By Jessica Warriner and Nicolas Perpitch
Hundreds of mourners have gathered at the funeral of former Rebels president Nick Martin, who was gunned down earlier this month in front of onlookers at the Perth Motorplex.
The deafening sound of motorbikes revving filled the air outside a funeral home in North Perth as bikies took to the road to farewell Martin.
The majority of attendees wore patched Rebels colours, as police patrolled the street.
Police had warned the public to stay clear of the area, with traffic disruptions from the motorcade expected on Scarborough Beach Road, where the funeral was being held, and West Coast Highway.
Leading the procession from the funeral home was Martin’s coffin, decorated with pictures of $100 notes and placed on a specially made motorbike side car.
The confederate flag flew on a pole at the back of the coffin.
It was followed by a black hearse and limousines, some carrying Martin’s family, and then a long stream of bikers, forming an honour guard.
Police on motorbikes escorted them from the front and the rear, while the police helicopter flew overhead.
Police had estimated about 150 to 200 bikies would join the procession.
Scores of people waited along West Coast Highway to watch as the riders went by.
Attack ‘underhanded and cowardly’, mourners told
The procession arrived at the Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park where more people gathered for the service.
Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower played as Martin’s coffin was brought in under a marquee for the service, with bikers taking turns to walk up and touch it.
MC for the occasion, Verity James, told the crowd Martin’s life was “brutally stolen from him” in an “underhanded and cowardly” attack.
Martin’s sister, Rene Martin, told mourners he loved his daughter “more than life itself”.
Martin’s murder, which may have been carried out by someone carrying a long-range weapon and shooting into the crowd at the raceway, sparked fears of an all-out war between rival outlaw motorcycle gangs in Perth.
Police have launched “Taskforce Ravello” to find Martin’s killer, with a series of raids and searches carried out on bikie-linked properties across Perth in the last week and a half.
Million-dollar reward in hunt for killer
Another man, Ricky Chapman, was also hurt in the shooting at the Kwinana raceway, south of Perth, while a five-year-old child suffered a minor injury.
It is understood a bullet fragment was retrieved from the arm of Chapman, who was jailed in 2016 for drug dealing.
Police have said it was a single bullet which killed Martin and wounded Chapman, who was subsequently arrested on a Department of Justice return to prison warrant.
The warrant related to breaching parole conditions by associating with motorcycle gang members.
The WA Government later announced a $1 million reward for information that led to the conviction of the person responsible for his murder.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts called the reward “unprecedented for a crime of this nature” and said there could be the prospect of immunity from prosecution, as long as the informant was not the main offender.
Fellow bikie fined for fight with Martin
Martin was shot dead two weeks after he was involved in a violent public fight at a Scarborough beach bar with Hells Angel bikie Dayne Brajkovich.
The fight was recorded on CCTV, with Brajkovich repeatedly punching Martin as he crashed into tables.
There was a heavy police presence in the Perth Magistrates Court last week as Brajkovich was fined $800 for “fighting in public in circumstances likely to cause fear”.
A court appearance by Martin’s partner, Amanda Martin, was initially scheduled for the same day, but was put off to another date.
Martin’s family asked for $8,000 taxpayers assistance from the Department of Justice for today’s funeral.
But WA Justice Minister John Quigley refused the request, saying “hell will freeze over before we pay for a bikie’s funeral”.
Police issue warning to murderer
WA Police Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce said last week there had been a “fantastic response” to a Crime Stoppers appeal for information about the murder, from both the community “and probably those closer to some of the people involved”.
He said anonymity was guaranteed for any information provided through Crime Stoppers.
Assistant Commissioner Royce promised police would not to give up looking for Martin’s killer, warning them they would be caught.
“Whilst you might think at this stage you’re in the clear, there’s a lot of people who know what you’ve done,” he said.
“They’ll be close to you, they’ll be looking at the reward, they’ll be looking at the pressure on their lives, they’ll be looking at the threat to their families and what may happen, and it’s highly likely they will talk.”