An ex-army sharpshooter has been jailed for 20 years for gunning down Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin from 300m away at a crowded drag racing event.
The 35-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, admitted assassinating Martin in a an alleged $150,000 contract killing in December last year.
The hit was allegedly carried out on the orders of rival Comancheros gang boss David James Pye, who has also been charged with murder.
Martin, 51, was watching drag races at Kwinana Motorplex in Perth with his family when the ice cool sniper shot him through the torso and he bled to death.
The assassin also pleaded guilty to injuring Ricky Chapman, the boyfriend of Martin’s stepdaughter, who was wounded by bullet fragments.
An ex-SAS sharpshooter mercenary (pictured) has been jailed for 20 years for gunning down Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin from 300m away at a crowded drag racing event
Nick Martin (pictured) was shot in the back at the Perth Motorplex on December 12, 2020, in front of horrified families who were trying to watch the nitro cars high-octane drag racing
David James Pye (pictured) has been charged over the sniper murder of Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin at Kwinana Motorplex in Western Australia last December
$150,000 BIKIE HIT
The $150,000 fee – originally thought to be $300,000 – allegedly agreed for the killing of Perth bikie boss Nick Martin is thought to be one of the biggest murder contracts ever purportedly offered in Australia.
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch told reporters that detectives attached to Operation Ravello also charged a second man in relation to the murder of Mr Martin at Perth Motorplex last December.
‘The charges relate to the [alleged] payment of that murder,’ he said. ‘And also [an alleged] payment for the murder of another outlaw motorcycle gang member that was not carried out.’
Mr Blanch said payments made during Melbourne’s ‘underbelly’ gangland wars were much lower.
‘We’ve seen matters over east, certainly during the underbelly period, where amounts were far lower than that, during their 36 murder spree of gangland figures,’ he said.
Justice Stephen Hall said the killer would have faced 30 years in jail if he hadn’t agree to testify against Pye at a later date because of the ‘extraordinary seriousness of the offending’.
He said the offer to work the authorities was ‘exceptional and deserving of a very significant discount’ – but warned the 30 year sentence could still be imposed if he failed to follow through with his side of the deal.
Prosecutor Justin Whalley revealed the killer had been recruited by Pye and the pair had kept in touch by an encrypted phone app.
Pye offered the killer $10,000 for research and surveillance of Martin to plan the hit, said Mr Whalley, including visiting the target’s home and flying a drone over the property.
Two weeks before the killing, the assassin did a reconnaissance visit to the motor racing complex and watched Martin from just 10m away as he added the finishing touches to the lethal plan.
The ex-soldier was part of soldier of fortune outfit Shadows of Hope, which calls itself ‘the world’s most dangerous and fearless charity’.
The ex-soldier and adrenaline junkie who worked as a base jumping instructor was arrested at his Perth home in March over Martin’s murder.
Police sources allege he was also promised $150,000 to execute another rival bikie gang boss in Thailand.
The assassin allegedly discussed killing senior Comancheros bikie Ray Cilli with Pye after the the success of the hit on Martin at Kwinana Motorplex south of Perth on December 12 last year.
Martin (pictured) died in the arms of his wife Amanda as she tried to give him CPR. His last words were: ‘babe, I’ve been shot’
David James Pye (right) leaves Perth District Court with Rebels president Nick Martin (left) in Perth in October, 2013. Mr Pye has now been charged with ordering the killing of Mr Martin
The assassin was also allegedly paid to kill senior Comancheros bikie Ray Cilli (pictured)
The contract was said to be worth $700,000 and the unnamed assassin took quarter of a million as a downpayment from Pye but was arrested before it could be carried out.
Pye – codenamed The Baker by detectives – is now facing charges on ordering the Cili hit and also of commissioning another on a 35-year-old woman.
Prior to his sentencing at WA Supreme Court on Monday, the man’s lawyer David Manera revealed the hitman’s soft side, despite his cold-blooded killing.
