry about losing. In his 40s he was sure it was near and in his 50s he was certain. But it still hasn’t happened and he is content now, at 64, that if it does happen it will be because of his age and not because the other bloke is better.

“Unless, of course, it’s another bloke in his 60s.”

The fascinating part is that it keeps happening. Might it be because, nowadays, he looks more like an old bloke trying to look like a bikie, rather than the 24-carat real deal?

“They look and they see a 60-year-old bloke and they think he’s not going to be much trouble,” Caesar said. “And normally a 60-year-old bloke, to a 20 and 30-year-old, isn’t going to be any trouble.

“But I’ve been hit with baseball bats, bricks, shot, stabbed, hit with a car …

“I can take a thump and it doesn’t affect me so much.”

Years back he was in a pub toilet when a rival bikie told him some blokes in the carpark were loading his bike onto the back of their ute.

“Put the bike back down,” he said when he found them. Soon after, two were unconscious and the third was groaning. Caesar then took

a boning knife he kept on his belt and sliced the little finger off each of them, then wrapped them in a handkerchief. When he got home he tossed the small package to Donna.

“Not more fingers,” she said. He already had another 20 or so kept in a jar.

Not that he is always looking for a fight. Some years back he was in a pub when a bloke started in on him.

“You’re built like a brick shithouse,” he kept saying. “How big are you?”

It got to the point where Caesar stood up and walked to the pub next door. Shortly after the bloke was there, too.

“How big are you?” He got up again and began to walk out through the toilets, when the bloke grabbed him on his colours. “I thought, ‘F … why’d you have to do that?”

Milperra – the spark that started the bikie violence

By Paul Kent

The Daily Telegraph

April 11, 2009

IT begins with an open window. Everything today, the escalation in violence, the historical hate between the Bandidos and Comanchero, begins with that window.

As secrets go, Colin “Caesar” Campbell has been hanging on to the secret of that window for 26 years.

Like his brothers Bull (Phillip), Snake (Geoff), Wack (John), Chop (Mario) and Shadow (Gregory), Caesar was once a Comanchero.

They were the Wrecking Crew and together with the McElwaine brothers – Knuckles (Phil), Gloves (Mark) and Dukes (Greg) – the unofficial muscle of the gang.

“They could walk into a room of a hundred men and clear the room,” said Bear Campbell, an adopted brother. They broke away in 1983 because of the window.

Not even the Comanchero that remained, the ones that stayed loyal to then-president William “Jock” Ross when the gang split in 1983, knew about the window.

They still don’t.

“You’re just the ninth person to know this,” Bear said yesterday. “And four are dead.”

Bear is Caesar’s adopted brother, and we are talking about Caesar’s secret. Caesar is 62, the last surviving original Bandidos office-bearer, and despite a recent stay in hospital he can still clear a room if he must.

From retirement Caesar watches the latest escalation of bikie violence, filthy at the attacks on homes where children sleep, adamant this was never what it was about.

Those naive to their war might point to Milperra, but Caesar insists back then they had honour. Indeed, Milperra was all about honour.

Police still believe the war began over turf, or drugs, or a combination of both. They alleged it in court in 1984, some seven weeks after the violence in the carpark of Milperra’s Viking Tavern, when six bikies were shot dead, as well as 14-year-old Leanne Walters.

Now, for the first time, Caesar Campbell has let go of the secret that cost him two brothers – Shadow and Chop – at Milperra, and which would see Wack die three years later from illness caused by the massacre.

“One of the Campbell brothers and another member went to another member’s house and saw Jock Ross’ vehicle out the front,” he said.

“They went to the front door and looked through the window and saw Jock and the other member’s wife in a compromising position in the lounge room.

“They knocked on the door, they answered the door, and both members looked at Jock and turned around and came straight to me and told me about it.

“It was then that it was decided that Jock would be brought up on charges of committing one of the greatest offences that you can make in a motorcycle club – apart from selling heroin and making a police statement – by making love to a member’s wife.”

Ross had broken one of the 10 club rules he drew up himself, namely Club Rule 4: “Any member found guilty of screwing another member’s Ol’ Lady, or taking advantage of a rift between them for future conning up, will be thrown out.”

The Campbells and McElwaines, their bond born in battle, were filthy.

Caesar won’t reveal the member’s identity now out of respect to his children but as sergeant-at-arms he ordered Ross to the next club meeting to face charges.

He failed to show.

He failed to show at the next meeting, too, but walked into the third, announced he was splitting the Comanchero into two separate chapters, and walked out.

The Wrecking Crew went to the city, opening their clubhouse at 150 Louisa Rd, Birchgrove. Ross’s clubhouse remained at 65 Harris St, Harris Park, in western Sydney.

Relations remained strained but workable until the club’s annual run. It broke down amid fights and threats, and the city chapter returned and voted to break away.

Police believe the breakaway occurred shortly after Christmas 1983, when Anthony “Snotty” Spencer and Charlie Scibberas flew to America to seek permission to form an Australian Bandidos chapter.

