Friday, 6 May 2011

BIKIE Ross Brand's murderer has made a bid for freedom while his brother appeals for leniency for his role in the killing.

Derek and John Bedson, who are members of Death Before Dishonour, an offshoot of the Rebels Motorcycle Club, shot 51-year-old Brand outside the Bandidos' Breakwater club house on Geelong Cup day in 2008.

John Bedson, 27, has appealed against his conviction and 23-year jail term after a jury found him guilty of murder.

The jury rejected his not-guilty plea and found he fired at least six shots with the intention of killing a rival member as payback over a fight at Geelong racecourse earlier in the day.

Derek Bedson, who initiated the shooting, was jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter but is appealing against the severity of his sentence.

Unprecedented security greeted about 60 bikies from the rival gangs who packed the courtroom when Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Curtain sentenced the duo in Geelong in March.

She told John Bedson his actions were driven by a "misguided loyalty to the Rebels, or DBD".

"You came to the view that you were justified in taking retaliatory action," Justice Curtain said.

The getaway driver told the trial John Bedson covered his face with a bandanna before opening fire from a car with a hail of bullets, including one that hit Brand in the head.

"I heard a noise like fireworks coming from behind me," the driver, who cannot be named, said.

He said he then was told to "go, go, go".

Two shots hit another male in the buttocks and arm.

John Bedson must serve a minimum of 18 years before being eligible for parole.

Derek Bedson must serve a minimum of eight years before he is eligible for parole.

The sentencing of the Bedson brothers ended the latest chapter in Geelong's bikie turf war.

Rivalry between the Bandidos and Rebels Motorcycle Group has led to death, multiple shootings, alleged kidnapping, fire bombs and brawls in public.

Previous raids at the conflicting clubs have netted hauls of weapons including loaded firearms and swords, and large quantities of drugs.

Rhonda Brand, sister-in-law of Ross, said she was non-plussed with the appeals.

"My reaction is that we don't really care," she said.

"We've been down that road already and we know they got their just desserts to start with.

"We did expect that Derek would appeal but we didn't think John Bedson would."

Asked if they would follow the appeal, Ms Brand said it was unlikely.

"It's too taxing to sit in a court for days and days on end, so I'm not sure if we would go through that again," she said.

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