Rebels bikie sergeant-at-arms saved by police after brutal bashing from fellow gang members

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STRAPPED to a chair with cable ties, bleeding profusely and fading in and out of consciousness, Rick Reynolds would likely be dead if not for the police.

Fellow bikie gang members, armed with a pickaxe, shovel, pliers, cricket bat and a gas burner for scorching off club tattoos, had ambushed the Rebels sergeant-at-arms outside a smash repair workshop, dragging him inside to finish the job.

There were three possible ­motives for the assault. One was a rumour that Reynolds (his real name has been suppressed) had been planning to leave the Rebels for a rival gang.

Another was an unsubstantiated claim that he was a police informant, based on the fact he’d repeatedly escaped jail for his crimes.

Police storm in to rescue Rebels sergeant-at-arms Rick Reynolds (not his real name), who was attacked by fellow members.

But the most probable reason, ­according to Judge Peter Zahra, was that Reynolds committed a cardinal sin within the lawless but heavily codified world of bikie gang culture: cheating with a fellow gang member’s partner.

This lack of a clear motive is typical of gangland prosecutions in which the code of silence, usually motivated by gang loyalty or, for witnesses, by fear of retribution, tests the limits of the justice system.

Reynolds, a Rebels member since 2004, told the court he finished work about 5pm on January 23, 2013, went home, had dinner, showered, then returned to work about 9pm to finish working on a tip truck for a client.

Blood stains on a shirt worn by Reynolds during the attack.

A broken cricket bat used during the assault.

As he parked his car and crossed the street outside Prospect Smash Repairs on Stoddard Rd, in Sydney’s west, he heard a noise in the dark.

“I just felt getting hit over the head, that was the last that I can remember,” he told the District Court.

But this evidence jarred with conversations from a police listening device planted in his Westmead Hospital room.

“The other bloke got out of the car and goes, ‘You dog c..., you f...ed my missus’,” Reynolds told a visitor.

“I don’t know what their plans were. Their plans were in the car — a pick, shovels, gas burners that can burn tattoos. I was in and out of consciousness so I don’t ­remember a lot but I heard sirens.”

A mobile phone at the assault scene which had a Rebels bikie cover on it.

In another conversation he said the attack was due to happen the previous night at a Rebels clubhouse meeting, but was postponed because he arrived with his daughter.

Later conversations revealed he’d been summoned to a meeting at the workshop. Reynolds said some of the men involved “didn’t even know what they were doing there”.

He said: “They were told to come there. They got set up.”

Asked about his inconsistent ­evidence, Reynolds told the court he had limited memory of what was said in hospital and no recollection of what happened that night.

Red handled side cutters seized by police.

Police were alerted to the bashing by two witnesses who happened to be driving along Stoddard Rd at the time of the attack.

Given pseudonyms, they told the court they saw Reynolds being pummelled unconscious on the footpath by several men.

They called police as he was being dragged inside the factory, prompting several officers to rush to the premises and scale a padlocked fence.

“Police interrupted it and effectively saved his life,” a law enforcement official said.

Facing sentencing on Friday, Joshua Achampong, Francis Anderson, David Coe, Anthony Fenech, Aaron Ferguson, Mario Gauci, Jared Khan and Ryan Vella all pleaded not guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Each of the men had histories that included absent fathers, ­domestic violence, a lack of role models, language barriers, bullying at school and heavy drug use in the lead-up to joining the Rebels.

For these reasons, Judge Zahra found special circumstances applied to their sentencing.

Each will spend a minimum of between two and three years in ­prison before being eligible for ­parole.

Another man allegedly involved in the crime will face trial next year.

Reynolds suffered no permanent injuries in the attack.

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