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Carl Anthony WILLIAMS






A.K.A.: "The Premier"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Melbourne gangland killings - Hitman - Drug trafficker
Number of victims: 4 +
Date of murders: 2003 - 2004
Date of birth: October 13, 1970
Victims profile: Jason Moran, 35 / Mark Mallia / Michael Marshall / Lewis Moran, 63
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Status: Sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 35 years on May 7, 2007. On 19 April 2010, Williams died from head injury while incarcerated at Barwon Prison. It is alleged that he was struck with part of an exercise bike by another inmate—Matthew Charles Johnson— who has since been charged with murder



No. 1478 of 2004










27 April, 30 April 2007 


7 May 2007 


R v Williams


[2007] VSC 131



Murders (3) – Conspiracy to Murder (1) – Execution style – “Gangland War”-   Counsellor and Procurer – Mitigation : Plea of Guilty – Circumstances of imprisonment – Sentence: life imprisonment – Imposition of minimum term.



1                  Carl Williams, you have pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to murder.

2                  The maximum penalty for each of those offences is life imprisonment.

3                  The murders to which you have pleaded guilty are, first, the murder of Jason Moran which occurred on 21 June 2003, second, the murder of Mark Mallia which occurred on 18 August 2003, third, the murder of Lewis Moran which occurred on 31 March 2004 and finally a conspiracy to murder Mario Condello which occurred between 29 May and 9 June 2004.

4                  The Crown opened the circumstances under which they say these crimes were committed, you elected to give evidence before me during which you disputed a number of those circumstances to which the Crown had referred.  You were cross examined by Mr Horgan S.C. on behalf of the Crown as to some of those matters.  

5                    In relation to the task of fact finding, it is my view that it not relevant to the sentence that I have to impose that I determine all of the issues that have been raised by you as being disputed.  There are certain matters which are necessary to determine but also many that are clearly not relevant and will have no impact upon the sentence that I will impose.

6                  I will refer to the objective facts that are not disputed in any way when I am referring to the circumstances of the murders and conspiracy. Any areas in which the matters are contested by you, and may have relevance to the sentence to be imposed, I will indicate and deal with specifically as I state those circumstances.

7                    There are a number of matters to which the prosecutor referred which are part of the background material, but which do not particularly impact upon your sentence but do place the three murders and conspiracy to murder, to which you have pleaded guilty, in context.  Accordingly, I will include some of those matters that I consider will be of assistance in comprehending the whole of the circumstances. 

8                  These offences occurred during an extraordinary time in the history of this city, in that there was an almost unprecedented level of very public murders of known or suspected criminals.  This was ultimately referred to in the media as the “gangland war”.  The perception of these offences was that there was a distinct war being carried on between rival gangs, firstly, over control of the illegal drug trade, and also on what could be described as a “tit for tat” basis, as reputed members of various gangs were executed in their homes or on the streets of Melbourne.  The first of these recognised murders was that of Alfonse Gangitano in January 1998 and they continued on relentlessly with up to 29 persons murdered, although it is apparent that in respect of some of those murders there may have been motives other than gangland warfare.

9                    After the arrests of those involved in the conspiracy to murder Mario Condello, there was one other death that may have related to the gangland matters, being the death of Mario Condello on 6 February 2006, the night before he was to stand trial for a conspiracy to murder you and your father George Williams.  You were of course in prison at that stage.  You were certainly not responsible for all of those murders, but you have pleaded guilty to three of them and been convicted by a jury of a fourth.  You have also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to murder Condello.

10                 The persons who were involved in these murders with you as the people who carried them out or assisted you in the organisation of them, are a man who I will refer to as your advisor in the Jason Moran murder, another man who was the shooter in the Jason Moran murder, also a man who was the driver in the Jason Moran murder, a man who was the driver in Lewis Moran murder, and a man who was the car thief in the conspiracy to murder Mario Condello, Sean the shooter in the conspiracy, Andrew Vennamin and Tony Mokbel.  There is a suppression order in place in respect of six people including some of those to whom I have just referred.  The suppression order is in place because they have made statements in respect of these crimes and other matters.  They have all been sentenced for their parts in the crimes admitted and it essential that their names be suppressed to ensure their safety, their families safety and encourage others who may wish to cooperate with police that the courts will protect them. 

11                 In respect of some of those persons the background to those relationships is that you and the advisor in the Jason Moran murder had been close friends for a number of years.  You were introduced to the driver in the Jason Moran murder in late 1998 or early 1999 by Leigh Torney, a mutual friend.  It is clear from the evidence, including your own, that the driver in the Jason Moran murder then worked for you when he came out of prison.  You met the shooter in the Jason Moran murder in 2001 and you became close friends, that is clearly supported by the telephone intercepts and the tasks that he completed on your behalf, relating to drug trafficking and also the murders.

12                 On 13 October 1999 you were shot in the stomach by Jason Moran in a park in Gladstone Park.  Mark Moran was present at the time that this occurred, and even upon your own evidence, one of the consequences of this occurring was a high degree of animosity between the Moran’s and yourself.  It is also clear that you and Jason and Mark Moran were competitors in the selling of illegal drugs, which would have done nothing to decrease the animosity that you bore towards each other.  I accept that you had a degree of apprehension in respect of the Moran brothers also, which once again is not surprising having been shot by them at close range, and undoubtedly with a warning of some description.  I am unable to say whether that shooting and possible warning related to the drug trafficking business in which you were both competitors, or whether it was a more personal basis.  It is unnecessary for me to determine that matter.

13                 You went to hospital and were interviewed by the police as to your knowledge of the person or persons who were responsible for the shooting and you refused to provide any information to the investigating officers.  You maintain that was because the Morans had told you that they had a police officer in their pocket, and you did not believe it would be investigated properly.  I do not accept that was your reason for refusing to cooperate with police investigators, but rather your reasons related to the supposed code of silence of the criminal milieu in which you lived.

14                 There is no doubt that after that time you asked the driver in the Jason Moran murder to perform surveillance on members of the Moran family.

15                 Mark Moran was murdered on 15 June 2000, and whilst this is not a matter that I consider in any way adverse to you, or will use or consider in any way in the imposition of your sentence, it is relevant in terms of the chronology of these offences.

16                 On 10 November 2000 shotgun damage was observed on the front door of your Hillside home and on a Mercedes Benz parked in the driveway.  The prosecutor opened that you believed that the Moran’s were responsible for such shooting and it is apparent from your evidence that you did blame the Moran’s for that shooting.  I refer to your evidence at page 52 of the plea hearing wherein you were asked by your counsel:[1]

“Did you have any knowledge of who was responsible for that? --- I didn't know who was responsible, but in my own mind I thought the Moran’s were behind it.”

17                 In 2001 the driver in the Jason Moran murder was sentenced to a term of imprisonment and released again in approximately April 2003.  Upon his release he resumed carrying out surveillance on members of the Moran family and their associates on your behalf.  The shooter in the Jason Moran murder was released from prison in December 2002 and he assisted you in attempting to locate Jason Moran so that he could be murdered.  You did not dispute that at one point Andrew Veniamin was also engaged by you to kill Jason Moran.

18                 There is no doubt, on the basis of your own evidence, that you were actively looking for Jason Moran so that he could be murdered, you equally did not dispute the role of your advisor in the Jason Moran murder by providing you with information to help locate Jason Moran and assisting you to plan the killing.  In the ensuing months various plans were formulated by you and those you had recruited to assist you in the murder.