What actually happened was “Snotty” and Charlie had gone to America two years earlier to buy Harley-Davidson parts, met Charles “Ha Ha Chuck” Gillies, president of the Bandidos’ Albuquerque chapter, and now Snotty and Shadow called Ha Ha Chuck. “Within a week it was granted,” Caesar said.

A set of colours were made and taken to Caesar for approval.

More colours were ordered, but for 10 days Caesar was the only man in colours. For 10 days he was president, vice-president, sergeant-at-arms, treasurer and secretary.

Bashing and clubhouse attacks took place until August 1984, when Snotty and Jock officially declared war in a phone call.

Caesar declared homes and places of work off limits. Everywhere else was fair game.

It was unlike today’s bikie war, where homes are now a target of choice, and small attacks continued until Father’s Day 1984.

Among the dead and bloodied at Milperra, Caesar was shot six times.

He was thrown into a car and dropped off at Bankstown Hospital. Some weeks later Caesar gripped the back of his chair while his Ol’ Lady Donna pulled four remaning shotgun pellets from his back with tweezers and a buck knife and no anaesthetic.

Much of what the gangs believed they stood for then is now lost.

Caesar does not see the honour he once stood for, and still stands for.

Some time before Milperra the American Bandidos visited Australia and noticed the Australian patch, the fat Mexican brandishing a pistol, was wrong. The American Bandido has a white beard. The Australian version was black. They ordered the patches back so they could be burned and replaced with the correct patch.

No, said Caesar.

On his jacket was the blood of his dead brothers. He wasn’t giving it up. The Americans insisted, saying the club stood above all else.

Caesar knew in that patch was the blood of everything he stood for, so he looked at the Americans and said, “If you want it, come and get it”.

Caesar, the original Bandido, is the only man in Australia to still have that patch.

Leon Borthwick gets 5 years for manslaughter, victims sister locked out of sentencing


Mark Zimmer, left, and Leon Borthwick

A GRIEVING sister claims she was barred from entering court to see her brother’s killer sentenced to jail today.

Kornelia Zimmer said she was “manhandled” and “treated like a piece of trash” by Supreme Court security staff this morning when she was stopped from entering the ground-floor level of the court.

Her brother Mark Zimmer’s killer, Leon Borthwick, 20, was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail with a non-parole period of five years. Borthwick was jealous of Mr Zimmer, who had struck up a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and ran down and killed the 18-year-old on November 16, 2008.

He was convicted of manslaughter by a jury in July.

In sentencing Borthwick, Justice Williams said the man could have prevented the tragedy.

“You saw these young men on the road yet despite the screaming protests of your passengers you took no evasive action to avoid those on the road,” she said.

Justice Katharine Williams was forced to pause twice during her sentence because of Kornelia’s yelling outside court.

Outside court, a tearful Kornelia said she was devastated by the way the court had treated her and her family.

“The whole trial process has been nothing but victimisation and further trauma but he court system, we just need judges that are not prejudicial towards criminals,’’ she said.

Due to a Supreme Court mix-up, Kornelia was also incorrectly told the sentence was at 10.30am – half an hour later than the 10am start.

Today’s sentence was further interrupted by victims of crime advocate Noel McNamara, who walked into court demanding answers.

“Who’s responsible for this?” he asked. “This is a disgrace. A victim’s family should be allowed in the body of the court.”

Supreme Court staff today segregated the Zimmer and Borthwick families, citing security reasons. The Zimmer family and supporters were ordered to take upstairs seating, while Borthwick’s family were seated on the ground floor of the court.

“The seating arrangements were made today with the intention they were the best arrangement for the security and everyone’s comfort and safety,’’ Justice Williams said after reading her sentence.

This was rejected by Mark Zimmer’s parents, Christian and Ruth.

“We spent seven weeks during the trial, we were always allowed in the court, we caused no problems, we behaved ourselves and for some reason during sentencing we were not allowed in the court and Konnie would not accept that because it’s a victim’s right to be in the court even during sentencing,” Mr Zimmer said.

The Zimmer family has vowed to take up the matter with new Attorney-General Robert Clark.

“We need to look at the victims’ charter and look at giving victims some rights in the court preceding, they are treated like second-class citizens,’’ he said.

“It’s not fair. We don’t want to be here, we prefer to much be at home with our son but if we have to be here, treat us like decent human beings.”

This is not the first time the Zimmer family have been frustrated by the legal process.

In September last year, they were stunned when Justice Williams agreed with a defence lawyer’s suggestion to delete parts of their victim impact statement. Justice Williams crossed out sections of their statements, prompting Kornelia to throw her statement up in the air and storm out of court.

Their anguish deepened with Borthwick’s sentence was adjourned three times between July and December, causing a delay of nearly six months.

Borthwick’s trial heard the killing was the culmination of a hate campaign in which he threatened to kill Mr Zimmer and held a knife to his genitals.

Borthwick had driven his van onto the wrong side of the road to hit Mr Zimmer, after he had already made a series of threats warning him to stay away from Borthwick’s ex-girlfriend.

