They weren’t your usual bikies — in fact, Stephen Pattman, a father, said he had “no idea” what he was in for when he joined one of Australia’s most notorious bikie gangs to keep watch over his daughter, who was dating a senior member of the club.
Today in the ACT Supreme Court, more than two years after he attempted to leave the club, 50-year-old Pattman was spared a jail sentence over his part in a shooting.
Pattman’s interactions with the club began after he learned his daughter was dating a senior member of the Rebels’ ACT chapter.
“These were not my kind of people,” he told the court during an earlier hearing.
“I was afraid for my daughter’s safety.”
Pattman said his concerns became so great, he and his son Christopher decided to join the Rebels in order to keep watch over their daughter and sister.
‘Warning shot’ fired into bikie’s car
The duo stayed with the club for the next four years, even building a clubhouse for the gang in the NSW town of Bungendore.
But when they decided to leave the group, tensions escalated dramatically.
In a sentencing hearing this August, Stephen Pattman told of a “constant threat” looming over his family.
“We were being terrorised by members,” he said.
As part of attempted peace talks, a senior member of the Rebels came to Stephen Pattman’s house.
But an argument soon broke out, at which time Pattman asked Christopher to retrieve “the cannon” — a .44 calibre revolver.
Pattman later said he believed his visitor was armed.
A warning shot, Pattman aimed a bullet between the man’s head and the headrest on his car seat, intentionally aiming to miss the man.
Duo went into hiding
Following the shooting, the father-and-son duo spent a year living in a caravan, which they kept mostly in forest areas.
In the end, Stephen Pattman reported the shooting to police, and the victim never complained.
In court on Friday, Justice Hillary Penfold acknowledged “a very unusual set of circumstances,” noting Christopher Pattman’s actions seemed to have been motivated by family loyalty.
Stephen Pattman was sentenced to an intensive corrections order for three years and 11 months, but was warned if he breached the order’s conditions he would find himself behind bars.
His son Christopher Pattman was given a 14-month suspended sentence, and will complete 80 hours of community service for his role in the shooting.
Both Stephen and Christopher Pattman failed to break up the woman’s relationship, and they are now completely estranged from her.