19               The driver in the Jason Moran murder and the shooter in the Jason Moran murder were ultimately recruited by you to carry out the murder together.  Approximately four to six weeks prior to 21 June 2003, you drove the driver and the shooter to the Cross Keys Reserve in Pascoe Vale.  The Crown say that you recommended the reserve as a good place to kill Jason Moran, as he was known to attend there with his children for Auskick, a junior football clinic, on Saturday mornings.  You dispute that you told either the shooter or the driver that that was where you wanted Jason Moran murdered.  You did agree that you showed them the reserve and told them that he could be often located there on a Saturday morning attending Auskick with his children.  As to whether you intended that he be killed there, what you said about this in your evidence was:

“In so far as the summary was read to the court, that is something you disagree with? --- As I said the other day to her Honour, it was in everyone's interests for it to happen ASAP.  As I said I didn't know whether he were going to turn up there on that day.

I thought you were saying to the court that you didn't recommend the Cross Keys Reserve for the place for the murder to happen? ---I didn't care if it happened there but there weren't no concrete thing that it had to happen there.

 But you discussed it happening there with them, didn't you? ---Amongst many other places.

 In relation to this, Mr Williams, was there a plan that if Jason Moran arrived at Auskick, that he would be killed? ---Hopefully, but - - -

20                 It was agreed that they would be the shooter and the driver in the murder of Jason Moran.  You did not dispute that your preferred plan was for Jason Moran to be killed as close to the anniversary of Mark Moran’s murder as possible.

21                 Equally you did not dispute the following material that the Crown opened, being that approximately two weeks prior to 21 June 2003, you had a meeting with the shooter, the driver and the advisor at shops in Pascoe Vale at which the murder of Jason Moran was discussed in greater detail.  Further that a few days prior to 15 June 2003, in the garage of your house at Hillside, you showed the driver and the shooter the shotgun that was subsequently used by the shooter to murder Moran and Barbaro, which shotgun had been provided by the advisor.

22               On 14 June 2003, the driver and the shooter went to Reynard Street, Pascoe Vale, near the reserve.  Jason Moran was not sighted at the reserve that morning, and they left and drove to Primrose Street, Essendon, where they told you that Jason had not been at the reserve.  You suggested that they go to the Faulkner cemetery the next day to carry out the murder, as Jason might be expected to visit his brother's grave on the anniversary of his death.

23                 On 15 June 2003, three years to the day after the murder of Mark Moran, the driver and the shooter went to the cemetery but did not see Jason Moran there.  They passed on this information to you and that afternoon you, the shooter and the driver went to the Laurel Hotel in Ascot Vale, then to the homes of Judy Moran and the late Mark Moran looking for Jason Moran, but he was not found by you.

24                 On 17 June 2003 you, the shooter and the driver met at your mother’s house.  The Crown say that it was then confirmed that the best place to murder Jason Moran was at the Cross Keys Reserve.  The three of you returned to the reserve to look around and further discuss the plan.  It was decided that the driver would drop the shooter off before the shooting and pick him up afterwards on the far side of the Moonee Ponds Creek. You dispute that the decision was made that Jason Moran would definitely be murdered there and I refer to your earlier answers, in which you state the lack of certainty that Jason Moran would attend on that morning.  What I am satisfied of, is that you had all agreed that if Jason Moran arrived at the Auskick session at the park, he was to be murdered.  Apart from the answers to which I have earlier referred, you did agree in cross examination that you had, together with the advisor carried out the exercise of arranging for an alibi for the time and date of the murder, as you said, “just in case” Jason turned up.

25                 On 20 June  the driver familiarised himself with the street and the Cross Keys area.  In the evening, you, the shooter, the advisor and  the driver met at a milk bar at the end of Danin Street.  You purchased mobile phone recharge cards for the others.  The driver and the shooter then returned to the Cross Keys Reserve.

26                 On Saturday, 21 June 2003, the shooter and the driver met at Krakouer's place at approximately 8am where the shooter armed himself.  The plan was varied to the shooter fleeing after the shooting in his own vehicle rather than being picked up by the driver.  They drove in their separate vehicles to Johnston Street, Pascoe Vale South, where the shooter left his car and got into the driver’s van. 

27                 Jason Moran arrived in his van accompanied by Pasquale Barbaro and a number of children, including his own.  The van was parked in the carpark of the Cross keys Hotel.   The driver and the shooter were waiting in their van and when the football clinic finished,  Moran and Barbaro and the children returned to the van.  The driver and the shooter drove into the hotel carpark.  The shooter got out and hurried to the side of the van.  He shot and killed the deceased and Barbaro from the driver's side front door and then fled on foot towards the creek.  There were at least six young children, aged around six and up, in the van when the killings occurred.  The shooter had used the shotgun and a handgun in the killings.  He dropped the shotgun at the scene.  When the shooter had left the van,   the driver drove through the hotel drive‑in into Pascoe Vale Road and then into Moreland Road towards his brother's house in Brunswick.  The plan had been for the shooter to drive to his mother's place.

28                 The murders took place at 10.35am.  As I indicated earlier, to provide an alibi for yourselves, you and the advisor had attended at between 10.00 and 10.45 at Victoria House, a medical centre in Malvern Road, Prahran, for blood tests.

29                 That afternoon, you, the shooter and the driver met at an oval in St Kilda.  You were given details of what had occurred that morning, and the three of you then went to a nearby shop to purchase cleaning items to clean the handgun and the shooter's car, the shotgun having been left at the scene of the killing.  These cleaning items were used again after the murder of Michael Marshall by the same persons the shooter and the driver.

30                 The basis of your conviction in relation to this murder is that you were the counsellor and procurer of the murder of Jason Moran.

31                 The second count on the presentment is the murder of Mark Mallia who was murdered on 18 August 2003. 

32                 At 8.05pm a fire was reported in a stormwater drain in a grassed area attached to the Western Suburbs Soccer Club grounds in Ralph Street, Sunshine.  The attending fire brigade officers discovered the badly burnt body of a person who was later identified as Mark Mallia in a melted wheelie-bin at the bottom of a drain.  The fire had been deliberately lit, with petrol being used as the fuel.  A post-mortem examination of the deceased stated that the cause of death was neck compression.

33                 Mallia was 37 years of age at the date of his death with an interest in a tattooist’s shop "Insane Ink" in Sunshine, but otherwise unemployed.  Like you, he was involved in the illegal drug trade and was a close associate of a major drug trafficker, Nikoli Radev, who had been murdered on 15 April 2003.  The Crown say that Radev had been shot in Queen Street, Coburg, by Andrew Veniamin assisted by the shooter of Jason Moran.

34                 At the time of his death the deceased was living in rented premises in Sandringham with a man by the name of Damien Cossu and Cossu’s girlfriend, Lauren Zammit. Occasionally Hizir Ferman would also stay at the premises.

35               There was, by this time, a climate of fear amongst those involved in illegal drug trafficking, as there had been at least 15 murders that would be described as “gangland war” murders from 1999 to this time of August 2003, including the murders of Nik Radev, Jason Moran and Willie Thompson in the four month period of April to July of 2003.  Not surprisingly, Mallia had become increasingly concerned that he too might be murdered, because of his associations, particularly his association with Radev.  The Crown say that he was particularly fearful of you and Andrew Veniamin.

36               The Crown said that for your part, following the murder of Radev, you were concerned that Mallia would hold you responsible for the death of Radev, and you were very keen to find out what the word on the street was in relation to your involvement. 

37                 A statement was provided by the shooter in the Jason Moran murder in which he said that he believed that Mallia may have specifically accused you of the murder of Radev at one point.  There was gossip and rumour that Mallia had engaged Ferman to murder Veniamin, and also perhaps you, to avenge Radev's death and for his own protection.  You were told that two men had been seen sitting off Veniamen's place.  You told the advisor that you believed the deceased may have put out a contract on yours and Veniamen's lives.

