Incidence & Issues

Postcode war a ticket to prison as Sydney gang, others sentenced for fatal bashing

Alex Ioane was bashed to death in a brutal melee sparked by a postcode gang in Sydney’s south west – now the lawyer of one of the thugs has issued a blunt warning.

The innocent Alex Ioane was bashed to death in a violent Sydney postcode brawl, now a lawyer representing one of the thugs in the case has warned joining a street gang is a one-way ticket to prison and tragedy.

It comes after her client said Mr Ioane “lost his life for nothing” whenthe Claymore Boys stomped him to deathafter he stood up for his girlfriend.

Mr Ioane was at a 16th birthday party with his girlfriend in Ingleburn in May 2019 when the mood soured, the NSW Supreme Court heard on Wednesday.

A group of unknown people jostled Mr Ioane’s girlfriend – and the 18-year-old warned them off with a simple “oi”.

“Alex … Alex … yeah we’ll get him after,” someone murmured from the crowd, Justice David Davies said.The Claymore Boys, an offshoot of the wider South West Gang, were among the group that spilled out onto the street.

The Claymore Boys, Tafuna Taumalolo and a teenager named ST, falsely believed Mr Ioane was a member of a rival crew from nearby Cabramatta.

“F*** Cabra, this is Ingleburn, this is our area!” the keenly violent Tafuna yelled as the crowd gathered on the roadway, the court heard.

Another teenage Claymore Boy, known as ET, arrived with a group of armed and masked men.

“Claymore on top!” he screamed while swinging his baseball bat through the crowd.

Tafuna squared off against Mr Ioane and attacked before other Claymore Boys converged on the innocent teenager.Tafuna’s cousins, Mateaki and Suliasi Taumalolo, were not named by Justice Davies as members of the gang but rushed in to attack Mr Ioane as well.

Tafuna knocked Mr Ioane onto the ground before he began stomping the facedown, unconscious teenager, the court heard.

His cousin, Mateaki, and fellow Claymore Boy ST also stomped on Mr Ioane as he lay motionless.A woman threw herself onto the injured Mr Ioane to try and shield him from the blows.

Justice Davies called it a cowardly attack.

Police and paramedics arrived to help but faced a hostile crowd.

They were forced to move the bleeding and choking Mr Ioane to a nearby school to try and save him but he died of a head injury.

After years of trial delays Tafuna pleaded guilty to murder, ST pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the other accused men pleaded guilty to affray for their varying roles in the attack.Suliasi Taumalolo did not give evidence but had told a psychologist he helped attack Mr Ioane partly out of “loyalty” to his family.

“ (Suliasi) said his behaviour was stupid and someone lost their life for nothing,” Justice Davies said.

But without even a letter to the court, Justice Davies said, there was not enough evidence to show Suliasi was remorseful.

Suliasi’s Lawyer Rayan Kadadi told The Daily Telegraph a “clear message” needed to be sent to young people.

“It is simple, if you want to get caught up in the life of crime, gangs and revenge be prepared for the consequences which can easily be a life sentence in prison or death,” Ms Kadadi said.

Ms Kadadi said young people needed to understand a simple fight could lead to a murder or assault charge, years in prison and the loss of freedom and family.

“More importantly, it can result in the loss of someone’s life,” she said.

“It is not cool to be in a gang, it’s not cool to go to jail and it is definitely not cool when families lose their loved ones.”

“As lawyers we are the first point of contact for our clients and we are their mouthpiece, but it is not a good feeling to tell your client and their families they are facing life in prison.”


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