The execution of former Rebels president Nick Martin is the most significant bikie incident in years and there are fears a retaliation attack could spark a war.
The execution of former Rebels president Nick Martin is the most significant bikie incident in years and there are fears a retaliation attack could spark a war.

Shocking history of bikie violence

The brazen killing of former Rebels boss Nick Martin at a family-friendly event in Perth has police on edge, with fears retaliation could lead to a war, but it is not the first time gang violence has erupted in WA.

In October 2000, Gypsy Joker Billy Grierson was shot dead in Ora Banda, near Kalgoorlie, in WA's Goldfields region.

He and some other men had earlier been kicked out of a pub owned by retired detective Don Hancock.

The shooting was believed to have been by a sniper, but no one was charged and mystery surrounded the incident.

Mr Hancock left the area and shortly after his pub was bombed.

About one year later, Mr Hancock and his mate Lou Lewis were killed in a car bombing.

Gypsy Joker member Sidney Reid was later convicted.

Former police detective Don Hancock at the Ora Banda Battery, near Kalgoorlie, in 1995.
Former police detective Don Hancock at the Ora Banda Battery, near Kalgoorlie, in 1995.

In May 2004, Kevin "Mad Mick" Woodhouse was shot four times outside Bayswater Waves aquatic centre in Perth.

Johnny Montani was charged with murder, but he was eventually acquitted after a third trial.

In October 2008, a sniper fired a shot towards then Finks member Troy Mercanti and other bikies as they rode their motorcycles in Wooroloo.

Mercanti was not injured but another bikie was struck in the shoulder.

In May 2009, former Gypsy Jokers president Lennard Mark Kirby and three others were shot at a Jandakot property, but Kirby refused to give evidence in the case.

Troy Mercanti is one of WA’s highest profile bikies.
Troy Mercanti is one of WA’s highest profile bikies.

In October 2010, Finks bikie David Marrapodi was shot in the leg at the Kwinana Motorplex, while two others were also injured after violence erupted with the rival Coffin Cheaters gang.

Martin suffered a minor shrapnel injury to his arm after a shot was fired in his direction as he arrived at his Balcatta home in March 2011.

The bullet hit the fuel tank on his motorcycle and when he later spoke about the shooting, he infamously said: "Better luck next time."

In April 2016, Mitch Finnerty was killed, while Coffin Cheater member Pellegrino Mule and his son Mark were also shot.

Brock Kevin Johnston was charged with murder and attempted murder, but the charges were later dropped after prosecutors conceded there was no prospect of conviction.

More than 100 officers have been assigned to Operation Ravello following Nick Martin’s death. Picture: Theo Fakos
More than 100 officers have been assigned to Operation Ravello following Nick Martin’s death. Picture: Theo Fakos

The investigation into Martin's murder is ongoing, with a team of more than 100 officers assigned to Operation Ravello.

The 51-year-old was shot during the Outlaw Nitro Challenge drag racing event at the Kwinana Motorplex about 8.40pm on Saturday.

A five-year-old boy was grazed in the incident but he did not need to go to hospital.

Fellow Rebels bikie member Ricky Chapman, 31, was also wounded and required surgery.

Originally published as Shocking history of bikie violence in WA



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