38                 It is clear that you wanted to arrange a meeting with Mallia and in telephone intercepts of 7 August 2003, you are heard trying to arrange this with Mallia who initially refused your invitations, arguing the "Safety issue is too much", and, "If I don't see anybody, nobody can hurt me and I can't hurt anybody.”

39                 In the end, a meeting was set up to take place at a Southbank restaurant.  Mallia attended apparently alone and sat with you, Veniamin, the shooter and the advisor. He told you that the word was that you had lured Radev to the place where he was killed.  Both you and Veniamin denied any involvement and offered to assist Mallia find those responsible.  In the end, however, Veniamin threatened Mallia that if he heard he was continuing to accuse him or you, that he would kill Mallia and his family.

40                 Mallia became upset and left the meeting.  It was then discovered by your associates that Mallia had brought others to the meeting to observe the proceeding from a distance, and you were informed of this situation.  His associates included Cossu, Ferman, and two security type persons who had been hired for the occasion.  It is clear from that meeting that both you and Mallia considered each other to be serious mutual threats.  The detail of the background as I have outlined was not disputed by you in your evidence, although you do dispute some parts of the material relating to what the Crown said was your involvement and role in the murder of Mark Mallia.

41               You determined to eliminate the deceased, and I refer here to your answers in cross examination where you were asked:[3]

What did you say to Veniamin?---We all reached an agreement that it was in the best interests of us for the murder to happen.

You said that you and Veniamin did it; what you did say to Veniamin?---I rephrase it.  The four of us, the Advisor, the shooter, me and Veniamin.

You are being asked specifically about what you did, not what others did, but what you did to counsel or procure the murder?---I advised him to do it, it is in our interests to do it.  I agree, do it the best possible way.

You said to Veniamin, "Kill Mark Mallia"?---Yes.

42               The Crown stated in their summary in respect of what occurred after that decision had been made, was that you made contact with Terrence Chimmiri with whom you had been friends for some time.  They are unable to state precisely when you persuaded Chimirri to change allegiances, but at a meeting at a pokies venue at Lalor, you were said to have offered him $50,000 to lure Mallia to a place where he could be executed and that Chimirri accepted the offer.  This allegation is based on the statement of the shooter of Jason Moran about the murder of Mallia.

43                 The Crown said that Mallia was suspicious of Chimirri because he was aware of his relationship with you and therefore it was suggested that Chimirri engage two men that Mallia believed he could trust, being Cossu and Ferman, to assist him.  Chimirri agreed to do so.

44                 On the afternoon of 18 August 2003, Mallia went with Cossu and Ferman to the garage at the rear of the Chimmiri’s premises where he was gagged and bound to a chair.  The Crown say that those present were Chimirri, Veniamin, Cossu, Ferman and Christopher Orphanides.  It is said that Veniamin then informed you that they had Mallia, and Chimirri also rang you.  Upon receiving Chimmiri’s call, you collected a plastic bag containing $50,000 and together with the shooter from Jason Moran’s murder drove to Pinetree Crescent, Lalor, where you handed over the money to Chimirri.  The shooter says that you were then taken to the garage to see Mallia who was alive at that time.  He said that there was a rope around Mallia’s neck, and you wanted information from Mallia as to the whereabouts of drug money he was believed to have hidden.  Whether the deceased was tortured before he died is not apparent from the post-mortem examination, but Chimirri was subsequently heard to refer to the garage as his "torture room" and the instrument of torture a soldering iron and applied to the ear.  Soldering irons were subsequently found in the garage which it was searched in July 2006.

45               You gave evidence in chief in relation to the Mallia matter where you were asked these questions by your counsel:

 “Can I take you to the death of Mr Mallia?  Did you know him to be a close ally of someone?---Nick Radev.

As far as you know, did Mr Mallia blame you for anything?---He blamed a few of us, not just me.  He blamed me, the shooter, Andrew and the advisor for Radev's murder.

By that you mean the shooter, the Advisor and Andrew Veniamin?---That's correct.  You heard the learned prosecutor read out the facts about the death of Mr Mallia, did you not?---What they say are the facts, that's correct.

But you know that they say that they can't show that you had anything to do with the torture of Mr Mallia, you know about that, don't you?---Of course I know about that, because I wasn't at the house.  I was never there.

And you know that the body was disposed of disgracefully, don't you?---Yes.

You know that now?---Yes.

Did you have anything to do with the planning of that?-I had nothing at all to do with it.”

46                 You also dispute that you paid a sum of $50,000 to Terrence Chimmiri for his role in helping to lure Mallia to the premises where he was killed.  There is evidence from the shooter in the Jason Moran murder in the form of a statement relating to this matter but I have not been able to observe him or ascertain his truthfulness or reliability on these aspects of this particular murder, although I have had the opportunity of observing him giving evidence in respect of other matters.  Having examined the statements of both the shooter and the advisor in respect of this murder, I am not able to be satisfied to the required standard to enable me to sentence you on the basis that you paid $50,000 to Chimmiri.

47                 I do however act upon the other material as to the manner and participants in the murder being those mentioned in the opening statement.  That has no impact upon the sentence that I will be imposing upon you, in that it neither increases nor decreases the sentence.

48                 The Crown have conceded that I should not act upon any material that may demonstrate that you had any involvement in the decision to either torture Mallia or dispose of the body in the manner which was done.  Accordingly, in relation to the alleged torture and disposal of the body of Mark Mallia, I will not sentence you upon the basis that you had any involvement in those aspects of his killing.  I act upon the basis that you were the counsellor and procurer of his murder and not necessarily concerned with the detail of how or where the murder occurred.

49                 The third count on the presentment relates to the murder of Lewis Moran.  On the afternoon of Wednesday 31 March 2004, Lewis Moran, aged 58, was with a friend of his, Herbert Wrout, aged 62, at the Brunswick Club, in Sydney Road Brunswick. Lewis Moran was the father of Jason Moran, the victim in the first count.  These two men had attended the club in the late afternoon on a regular basis and on this occasion had taken up their normal positions in the bar area.  Wrout standing in the bar, Lewis Moran standing nearby with his back against the wall, close to the walkway to the toilets which position commanded a clear view of any person entering the club by the front door.

50               At about 6.30pm two gunmen wearing full face balaclavas entered the club through the front door.  They were Evangelos Goussis and Noel Faure.  Goussis was armed with a shotgun and a handgun, Noel Faure with a handgun.  Waiting some distance away next to a vehicle to be used as a getaway car was a third man, I refer to as the driver in the Lewis Moran murder.

51               When the two gunmen entered the premises, Goussis went quickly over towards the deceased with a shotgun to his shoulder while Noel Faure waited just inside the door.  Lewis Moran saw Goussis approaching him and cried out a warning for Wrout, before running off down the hallway towards the toilet and the gaming room with Goussis in pursuit.  Goussis chased him down the hallway into the gaming area and tried to shoot him with the shotgun which apparently jammed.  As Lewis Moran ran out of the gaming area towards the front of the club, he ran into a female employee Sandra Sugars.  Goussis caught up with him and with Miss Sugars standing very close by, he then used the revolver to shoot the deceased, two shots entering the left side of the deceased's head at near contact range.  Lewis Moran fell to the ground either dead or dying within a very short time.

52               Throughout these events, Noel Faure had remained in his position at the front doorway, Wrout, who was understandably alarmed at the events, ran towards the front of the premises and Faure fired a number of shots at him.  One of the shots entered Wrout's upper body causing serious injury.  Other bullets sprayed around the front area of the premises narrowly missing other patrons. Both gunmen then left the premises and were last seen running along Saxon Street, directly behind the club.

