An egregious display of biker gang violence unfolded in the southeast suburb of Dandenong, Melbourne. Joseph Muratore, 32, and Lee Martin, 48, both senior figures in the notorious Fink biker gang, launched a brutal attack on former member, Kahan Umit, who believed he had left the gang on friendly terms.
The assault occurred in March of the previous year when Muratore, Martin, another Fink member named John Pahoumidis, and an unidentified fourth individual fiercely confronted Umit outside a factory. The confrontation quickly escalated into violence as Pahoumidis struck the first blow to Umit’s face.
Terrifyingly, Muratore performed a ‘flying kick’ to deter Umit’s escape. Umit was then tackled to the ground, stabbed, and punched by Muratore in a cruelly drawn-out assault. The quartet of assailants callously fled the scene, leaving a gravely injured Umit bleeding on the ground.
Rushed to the Alfred Hospital necessitating emergency surgery, Umit’s injuries included a punctured lung along with spinal and rib fractures, indicating the stark savagery of the assault.
While lawyers for Muratore and Martin fiercely claimed the attack was not rooted in gang rivalry, Judge Elizabeth Gaynor sharply disagreed. Dismissing their defense as “pathetic” during their sentencing at the County Court of Victoria, she pronounced the incident as an obvious facet of Fink’s operations.
In the aftermath, Muratore was given a sentence of three years and four months after pleading guilty to recklessly causing serious injury, in addition to drugs and weapons offences. Judge Gaynor remarked on Muratore’s relative fortune, in that a bystander emerged from the factory to aid Umit, averting a possibly fatal outcome.
Muratore’s arrest further revealed his deeper criminal involvement as police unearthed a hidden sawn-off shotgun, three samurai swords, drugs, and a device used to jam police radios.
Amid his courtroom appearance via video link, Muratore blankly watched as his mother, seated in the courthouse, cried for her son’s downfall. Judge Gaynor reproved Muratore’s choices, underlining the gang-associated violence that led to his current condition – deteriorating mental health in a maximum-security prison.
Meanwhile, Martin was freeing from custody after pleading guilty to common assault and driving while disqualified, having already served 457 days behind bars. Judge Gaynor urged both men to sever ties with the Fink’s gang and work toward a reliable fresh start for their long-term relationship partners.
As for Pahoumidis, he admitted to charges of common law assault and drug possession, including cocaine and methylamphetamine. His sentencing for participating in the assault is due at a later date.