He had earlier claimed the death was an accident.

During the emotional court case, Mr Zimmer’s father Christian had told the court, he lives with the memory of his dying son in his arms and the taste of blood in his mouth after desperately trying to resuscitate him.

And he told the court in an earlier pre-sentence hearing that he had begged God not to take his son.

“I tried so hard to save my child’s life, but so much blood was coming from his mouth and nose that it was difficult for me to get air into his lungs,” Mr Zimmer said in a victim impact statement.

“I swallowed so much of his blood that to this day I can still taste Mark’s blood in my mouth.”

The case also hit controversy after Justice Williams previously cut out parts of the victim impact statements.

Mark’s mother Ruth has also spoken of the fact her son’s room has been left untouched since his death in November 2008.

“The day Leon Borthwick killed my son was also the day the family we used to be died with Mark,” she has previously said.

Toddler killer Gursewak Dhillon 'genuinely sorry', court told


A MAN took the hand of Victoria’s top homicide cop and wept while he confessed to causing the death of a three-year-old boy before pleading to meet with the toddler‘s family, a court has heard.

 

Gurshan Singh was remembered as a smiling, mischievous child

Gursewak Dhillon, 25, today pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Gurshan Singh Channa, whose body was found dumped in long grass on a roadside on March 4 this year.

The Supreme Court today heard Dhillon, a taxi driver, had continually denied any involvement in Gurshan’s death, but later broke down and told the truth.

In an unusual step, Detective Sen-Sgt Ron Iddles gave evidence on behalf of the Indian national. He told the court in his 22 years of investigating homicides, Dhillon was the only accused person to ask to meet with the victim’s family.

“I think that action in itself showed genuine remorse,’’ Det Sen-Sgt Iddles said.

“I think he is genuinely sorry for what happened.”

Details of the extraordinary police interview with were revealed in court today by Dhillon’s barrister Chris Winneke.

“There were long pauses, then he (Dhillon) shifts his chair, moves over to Iddles, holds his hand, looks him in the eyes ands starts to tell him what happened,’’ Mr Winneke said.

“He essentially broke down”.

The court heard Dhillon accidentally hit little Gurshan while opening a security door at the front of the Lalor house he shared with the toddler’s parents Harjit Singh and Harpreet Kaur Channa.

Mr Winneke described what happened next as the result of “fear, panic, naivety and stupidity”.

The court was told Dhillon put the little boy in the boot of his car and drove around for more than two hours before dumping him on the roadside at Oaklands Junction, in Melbourne’s north.

“I was afraid and I wanted to keep myself safe,’’ he later told police.

“I just drive and drive and drive for more than two hours.”

Autopsy reports found the toddler did not die as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident with the door. The court heard Gurshan may have died of heatstroke when temperatures in the boot reached more than 40 degrees.

Dhillon has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by criminal negligence. He was remanded in custody until February 2 when he will be sentenced by Justice Lex Lasry.

Toddler killer Gursewak Dhillon ‘genuinely sorry’, court told


A MAN took the hand of Victoria’s top homicide cop and wept while he confessed to causing the death of a three-year-old boy before pleading to meet with the toddler‘s family, a court has heard.

 

Gurshan Singh was remembered as a smiling, mischievous child

Gursewak Dhillon, 25, today pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Gurshan Singh Channa, whose body was found dumped in long grass on a roadside on March 4 this year.

The Supreme Court today heard Dhillon, a taxi driver, had continually denied any involvement in Gurshan’s death, but later broke down and told the truth.

In an unusual step, Detective Sen-Sgt Ron Iddles gave evidence on behalf of the Indian national. He told the court in his 22 years of investigating homicides, Dhillon was the only accused person to ask to meet with the victim’s family.

“I think that action in itself showed genuine remorse,’’ Det Sen-Sgt Iddles said.

“I think he is genuinely sorry for what happened.”

Details of the extraordinary police interview with were revealed in court today by Dhillon’s barrister Chris Winneke.

“There were long pauses, then he (Dhillon) shifts his chair, moves over to Iddles, holds his hand, looks him in the eyes ands starts to tell him what happened,’’ Mr Winneke said.

“He essentially broke down”.

The court heard Dhillon accidentally hit little Gurshan while opening a security door at the front of the Lalor house he shared with the toddler’s parents Harjit Singh and Harpreet Kaur Channa.

Mr Winneke described what happened next as the result of “fear, panic, naivety and stupidity”.

The court was told Dhillon put the little boy in the boot of his car and drove around for more than two hours before dumping him on the roadside at Oaklands Junction, in Melbourne’s north.

“I was afraid and I wanted to keep myself safe,’’ he later told police.

“I just drive and drive and drive for more than two hours.”

Autopsy reports found the toddler did not die as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident with the door. The court heard Gurshan may have died of heatstroke when temperatures in the boot reached more than 40 degrees.

Dhillon has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by criminal negligence. He was remanded in custody until February 2 when he will be sentenced by Justice Lex Lasry.

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