53               You are not charged with the attempted murder or of causing any injury to Herbert Wrout and the inclusion of those matters are only for completeness of what occurred at the time of the shooting, but not to add in any way to the sentence that will be imposed.

54               Noel Faure and the driver in Lewis Moran murder have pleaded guilty to the murder of Lewis Moran, and the driver has also made a statement that implicates you and Tony Mokbel as being involved jointly as counsellors and procurers of this murder. 

55               According to him, in the weeks leading up to the crime he had been contacted by you and asked to meet you.  He said that ultimately he and Goussis met both you and Tony Mokbel at a club owned by Mokbel in Sydney Road Brunswick. He said that you invited him outside and asked him if he knew anyone who would be prepared to accept a contract of $150,000 to murder Lewis Moran.  Amongst other things, he said you told him that Lewis Moran had a contract out on him, being the driver. You also told him that Lewis Moran regularly attended the Brunswick Club and stayed there for a number of hours.

56               He said he did not accept the contract at that time but was given a mobile phone number by you and told to call you or Mokbel if he changed his mind. Some days later, having decided that he would accept the contract, he arranged a meeting with you at a Brunswick Hotel.  The Crown say you told him that you would pay one half of the contract amount and Mokbel the other.

57               It was arranged that he was to contact Mokbel for payment after the job was carried out and to have no further meeting with you.

58               He arranged with Noel Faure, and Ange Goussis to assist in the commission of the crime with he being the driver, Ange Goussis the shooter, and Noel Faure the lookout in the club.

59               The Crown say that one week after the murder, you telephoned the driver and said to him "Good one mate, you have 150,000 reasons to smile".  Later that same day in another call, a meeting was arranged the next day at a Brunswick Hotel. When the driver and Goussis arrived they were met by Mokbel in the carpark.  He gave them an envelope supposedly containing the $150,000.  The driver says that in fact, it contained $140,000. He said he contacted you a few days later telling you that the money was short $10,000 and you said you would fix this up.  There was no contact after this, and the $10,000 was not paid.

60               In relation to this matter, you dispute that you had any contact with the driver in the Lewis Moran murder, or Ange Goussis prior to the murder, that you made no arrangements for payment of any money, that any dealings in respect of this murder were done through Lewis Caine, and that the only reward that the driver, Ange Goussis, Noel Faure or Lewis Caine were to receive from you was the provision of amphetamine at wholesale prices.  You dispute that there was any involvement of Mokbel in this matter, or that you contributed any money towards the payment that was allegedly made by Mokbel to the driver after the murder.

61               You gave evidence in respect of this matter as to what you said was your involvement in the murder of Lewis Moran. Your final version was that you were approached by Lewis Caine and told that there was already a plan on foot to murder Lewis Moran, by either him, (being Lewis Caine), killing Lewis Moran or arranging for the driver to kill him. You say that he asked if you would be willing to pay for Lewis Moran to be killed and you said that you refused to pay any money. You indicated that you would be happy for Lewis Moran to be murdered but that you were not willing to pay any money for the murder to occur.  After further discussions, you say it was agreed that if Lewis Moran was murdered you would be prepared to supply drugs at wholesale prices to the person who did the killing.  You stated that Tony Mokbel had nothing to do with the planning or the payment of drugs or anything else in relation to this murder.   You stated equally that you never met or spoke to the driver before the murder.  You stated that after the murder you met the driver on one occasion and made arrangements about supplying him with between one to two pounds of amphetamines at wholesale prices.  Those drugs you said were supplied through Lewis Caine, so that you did not have to deal with the driver again. You said you supplied drugs of this quantity to him on possibly three to four occasions.

62               I heard you give evidence in chief and be cross examined over a period of some hours. I find that the evidence that you gave, in the main was unbelievable, even incredible at times.  It was, in my view, designed to ensure that it would provide no evidence against any person other than those who are already dead, convicted or have pleaded guilty to various offences.  You denied any involvement or knowledge of involvement of Mokbel in the murder of Lewis Moran or Michael Marshall, any involvement of Cossu, Ferman, Chimmiri or Orphanides in the murder of Mallia. You, accordingly, dispute the contents of different statements made by at least the shooter in the Jason Moran murder, the advisor in the Jason Moran murder, the car thief in conspiracy and the driver in Lewis Moran murder, as well as the secretly recorded conversations of Sean the shooter in the conspiracy.

63               In relation to your evidence in respect of this matter, and the other matters to which I have referred or shall refer shortly, not only do I consider you a most unsatisfactory witness, virtually incapable or telling the truth, except for some minor and largely irrelevant portions of your evidence, I find that the manner in which you gave evidence was arrogant, almost supercilious and you left with me with a strong impression that your view of all of these murders was that they were all really justifiable and you were the real victim, having been “forced” to admit at least some of your involvement, by the statements of other members of your group who had cooperated with police.

64               Accordingly, I do not accept that the arrangement for the murder of Lewis Moran occurred in the manner that you have described. However, equally I am unable to be satisfied to the required standard that the circumstances under which the driver, Noel Faure and Ange Goussis were employed to murder Lewis Caine were as described by the driver. The driver has not been tested is any way before me, and it is difficult to place great reliance upon the untested word of an accomplice, at least for the purposes of sentencing.

65               What I am able to be satisfied of is that the actual murder occurred in the circumstances described by me earlier, that is, in a very public place, amongst ordinary members of the community going about their business or relaxing in a social club and even on your own version was contracted by you in the most callous and indifferent of circumstances.  Your plea of guilty to the murder is an acknowledgment by you that you counselled and procured that murder, and once again even on your version of the events you were willing to pay for it, albeit with illegal drugs, which on your evidence would have amounted to a sum or the equivalent of approximately $120,000 forgone in respect of the money that you could have made by selling the drugs in your normal manner.

66               These three deaths with which I have just dealt occurred in public places, they were of a horrifically violent nature, two of them involving the use of firearms discharged in areas in which the general public were and would have been expected to be present. In relation to the Auskick scenario, there were many young children present at that park, including the children of the victim who would have all watched with horror as the murder was played out in front of them. Equally the parents of those children who were also present will undoubtedly remember the horror of what occurred for a long time.  Ms Sandra Sugars has put before the court a victim impact statement, she was standing in very close proximity to Lewis Moran when he was shot in the Brunswick Club, and not surprisingly suffers a number of problems including fear and continuing nightmares, and what she describes as “further problems which are difficult to describe in writing”.  Mrs Judith Moran has lost her two sons and her husband to these terrible shootings, you have pleaded guilty to the killing of one of those sons and her husband.  She has suffered considerably as any person would understand. The sister of Mark Mallia has also indicated in a victim impact statement the terrible consequences that the murder of her brother Mark has had upon her and her family, including his parents and siblings.  Whilst it is acknowledged that these persons were involved in illegal activity and were aware of what was happening in the criminal underworld, it does not make their lives any less important to their families and loved ones or their murders more acceptable.  It is as unacceptable to murder people who are involved in the criminal world as it is to murder those who are not involved.

67               You do not get to be Judge, Jury and Executioner.  These were not vigilante killings, they were matters of expediency to you, these people were either in your way as competitors, or persons that you believed may be vengeful towards you because of other activities you had undertaken, or because of some animosity that you bore towards them.  Your reasons for killing were not justifiable; you acted as though it was your right to have these people killed.  That theme constantly came through in the evidence you gave before me. You made constant references to the fact that it was in your interests for the murder or murders to happen as though that was enough to justify the murders. An example of that being the murder of Lewis Moran where in answer to a question about your involvement you stated:

“He asked me if I would pay any money for the murder.  I said no.  He said the murder is going to happen anyway, he's getting money from elsewhere.  I said, "That's fair enough.  It's in my interest that it happens."

