Rebels bikie sentenced to 34 years in jail for murder of man over rare motorbike

Rebels motorcycle club member John Richard Weston has been sentenced to 34 years in jail for murdering a man over a rare motorbike.

Weston, 37, shot and killed 29-year-old Laurie Starling outside his Gosford custom car building business in 2014.

The pair had been arguing over the ownership of a unique motorbike, which the bikies had taken from Mr Starling against his wishes.

A group of the Rebels club travelled to Mr Starling to "touch him up" when Weston shot him twice in the stomach.

In sentencing, Justice Stephen Rothman said the crime was "detestable and gravely reprehensible, if not extremely wicked".

"The level of callousness is a matter of significant concern," he said.

"The murder was essentially on a whim, without regard to societal norms."

Weston was handed a 34-year maximum sentence with a non-parole period of 25 years and six months.

The heavily tattooed Weston showed no emotion when his sentence was handed down.

With time served, he would be eligible for parole in 2041.

'Ambushed in the dark'

Mr Starling's mother, Julia Starling, welcomed the long sentence.

"That horrible, violent man had to be put away for a very long time, but he's still alive and our son isn't," she said.

"We got a life sentence and [Weston will] be allowed out."

"[Laurie] was 29 years old and he'd done so much in his life already … he had his whole future ahead of him.

"He's been denied that … he was ambushed in the dark on his own. He was defenceless and that should never have happened.

"He stood up to [the bikies] and they didn't like that."

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Ben Worsley
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abc.net.au




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