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Nick Martin: Widow of slain Rebels bikie boss sues State Government over sniper murder of husband

Tim Clarke
The Nightly
4 Min Read
Nick Martin who was assassinated at the Kwinana Motorplex in December, with his wife Amanda Martin
Nick Martin who was assassinated at the Kwinana Motorplex in December, with his wife Amanda Martin Credit: Facebook/Supplied/TheWest

The widow of slain bikie boss Nick Martin is extraordinarily suing the State government — and the man who shot her husband — for the trauma she says was suffered by watching her husband die in her arms.

Amanda Martin and Mr Martin’s stepdaughter Stacey are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed late last year, claiming “damages by way of mental harm suffered from witnessing the shooting and murder of their husband and stepfather”.

The lawsuit was filed one day before the three-year anniversary of Martin’s murder, which sparked an unprecedented police operation to both catch the killer and crackdown on the State’s outlaw bikie members.

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Taskforce Ravello, as it was codenamed, did find the man who pulled the trigger at the Kwinana Motorplex on December 12, 2020.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to murder and is serving a 20-year jail term with his identity remaining a secret by order of the courts.

Now, in a reversal of fortunes, the sniper is now in the cross-hairs himself, in Mrs Martin’s civil action.

The case finally be revealed after The West Australian persuaded Perth’s District Court that the public should know about the latest twist in the saga following the slaying of one of WA’s most notorious bikie bosses.

In the writ, it references Martin’s murder “in cold blood and in their immediate presence” at the Kwinana Motorplex, a licensed premises.

It then cites both the State of WA and VenuesWest as “the registered proprietors, and/or occupiers, and/or ‘primary interest holder’ of that premises.

The Motorplex licensee — Only Foods and Sauces Pty Ltd — is also named as a defendant. The writ claims negligence and/or a breach of duty against the government and the shooter.

The lawsuit relies on a 65-year-old statute — the Fatal Accidents Act of 1959 — which allows claims of “liability for death caused wrongfully”.

Amanda Martin outside the Supreme Court
Amanda Martin outside the Supreme Court. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

Under that law, damages may be liable if “the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default”.

A branch of the same act allows for a claim of damages for the mental harm caused by that death if negligence is found to be involved.

The statute of limitations on claims of that kind is three years — hence the filing of the writ one day before that deadline expired.

Law firm Tudori, Hager, and Grubb are prosecuting the claim for Ms Martin and her stepdaughter. Partner Michael Tudori represented Martin in his various legal skirmishes for years.

After the writ was lodged with the District Court a suppression order was placed on publication of any of the details.

An application was then lodged by The West to lift that suppression, which was finally granted on Tuesday. The identity of Martin’s killer will, however, remain secret.

Police search bush outside the perimeter fence of the Perth Motorplex at Kwinana, following the shooting of Rebels bikie Nick Martin.
Police search bush outside the perimeter fence of the Perth Motorplex at Kwinana, following the shooting of Rebels bikie Nick Martin. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Later this year, a judge and jury are set to sit in the trial of the other man police say is responsible for Martin’s death — his arch-bikie rival David Pye.

A high-profile, high-security hearing is scheduled, where the allegations that Pye hired the shooter for $150,000 to kill Martin are to be put forward by prosecutors, and defended by Pye and his legal team.

During the sniper’s sentencing in 2021, it was revealed that Pye claimed Martin had a hit out on him — so he allegedly wanted him dead first.

After being paid tens of thousands in cash up front, the sniper carried out reconnaissance on Martin’s home and his habits, even using a drone over his house.

He visited Kwinana Motorplex several times, scoping out the shot he intended to take. On December 12 he decided to take it.

“The offender put on his camouflage suit and some gloves and entered the motorplex through a hole in the fence that he had cut a few days previously. He then crawled to his pre‑arranged shooting position,” prosecutor Justin Whalley explained.

“The offender watched Mr Martin through the scope of his rifle for a period of about 10 to 15 minutes. As he did so, Mr Martin was sitting next to his wife,

Mongols bikie David Pye
Later this year, a judge and jury are set to sit in the the trial of the other man police say is responsible for Martin’s death — his arch bikie rival David Pye. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

“At 8.33 pm, the offender fired a single round from the concealed position approximately 335 metres diagonally across the motorplex track from Mr Martin.

The bullet struck Martin in the left side of his chest, causing him to shout: “I’ve been shot.”

Prosecutors will allege that after Martin died, Pye offered the sniper a bigger bounty for another hit on another bikie leader — Ray Cilli.

That hit was never carried out.

The trial is currently slated to begin in October, but a court was told last week it could be delayed after a pile of redacted documents were handed over to Pye’s legal team as part of the State’s case.

Despite the huge amount of documents, Lawyer Paul Holmes told the court the sniper’s military record had not been provided, which he said was a “substantial piece of information.” He argues the defence team should have access to it.

Prosecutors said they were still poring over covert recordings made during the manhunt, and also pulling together evidence from undercover operatives..

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