68               And again at page 89

---I was happy to give the drugs, as I said, at a wholesale price after the murder.  I was happy for the murder to go ahead.  I organised it with Lewis Caine…..  Whether there was a separate - whether it was true that there was even a separate thing, I don't know.

What did you organize with Lewis Caine?---For the murder to happen.

How?---I told him, "Yes, it is in my interests for it happen to happen."

69               Equally in respect of the murder of Mark Mallia you described your decision in a similar way, and although I have already referred to this evidence that you gave in respect of the aspect of the manner and content of your evidence it bears repeating:[7]

What did you say to Veniamin?---We all reached an agreement that it was in the best interests of us for the murder to happen.

You said that you and Veniamin did it; what you did say to Veniamin?---I rephrase it.  The four of us, the advisor,  the shooter, me and Veniamin.

You are being asked specifically about what you did, not what others did, but what you did to counsel or procure the murder?---I advised him to do it, it is in our interests to do it.  I agree, do it the best possible way.

You said to Veniamin, "Kill Mark Mallia"?---Yes.

70                 The fourth count on the presentment is the conspiracy to murder Mario Condello. You were the instigator of the conspiracy. The Crown say that you were a principal figure in an underworld gang that was at war with another underworld gang led by Dominic Gatto and Mario Condello.  Gatto had killed Andrew Veniamin on 23 March 2004.  At that stage Veniamin was closely associated with you although he  had previously been in the Condello camp.  Lewis Caine, another close associate of yours had been murdered on 8 May 2004 by the driver in Lewis Moran murder and Evangelos Goussis.  The Crown say that there is reason to suppose that you might have blamed this murder on the Gatto/Condello camp, with  Caine having moved from that camp to yours.  The Crown say that you ordered Condello's death as a payback for the deaths of your two associates.

71               In May 2004, police had put in place telephone intercepts, tracking devices and listening devices as they had information that you, the shooter in the conspiracy and others might be involved in drug trafficking. As a consequence of what they overheard, police became aware of a plot to kill a person they were unable to identify initially but later identified as Mario Condello.

72               The background as the Crown have identified and you have not disputed is that on 30 May 2004, the shooter in the conspiracy took the car thief in conspiracy to the West Meadows Tavern to meet you.  He was asked to perform the role of obtaining a stolen car to assist in the planned shooting.   You gave the shooter in the conspiracy and the car thief advice about destroying their clothes and the vehicle after the murder and told them to plan a good getaway route. However you left the final details of the plan up to the shooter in the conspiracy.  It was agreed that Condello was to be shot in the street either near his home in Brighton or possibly in the vicinity of his son's school.  the shooter in the conspiracy was to be the shooter and the car thief the driver of the car.

73               The Crown say that on 1 June 2004 the shooter in the conspiracy had told the car thief that the shooter in the conspiracy would be paid between $120,000 and $140,000 for the job and that the car thief would be paid $30,000 as the driver, which money would be paid by you. This is an area of this count that you dispute.  I will deal with this disputed fact shortly.  

74               The car thief had a serious drug problem.  You and the shooter in the conspiracy became concerned that he might not be up to the task and that you might need to find someone else to do the job.  On 4 June, Hildebrandt was recruited by the shooter in the conspiracy to replace the car thief in the conspiracy.  However, the car thief remained involved in the conspiracy for a few more days.  On 5 June he stole the vehicle to be used in the murder.  It was stored at his place, and later picked up by the shooter in the conspiracy. 

75               The car thief finally withdrew from the conspiracy on 8 June.

76               In the days leading up to the proposed murder, the shooter in the conspiracy and the car thief carried out surveillance on the Condello home a number of times.  When he was brought into the conspiracy, Hildebrandt accompanied the shooter in the conspiracy in carrying out the surveillance.

77                 On Wednesday 9 June Hildebrandt left home and drove to the Prince Mark Hotel in Doveton to meet the shooter in the conspiracy who drove his own vehicle, a red Mazda hatchback, to drive to the motel.  The two men then drove to Raven Street Noble Park, relatively near Hildebrandt's address at 32 Huntsman Drive where they picked up the car that had been stolen. Hildebrandt drove the stolen car and the shooter in the conspiracy, Hildebrandt’s car.  They travelled in convoy communicating by way of two-way radio.  The two cars drove to Dover Street, South Caulfield, a short distance north of the cemetery where the shooter in the conspiracy got into the stolen car.  They then drove to Raymond Grove.  At Raymond Grove they got out and proceeded towards Condello's home.  They were arrested in North Road just outside the cemetery and at a time as they believed it, Condello was about to be executed.

78                 The area where Hildebrandt and the shooter in the conspiracy were arrested, was only a couple of minutes walk from the Condello house in North Road, on the other side of Hawthorn Road.  They were on the way to murder Condello, whom they expected to be out that morning walking his dog.  However, Condello was not living at home but as far Hildebrandt and the shooter in the conspiracy were concerned, this was a conspiracy, that was within a minute of two of being executed.  They had crossed the road and turned left into North Road where they were arrested by the police.

79                 When arrested Greg Hildebrandt and the shooter in the conspiracy were outside the walls of the Brighton cemetery at approximately 7.25am the shooter in the conspiracy had a portable two-way radio and a bag containing a loaded 5 shot revolver.  A 9mm automatic pistol was found down the front of his pants. The hammer was in a cocked position and there was a live round in the chamber.  Hildebrandt also had a portable two-way radio to enable him to keep in contact with  the shooter in the conspiracy.

80                 As I said earlier you dispute that you ever promised to pay any money for the murder of Condello.  You said that:[8] 

As to Mr Condello, did you pay any money?---No, I never.

You were part of a plan to murder Mario Condello, weren't you?---That's correct.

Were you prepared to pay money if that had happened?---You'd be guessing at it, it didn't happen.

That is not the question.  The question is if it did happen, you have organised it, you want it to happen, you have organised it, you have set it up, you are pleading to that. Were you prepared to pay money to those who did it if they carried it out?---There was no talk of any money.

You know in the statement that [the car thief] says the shooter in the conspiracy told him he was going to be paid $130,000 to $140,000, that is the shooter in the conspiracy was going to be paid that amount of money and he was going to give him 30 or $40,000?---What the shooter in the conspiracy says is what the shooter in the conspiracy says.

He said that he queried with you the fact that the shooter in the conspiracy kept changing the amount of money that was going to be paid. You know that he says that in his statement?---If you say he says that I accept that.

He also says that the shooter in the conspiracy said that he the shooter in the conspiracy had been paid by you various sums of money along the way, that's what [the car thief] says in his statement?---If he says that in his statement again I accept it.

You say that is wrong?---If he says that, that the shooter in the conspiracy told him, I can't help what the shooter in the conspiracy tells him.

You say it is wrong, "In fact I didn't pay the shooter in the conspiracy any money along the way and there was no agreement that I ever would?---That's correct, I never paid him any money.

Sonnet was going to do it for nothing, was he?---That is a question you best direct to the shooter in the conspiracy.

81                 In respect of this matter, there is evidence in the form of intercepts in which the shooter in the conspiracy is speaking to the car thief, the subject is the amount of money that they are going to get for murdering Mario Condello.  You did not at any stage elucidate why the shooter in the conspiracy or car thief in conspiracy or indeed Hildebrandt, who did not even know you, would be prepared to carry out a murder on your behalf without any reward other than to say: [9]

How did you come to an agreement with the shooter in the conspiracy that he would murder Mr Condello on your behalf?---Because Mario Condello put a contract out on me through 166, and I had been called in by the police and told my life was in danger.  Two and two together that it was coming from there and it was not only my life, it was my Dad's life and another person.  Everyone was smoking cocaine and on pills at the time.

