Hundreds of bikies have ridden across Perth as a show of respect for slain bikie Nick Martin, who was gunned down in a gangland-style assassination less than two weeks ago.
Mourners attended Martin’s funeral at Pinnaroo Cemetery at noon, surrounded by a big police presence.
The last ride for the 51-year-old former Rebels bikie boss began in North Perth on Wednesday morning, with hearses and Harley Davidsons forming an honour guard for the slain underworld kingpin.
Some people treated it like a royal procession, lining the roads to watch the cavalcade.
Heavily-armed officers rode escort to protect the public, with green lights all along the procession route.
An estimated 200 police officers were out in force to monitor proceedings.
At Pinnaroo Cemetery, friends, family and associates paid tribute.
Unexpectedly, the funeral was presided over by well-known ABC radio and TV presenter Verity James – who had to read out some expletive-laden tributes.
Martin’s coffin was covered in hundred-dollar bills and a huge Rebels flag hung in the background.
His hearse had numberplates reading: “THE CON.”
Rebels members even performed a passionate version of the haka towards the end of proceedings.
Martin was remembered as “larger than life” and a man of “no bulls**t”.
In a eulogy delivered on behalf of the gang’s West Australian chapter, he was described as a “good man, a caring man” who would help anyone.
“Nick Martin was a man who had a presence about him. A natural-born leader who earned people’s respect,” his fellow Rebel said.
“A man of integrity, loyalty and above all else he had firm principles of right and wrong.
“He was hard but fair.
“That being said, you definitely didn’t want to rub him the wrong way.
“He had a gift for seeing people as who they really are.”
Another Rebels member and friend told the gathering Martin had been the “one consistent” in his life.
“Through thick and thin, court cases, fights, girlfriends, wives, kids, good and bad times, we’ve seen each other at our worst and at our best,” he said.
“I’m going to miss you mate, but you’ve left me and others here today with a lifetime of memories.
“That’s something that no-one can take away.”
Martin was publicly gunned down at the Kwinana motorplex in front of families and children on the night of December 12.
He received a single gunshot wound to his torso, with detectives investigating the possibility he was shot by a sniper.
His assassin has yet to be arrested despite a million-dollar reward offered by the WA government.
Police have declined to say whether they believe the assailant may have come from the eastern states, but Operation Ravello detectives are reviewing COVID-19 travel permits, mandatory for all interstate arrivals.
Martin’s list of enemies and the list of suspects is long, but there was no trouble at Martin’s funeral.
Like any other funeral, pictures were shown, videos played, and musical tributes offered.
The funeral song, Hurricane by Bob Dylan, is a ballad about a man who is wrongfully imprisoned.
There was also some Eminem, and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”.
Martin’s wife Amanda paid tearful tribute to her partner.
“I never thought this day would come that I would be without my Nick,” she said.
“There’s a hole in my heart that cannot be healed.
“My best friend is gone and I am broken into a million pieces but I just want him to come home.”
‘My best friend is gone and I am broken into a million pieces.’
The ceremony was live-streamed so those on the east coast kept away by WA’s hard border could still pay their respects.
It was in many ways also a show of strength, designed to deter anyone from thinking that the Rebels are a spent force without Martin’s leadership.
Police last week arrested Martin’s son-in-law Ricky Chapman, a former Bandidos member, for breaching his parole conditions after he was wounded in the attack.
Chapman, 31, underwent surgery after being injured by the same bullet that killed Martin.
A bullet fragment recovered from his arm has been sent to ballistics experts and footage from the event is being reviewed.
An unrelated five-year-old boy sitting on the lap of Martin’s wife was grazed by a bullet fragment but did not require medical treatment.
The venue in Kwinana Beach has now been returned to its owners after police scoured surrounding bush to determine where the shooter was located.
Detectives have also raided properties associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs including Rebels, Mongols and Hells Angels clubhouses.
– with AAP