‘He’s quite a thoughtful person, he’s quite an intelligent person and he’s actually quite a sensitive person,’ he said.
‘I know that flies in the face of what he’s charged with but that’s how he appears to me.’
Martin was assassinated in front of hundreds of onlookers including his wife Amanda and stepdaughter.
After being hit, Martin told his wife ‘babe, I’ve been shot’, as she tried to give him CPR while he died in her arms.
A $1 million reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of the shooter who killed Nick Martin, 51, (pictured with wife Amanda)
The chaos at the racetrack on December 12 in Perth after Martin was executed is pictured
Police spent months on the investigation with 100 officers on the job, while the WA Government offered a $1 million reward to anyone who had information on the shooter.
His death also sparked a crackdown on bikies by police who conducted raids and ended up charging more than 100 people.
Martin’s funeral on December 23 saw 200 police officers keeping an eye on the proceedings, with a police sniper watching from a helicopter as patched gang members said their final farewells.
Martin’s coffin was covered in pictures of $100 bills and Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower played as bikies took turns to walk up and touch it as it was brought in under a marquee for the service.
Rebels bikie Nick Martin was ridden in to Pinnaroo Cemetery in a coffin covered in pictures of $100 bills (pictured) at his extravagant bikie funeral on December 23
The ex-soldier worked for Shadows of Hope, which works in war zones around the world both in combat and delivering aid and medicine for both sides.
Last year, the organisation shared a post online paying tribute to the soldier for his service in Iraq, describing him as their ‘resident thrill-seeker and heartbreaker’.
‘When the way to save lives is illegal or cast in the shadow of bureaucracy, it takes unorthodox attributes and attitudes to get the job done,’ the group wrote.
Hundreds of bikies from the Rebels and other clubs attended Martin’s funeral on December 23
One of the possible shooter locations previously identified at the Perth Motorplex. A long shot would indicate a sniper, experts say
‘He was a natural fit for this role, and his tireless work, courage, and unique humor have given so much to those we serve.’
He’d been unable to return to Iraq or any other conflict zones because of the coronavirus pandemic and worked as a base jumping instructor in Perth.
The daredevil sport is a lifelong passion and on March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with former Bachelor Locky Gilbert.
It is not suggested that Gilbert was in any way involved in the shooting of Martin.
Dozens of photos on his Facebook page show the former soldier paragliding, rock climbing skydiving and base jumping from buildings.
The man also portrays a softer side with a love of animals with posts posing with quokkas and cuddling kangaroo joeys while urging others to consider becoming volunteer wildlife carers.
The daredevil sport is a lifelong passion and on March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with former Bachelor Locky Gilbert
Other posts portray him as an animal lover. He’s pictured taking a selfie with a quokka
Nick Martin assassination timeline
November 24, 2020
Nick Martin is beaten up by Hells Angel Dayne Brajkovich in a Perth bar. Brajkovich is charged and fined over the fight.
Martin was not charged.
Martin is shot dead by the sniper at the Perth Motorplex in Kwinana with his wife Amanda.
The bullet also hits Ricky Chapman, the boyfriend of Martin’s stepdaughter Stacey Schoppe.
Police announce Taskforce Ravello, with 100 officers investigating the murder and cracking down on bikie gangs.
A $1 million reward is offered to helps catch Martin’s killer.
Martin’s funeral is held at Pinnaroo cemetery amid a massive police presence.
January 26, 2021
A man is charged over a burglary at the home of relatives of Martin, carried out as his funeral took place.
An ex-soldier and mercenary is arrested and later charged with Martin’s murder.
Martin’s killer is charged with five more offences including possessing a silencer and driving a vehicle with false number plates.
The killer, who cannot be named, pleads guilty to murder.
It is revealed that one of the men police are investigating for ordering the hit on Martin is codenamed ‘The Baker’.
David James Pye is revealed to be The Baker’s real name. He is accused of ordering a $300,000 hit on Martin.