The son of one of Melbourne’s most notorious crime figures has been found guilty along with another man of the drive-by shooting murder of a nightclub patron and security guard.
Jacob Elliott, 21, the son of self-described ‘Mad Lebo’ Nabil Maghnie, fired four shots towards Love Machine nightclub from a car driven by Allan Fares,24, on April 14, 2019.
The pair argued they didn’t do so with murderous intent, but a jury found both men guilty of that charge on Thursday afternoon.
Security guard Aaron Osmani, 37, and club patron Richard Arow,28, were both fatally hit in the head by the shots outside the venue in Little Chapel Street in inner-city Prahran.
Jacob Elliott (pictured), the son of self-described ‘Mad Lebo’ Nabil Maghnie, has been found guilty of murder
Another security guard, Semisi Tu’itufu, was struck in the shoulder. A single bullet went through club-goer Ukash Ahmed and into Ali Shohani as they lined up.
Elliott and Fares had fired the shots after Elliott’s younger half-brother Ali Maghnie was booted out the club for poor behaviour.
CCTV footage shows Mr Maghnie being taken across the street and going to the ground, before getting back up again and shouting that security was ‘all f***ed, just wait, I’m coming back’.
After the incident, Mr Maghnie spoke to his father Nabil Maghnie, complaining ‘these guards kicked the f*** out of me’ before he contacted his brother.
Elliott’s barrister Julie Condon QC argued her client was acting under the instructions of his father who demanded he avenge his sibling.
Richard Arow (pictured was a patron at the Love Machine club) when he was shot and killed
Aaron Osmani (pictured) was working as a security guard at the Love Machine club when he was shot and killed
Speaking from the witness box, Elliott said his ‘violent and intimidating’ father had ordered him to fire ‘warning shots’ in retaliation for the incident.
‘He said “get two hotties (stolen cars) ready, I want you to let off some warning shots at the front of the club”.’ Elliott told the court, the Herald Sun reports.
‘I asked him if he can get someone else to do it (and) that I don’t feel comfortable doing it.
‘He said something like shut the f–k up and get ready.’
Elliott said his father, who died in a gangland shooting in January 2020, was a man who did not accept ‘no’ as an answer.
The court heard Elliott then messaged Fares on encrypted app Wickr asking him to help, with the friends meeting up a short time later in Wollert.
They drove in a convey to a spot near the club, where they both jumped into one of the cars – a stolen black 4WD Porsche.
Police at the crime scene in Prahran, Melbourne in April 2019
They then drove past the club four times before carrying out the shooting during the fifth drive-by.
Ms Condon argued her client never intended to kill or seriously injure anyone and asked the jury to find him guilty of manslaughter, which carries a lighter prison sentence.
But prosecutor Patrick Bourke, QC, argued pointing a gun and firing four times into an area where people are standing in close range showed an intention to kill.
After a week of deliberation, the jury rejected Elliott’s claims, finding the two men guilty of two counts of murder – crimes which could see them imprisoned for life.
They will face court again on August 10 for a three-day pre-sentencing hearing.
Jurors, who visited the shooting scene, were shown CCTV footage of a Porsche driving past Love Machine when the shots were fired.
They saw Mr Osmani and Mr Arow, who had been speaking to each other with their backs facing the road, fall to the ground and the crowd scatter as the gun went off.
Elliott is the son of slain underworld boss Nabil Maghnie. Pictured: Nabil Maghnie leaves court on bail in July 2019
Despite the best efforts by paramedics, the two men could not be saved and died at the scene.
A third man, Moussa Hamka, was found guilty of one charge of assisting the men, and not guilty of a second charge.
Jurors found he knowingly concealed the gun used in the shooting, which was found in his bedroom.
But they rejected a prosecution case that he had set fire to a car in an attempt to destroy evidence.
The wrong car was destroyed and an identical model vehicle across the road was instead set on fire.
Elliot’s father, underworld boss Nabil Maghnie, died after being shot outside a home in Epping in January, 2020.