Rebels bikie who shot dead girlfriend strikes deal to change charge

A Rebels bikie who shot dead his girlfriend in a Russian roulette-style killing could be set free in just six years after striking a deal to downgrade his murder charge to manslaughter.

Brandon Osborn, 37, knew the gun was loaded with one bullet when he put it to Karen Belej’s head and pulled the trigger at their home near Mildura, in north-west Victoria, on May 1 last year.

Ms Belej, 31, a much-loved local council worker, was killed instantly.

But in a deal with prosecutors, Osborn had his murder charge downgraded to manslaughter, claiming that when he pulled the trigger he never intended it to discharge.

The Crown had no evidence to prove his theory wrong beyond reasonable doubt, and accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge.

Supporters of Ms Belej, who was a passionate domestic violence campaigner and White Ribbon Foundation ambassador, cried in court as Osborn learnt he’d be eligible for parole six years into a nine-year sentence.

Justice Andrew Keogh said the circumstances leading to Ms Belej’s death showed "an appalling level of recklessness" by Osborn.

His actions were "extremely reckless and dangerous, and profoundly stupid", Justice Keogh said.

"Placing the loaded handgun against Ms Belej’s forehead, cocking it and pulling the trigger were acts of violence," Justice Keogh said.

Ms Belej was unhappy to come home and find Osborn sitting on the bed playing with the gun.

"Get that thing out of the house or I’m probably gonna use it," she reportedly said.

He soon after approached her in the kitchen where she was cooking dinner, loaded the gun with a bullet, and pointed it at his own head, saying "Will this make you happy?".

He claimed he looked at the left side revolver chamber and saw there was no round and fired.

When Ms Belej then said to him, "You’re pointing that at the wrong person", he repeated his actions, checking the left side chamber was empty, before pointing it at her head.

He pulled the trigger, sending a bullet into her forehead.

He claims he had been mistaken and the revolver’s chamber was rotating the opposite way to a previous gun he had, the court heard.

But evidence was given to the court that the gun-toting bikie was experienced with guns, having previously had 29 firearms registered in his name, and completed at least two firearms safety courses.

Ms Belej had met Osborn, a patched member of the Mildura chapter of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, at a nightclub where he worked security in 2003.

The court heard the Mildura council human resources manager had stood by him despite him being unfaithful.

But extracts from Ms Belej’s diary and text messages she sent to Osborn in the days before her death indicated she was unhappy with his extramarital affairs and drinking habits.

Justice Keogh said the sentence would have been longer if not for Osborn’s early guilty plea, his "genuine remorse" and good prospects of rehabilitation.

He gave Osborn an extra 10 months to serve on top of the manslaughter sentence for being a prohibited person possessing a firearm.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Country: 
News Article written by: 
Rebekah Cavanagh
Source of News article: 
thewest.com.au




Related Articles


Elk Hunt   Fly Fishing Guide
  Silver Stock
  Biker News

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World. This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service, you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must Click Here to contact acting agent.