How did you convince the shooter in the conspiracy to do this on your behalf?---It didn't need any convincing.

Why didn't it need convincing?---Because my life was in danger, who knows who the third person whose life is in danger.

Your life might have been in danger but there was no evidence that the shooter in the conspiracy's life was in danger?---Not to my knowledge.

I just want to know on what basis you convinced the shooter in the conspiracy to do this, without any payment of money, you say?---Yes.

Did you realise he recruited other people?---Did I realise?  No, I didn't realise.

You didn't know about Mr Hildebrand?---Not until after the fact.

You knew about the car thief, he was a relation of yours?---I knew about the Car thief. How did you get him recruited?---[the car thief], he didn't need any recruiting, he was interested himself.

Once again an enthusiastic volunteer?---He was my [relation], so.

82               An extract from page 4232 of the depositions of the shooter in the conspiracy talking to the car thief was put to you, which read:

"How the fuck now can I use you like this mate, how can I [car thief], how did I.  I told Carl man, told Carl I'd use you, mate.  We fucking spent hours looking for your fucking phone number ringing every cunt to get your number, every cunt, mate.  I come all the way down here to fuckin' see you, man, take you out, take you out, try and earn you are a bit of money, 40 grand doing next to nothing, man and what do you do, man, you start doing" right?”

83               You had no reply to that statement except to say that it was the shooter in the conspiracy talking not you.

84               I am not going to go into the detail of all of those conversations, but in combination with the statements of the car thief, I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that you promised to pay the shooter in the conspiracy and whoever assisted him in the murder a sum of money.  Equally as this is a case of conspiracy the co‑conspirator’s rules apply and the statement of one conspirator in furtherance of the conspiracy, in law, is the statement of all co‑conspirators.

85               I do no accept in any way that all of the persons involved were enthusiastic volunteers, just wishing to help you out, or protecting themselves.   To a large degree the sentence that is going to be imposed does not depend upon the proposition of what inducement you used to recruit these people to do your murderous bidding, it is your activities in making those arrangements that is the substance of the offending.

86               There is one other area of your evidence to which I shall refer and it relates to your  perception of how others in the underworld saw you and those involved with you. In your evidence when asked about why Mallia would have been coming after you when you had nothing to do with the death of his friends you stated:

Why would he be coming after you?  The explanation you have given me relates to what other people have done: [the Advisor and the shooter in the Jason Moran murder], not what you have done?---We are not seen as single person, we are seen sort of, we are all together, so it was a group sort of scene.

So in relation to this, the activities of one are the activities of all?  Is that basically how it goes?---You could say that.

So the activities of these people in killing those others were the activities of all of you?---In a way.  As I said, it is not just a single person, it is the group.

Mr Williams, you are part of a group, weren't you?---Yeah. You were the leader of that group, were you not?---I wouldn't say that.  I was the youngest of the group.

Did people appear to defer to you as the equivalent of the leader of the group?---I didn't think of myself as the leader of the group.

Were you the person who was in control of the drugs?---More or less in the drug part, I was, yes.

As a result, you controlled, did you not, what those people such as the  [advisor, the shooter in the Jason Moran murder] and others did or could get in the way of drugs?---No, because [the advisor] was –  [the shooter] weren't involved really in the drugs really.  The advisor was involved in the drugs.

What did [the shooter] do in your group?---He would more or less just drop stuff off and stuff like that.

So he worked for you?---Yes, as a group.

He worked for you?---Yes.

You controlled the drugs?---Yes.

Therefore, in terms of the drug matter, you were in charge of that group?---Yes.

You just said the shooter worked for you in that capacity?---Yes.

In relation to this, who else worked for you?  Mr Veniamin?---As I said, he didn't work for me.

No, you have just agreed with me that you are in charge of the drugs, the drugs side of this.  Did Veniamin work for you on the drug side of this?---Yes, some part of it.  We were all together.

Did they control the drugs?  Did Veniamin control the drugs? Did [the shooter] control the drugs?---No, Veniamin never controlled the drugs.

You did, didn't you?---More or less.

Well, what do you mean by "more or less"?---Because it would come times when [the advisor] would get stuff and he would get, say, ketone oil and he would get a manufacture, and we would all be together in it, so he would ask what price, and we would move it.

As far as I understand it, and you will correct me if I am wrong, you agreed that you described yourself as being the one in charge of the drugs and the distribution of the drugs?---Me and [the advisor], I'd say, yes.

Yourself more than [the advisor]?---I couldn't say.  Me with [the shooter].

You are certainly aware of the intercepts, aren't you?---Me with Veniamin.  Me with, sorry,  [the shooter], and him with Veniamin.

Why was it that Mr Veniamin always appeared to be with you?---That was at a later stage.

So the shooter worked for you?--- [the shooter] - me and [the shooter] used to hang around together and [the advisor] and Andrew used to.

87                 The point of including that material in this plea is not that you are to be punished for your role in the drug trafficking in which you had been involved, but to indicate the nature, personalities and pecking order of the gang with which you were associated, or group as you referred to it.  I find that you were indeed, despite being the youngest member, the leader of that gang, and that you controlled its activities and to a large degree the members of that gang and what they did or did not do.  In terms of the chain of command I find that you were at the top of the chain of command of that gang, and that is entirely consistent with you giving the orders for these people to be killed, whilst not taking an active part in the physical execution of these people. As the counsellor and procurer you were indeed the puppet master deciding and controlling whether people lived or died. 

88               There are a number of co offenders in these matters who have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. They are ‑

89               The shooter in the Jason Moran murder who pleaded guilty to the murder of Jason Moran and Michael Marshall, he made approximately 15 statements about the various criminal matters, and swore that he was willing to give evidence in respect of those matters. He was sentenced by me on 14 March 2006  to life imprisonment with a non parole period of 23 years.

90               The advisor in the Jason Moran murder who pleaded guilty to the murder of Jason Moran, he made approximately 16 statements about various criminal activities and swore that he was willing to give evidence in respect of those matters. He was sentenced by me  on 27 September 2006 to 23 years imprisonment and a non-parole period of 12 years was fixed.

91               The driver in the Lewis Moran murder pleaded guilty to and has  been sentenced for the murder of Lewis Moran and made a statement about that murder and swore that he was willing to give evidence against you and others in respect of that matter. He was sentenced by Teague J. on 3 May 2006,  and was given life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 19 years.

92               Greg Hildebrandt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder Mario Condello and was sentenced by me on 5 February 2007  to 13 years imprisonment  with a non-parole period of 9 years. He made no statements and did not swear to give evidence.

93               The car thief in the Condello conspiracy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to murder Mario Condello.  He made a statement and swore to give evidence against you and others involved in that crime. He also had withdrawn from the conspiracy prior to the police arresting the others. He was sentenced by Teague J. on  2 July 2004  to 3 years imprisonment wholly suspended for 3 years. 

94               I sentenced you on 19 July 2006 for the murder of Michael Marshall, after a plea of not guilty and conviction by a jury, to a period of 26 years imprisonment, one year of the sentence you were then serving was made cumulative.  Making a total effect of sentence of 27 years, with a non-parole period of 21 years.

95               Equally you were on bail at the time of your participation in these murders. Pursuant  to section 16 3(C) of the Sentencing Act 1991 which states:

Every term of imprisonment imposed on a person for an offence committed while released on bail in relation to any other offence or offences must, unless otherwise directed by the court, be served cumulatively on any uncompleted sentence or sentences of imprisonment imposed on that offender, whether before or at the same time as that term.

I note the terms of the section but it will have no real application to the sentence I will impose for these offences.

96               You are also to be classified pursuant to sections 6A, and 6B of the Sentencing Act as a serious violent offender.  Section 6D provides that when considering a sentence of imprisonment the court must regard the protection of the community from you as the principal purpose for which the sentence is imposed, and may, in order to achieve that purpose, make a sentence which is disproportionate to the gravity of the offences being dealt with.  That equally will have no application in this case, as the gravity of the offences are such that there is no need for a disproportionate sentence to be imposed. However I will be declaring you a serious violent offender.

97               Section 6E of the Act provides that unless otherwise directed by the court, each sentence imposed must be served cumulatively on any uncompleted sentence or sentences of imprisonment imposed whether before or at the same time.

98               I am also required pursuant to section 14 of the Sentencing Act 1991 to impose a new single minimum term if a minimum is to be imposed.

99               Section 5 (2) lists the factors which a court must consider when determining a sentence.  Section 5(2)(e) states that one of those factors is whether the offender pleaded guilty to the offence and, if so, the stage in the proceedings at which the offender did so or indicated an intention to do so. 

100           Your counsel has rightly conceded that the head sentence for these offences should be one of life imprisonment, I agree, there are no other appropriate penalties for crimes of this nature, gangland executions carried out on the streets of Melbourne, in the presence of frightened men women and children.

101           Your crimes occurred as I said during a time of what has been referred to as the "gangland" or "underworld" killings.  All of those murders, whether charged or uncharged, carry similar hallmarks to these murders.  They are invariably executions; a firearm is usually used; they are often in public places such as streets, hotels or places where ordinary citizens would be going about their normal business.  Those murders invariably have significant connections with crime or gang related activity and whilst no ordinary member of the public has been killed or harmed during these killings, those killings have clearly engendered a level of fear within our community as to potential harm of innocent persons, and equally, a concern relating to the degree of lawlessness into which Victoria, as a community, has been plunged.  You were responsible to a very large degree for that fear.

102             There has been intense media coverage of these murders in Melbourne, and whilst you were considered a suspect by many, including the police, the evidence of your involvement was not able to be found, due to the fact that you distanced yourself from these crimes by using others to do the killings and arranging alibis.  It was not until the criminal code of silence was broken that those who knew about your involvement began to talk to the police.  The sentences imposed on those persons reflect the significant discounts that were given to them for the risks they took by making statements about your involvement.  Whilst you were a suspect and being referred to in the media it was apparent that you were enjoying the game of “being famous”.   You gave interviews outside court, and appeared prepared to give your views of a variety of matters, and unfortunately the media to a degree pandered to that.

103             I have a concern that some younger members of the community who are involved in petty crime may be looking to you as some sort of hero.  You are not,  you are a killer, and a cowardly one who employed others to do the actual killing, whilst you hid behind carefully constructed alibis.  You should not be the subject of admiration by any member of our community. You have robbed families of people they love, of sons, brothers and fathers.

104             Whilst I make those statements, I equally make it clear, that I am not sentencing you for any matters other than the murders and conspiracy to murder to which you have pleaded guilty. I just want to make it clear to all who may look at this sentence that you are not someone to be admired in any way.

105             I have taken into account the suffering that the families of these victims have endured, as well as the suffering of other innocent people such as Ms Sugars and the owners of the Brunswick Club, also the parents and children attending Auskick, but acknowledge that whatever sentence is imposed, they will probably feel aggrieved as nothing will return their loved ones and no sentence imposed will ever feel sufficient to them.

106             Your prior convictions are limited in nature and do not relate to any matters of violence.  You were convicted in May of 1990 of handling stolen goods, failing to answer bail and possession of stolen property and you were fined a total of $400.  In March of 1993 again, at the Magistrates' Court, a charge of criminal damage and throwing a missile for which you were placed on a non‑conviction community‑based order with conditions of 150 hours of community work, which you breached, but no further action was taken as the order had expired.  Finally, in the County Court in December of 1994, attempting to traffic in a drug of dependence, being amphetamine, for which you were ultimately sentenced by the Court of Appeal to 12 months' imprisonment with six months suspended for a period of two years.  I place no reliance upon the earlier two matters and I place limited reliance upon the latter matter only as indicating that at that stage an involvement in the criminal milieu in which this offence occurred. 

107             You of course have the subsequent offences to which I have referred being the conviction for trafficking for which you received a sentence of six years and 333 days with a minimum term of four years and 333 days and the conviction for the murder of Michael Marshall.

108             I turn now to the aspects of mitigation relevant to you that I need to consider in the task of sentencing.  Your personal circumstances are that you are now aged 36 years of age, having been born on 14 October 1970.  You had one brother who died of medical complications in 1997 at the age of 31.  It is clear that you are very close to both of your parents.  For most of your life until your marriage to your wife, Roberta, in 2001, you resided with your parents in the Broadmeadows area where your father still resides. 

109             Your now ex wife has three children from previous relationships, a son, aged around 18, and two daughters, approximately 13 and 14.  Together with your ex-wife, you have a daughter, called Dhakota, who is aged approximately six, having been born on 10 March 2001. 

110             Your parents are separated.  Your mother has never been in trouble with the law and your father has no convictions.  Your father has had significant health problems, particularly in the last few years. 

111             You were educated to Year 11 at Broadmeadows West Technical School and thereafter it was reported that you had a number of short‑term labouring jobs.  You had a series of labouring jobs, followed by opening a children's wear shop with your wife, which became non‑profitable and closed, and he says that you then were working as a semi‑professional gambler from that period until being banned from the casino. 

112             I act upon the basis that you had a number of jobs over the years from leaving school until your mid‑20s and from that time you were predominantly unemployed.  It is clear from both your conviction before Kellam J and the admissions made by you that from the 1990s you were working as a drug trafficker up to and including the time of the murders. 

113             You were in custody for a short period between November 1999 and January 2000 when you were bailed.  My understanding is that you were arrested and subsequently bailed and you were on bail at the time of the murders. 

114             There were three reports from Mr Jeffrey Cummins and one from Mr Ian Joblin, both psychologists.  I have received a further and updated report from Mr. Cummins, which I have read and considered.  Those reports indicate that there is no psychological or psychiatric problem that was in any way responsible for your criminal behaviour

115             The circumstances in which you have been held and will in all likelihood continue to be held for a substantial period are of relevance in mitigation of your sentence.  You are currently held in the Acacia high security unit at Barwon Prison which is the maximum security unit of the state penal system.  The conditions at Acacia are quite different to those from mainstream prisoners.  The visits from family are severely restricted, particularly in terms of contact visits, access out of cells during the day, mixing with other prisoners, and access to phone calls – all are severely restricted.  This is not what the average sentenced prisoner has to endure by way of conditions of serving a sentence.  It is how you have been held, both as a person on remand and as a sentenced prisoner.  It is equally evident that this will be the manner of your incarceration for some substantial time as is evidenced by paragraph 3 of the affidavit of Michael Francis Carroll, dated 26 April 2007, which reads in part, " Until all of these 'gangland' related cases are completed, it is unlikely the defendant will be moved from his present accommodation at the Acacia High Security Unit at Barwon Prison. I refer to paragraph 22 of my affidavit sworn 30 May 2006 and say that the considerations for placing the Defendant in a high security environment remain equally relevant.”

116             The conditions in Acacia have improved somewhat since you were last sentenced, in that you now have an increased number of phone calls, and 12 family contact visits over and above the contact visits with your daughter.  You claim that this is a punishment regime, I do not accept that, as all persons held in Acacia unit are subject to the same regimes.  There are many reasons why persons are in that unit, and in your case, a major part of it is ensuring your safety.  You have been in a gang war with other criminals and the issue of revenge being taken by those other persons is not far fetched. Equally there are many within the prison system that may have a desire to make a name for themselves by causing you harm.  Equally those persons who have elected to give evidence against you must be protected from you.

117             There is another high security unit that is being created within Barwon prison which is anticipated to be completed by the end of this year.  That unit will offer an enhanced physical environment with broader programs services and activities than those available in Acacia. Your placement in that unit will be reviewed and will continue to be reviewed during the length of your prison term.

118             In respect of the harshness of your incarceration, I act upon the basis that you may serve a significant or substantial part of your sentence in that unit or similar unit. 

119             Your counsel submitted that you were being punished by being kept in this unit.  Whilst I do not accept that you are being kept there as a punishment, I do accept that the manner in which you are imprisoned is difficult and oppressive.  Whilst the conditions have certainly improved from when you were first held in that unit, when you were allowed out of your cell for only one hour per day, they remain difficult conditions under which you will potentially serve a large portion of your sentence. 

120             As indicated, I have received five psychological reports in total which refer to these conditions and the effect that they are having upon you, which include anxiety, depressed mood and adjustment disorder.  None of that is surprising as most persons incarcerated in this manner would have a great deal of difficulty adjusting.  There is sensory deprivation, infrequent contact with anyone but one other person, an extremely limited contact with your family and loved ones, including your still quite young child.  Despite it being unsurprising that you have been affected by the manner of your imprisonment, it is a factor that must be taken into account in terms of consideration of mitigation of your sentence. 

121           The issue of the manner of custody has been considered by the Court of Appeal in R v Rostom. He cited with approval R v Bailey in which Lee  J said at 462:

"It has for a long period of time been the practice in this court to take into account circumstances which make the incarceration of the prisoner more burdensome upon him than would be the case of the ordinary gaol inmate." 

122           In the same case, his Honour referred to an unreported decision of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales, R v Boon, delivered on 17 November 1983, and quoted from the judgment as follows: 

"Weight should be given in favour of the respondent in that there is material justifying the conclusion that imprisonment will come particularly hardly upon him.  It is not necessary to canvass the circumstances leading to that conclusion.  He has thus far been held in custody that has involved some protective overtones during his time in gaol.  It is likely this situation will continue into the future, this, I repeat, rendering his imprisonment more distressing and arduous than if he were to be imprisoned in accordance with the ordinary manner of holding prisoners within state's penal institutions."

123             This decision in Rostom has been applied in many subsequent cases and, in my view, is one that has application in relation to your sentencing.  Accordingly, the sentence I would otherwise have imposed in respect of this offence will be mitigated by the circumstances and conditions under which you have been and continue to be held.

124             The position of a counsellor and procurer in offences of this nature is considered by the courts as more heinous than even the role of the killer.  The killing is being done at the counsellor and procurer’s instigation, usually for monetary reward, whilst they distance themselves from the crime. The courts have made it clear on many occasions and I agree that it is appropriate that in relation to these crimes you bear the highest level of criminality of all those involved.  

125             On the issue of parity of co-offenders, it is my view that the issue has no real relevance, in that each of your co offenders with the exception of Hildebrandt has cooperated with the prosecuting authorities and made at least one statement implicating their co-offenders. They also expressed, and I accepted in some cases, had genuine remorse for their activities. The significance of the discount for cooperation in cases involving the criminal underworld cannot be overestimated, for without such cooperation from those offenders I doubt that I would be imposing a sentence upon you today.

126             You have also made a statement to the police, which I have had the opportunity to read.  You offered to give evidence in respect of that statement but the prosecutor has informed the Court that since you have given evidence in the manner that you have in this case, they would not consider calling you, as they do not consider you a witness of truth.  That concurs with my own observations of your evidence. Accordingly, whilst there is some benefit to you by the provision of the statement, it is of little significance when compared to your criminality.

127             Your counsel has urged that I take into account various sentencing principles including, that the sentence to be imposed must be the minimum sentence that can be imposed, the principle of totality, and that the sentence imposed not be a crushing sentence. I have borne all of those matters in mind and in my view the only sentence that is appropriate in respect of the three counts of murder is one of life imprisonment. In respect of the count of conspiracy to murder, in light of your role in that conspiracy, being that of the prime mover -  the counsellor and procurer, and your reasons for wanting to kill Condello, it is my view that it merits a sentence of 25 years imprisonment. Such sentence will be served concurrently with the sentences imposed on the counts of murder.

128           The major submission by your counsel was that I should impose a minimum term, that is, a period of time after which you may become eligible for parole.  There are many reasons why a minimum term should be imposed in most cases.  This is not a normal or average case.  For all of the reasons I have earlier given it would normally require a sentence of life imprisonment with no minimum term, that is, that you would spend the rest of your life behind bars.  You have uttered words of remorse in response to questions asked of you by your counsel but I find that you have no real or genuine remorse for the victims of your crimes, only remorse that you have been caught and lost your liberty. 

129             However, I do intend to impose a minimum term, but that is on the basis of one significant factor only, which are your pleas of guilty to these offences. Whilst I find that you do not have any genuine remorse for the crimes, I am still obliged to take into account in your favour that you have entered pleas of guilty.  It is pragmatic and utilitarian to give you a discount for entering those pleas, for by doing so you have prevented this Court from spending anywhere between 5 to 10 years hearing your trials and the appeals from those trials.  Equally you have released the police officers involved in this task force to move onto other pressing cases that need investigating, and enabled those in the Office of Public Prosecutions to pursue other prosecutions.   The amount of money that has been saved as a result is considerable.  That behaviour must be encouraged.  It must be made clear to all charged with offences, of whatever type, that if they do enter a plea of guilty to the offences that they will receive a real and significant discount. Without your pleas of guilty I would not have imposed a minimum term for these offences, even allowing for the other mitigating material upon which your counsel relied.

130             Accordingly, I sentence you as follows, on –

Count 1 – the murder of Jason Moran, you are convicted and sentenced to be imprisoned for life

Count 2 – the murder of Mark Mallia,  you are convicted and sentenced to be imprisoned for life

Count 3 – the murder of Lewis Moran, you are convicted and sentenced to be imprisoned for 25 years

Count 4 – the conspiracy to murder Mario Condello, you are convicted and sentenced to be imprisoned for 25 years

I direct that all sentences are to be served concurrently and concurrently with the sentences that you are undergoing.

131           I further direct that you serve a minimum term of 35 years imprisonment before becoming eligible for parole.  The sentence will commence from this day. 

132           I have already taken into account the fact that you have been in custody since 2004 when determining the appropriate minimum and the sentence and I intend that the new minimum term that I have imposed commences from today.  To make it absolutely clear  what I intend is that you are to serve  35 years imprisonment from today before you could be considered eligible for parole.



               Page 52 transcript of plea.

               Pages 75, 76, and 78 transcript of plea.

               Page 95, 96 transcript of plea.

               Page 54, 55 transcript of plea.

               Page 85 transcript of plea.

               Page 89 transcript of plea.

               Page 95, 96 transcript of plea.

               Page 106 transcript of plea.

               Page 110 transcript of plea.

               Page 98 ff transcript of plea.

               [1996] 2 VR 97 at 101 per Charles JA.

               (1988) 25 A Crim R 458.

               R v Duncan [1998] 3 VR 208



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