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Former national Commanchero bikie boss, Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi has been sentenced to at least 21 years in jail for the murder of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas in the infamous Sydney Airport brawl.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Mr Zervas, 29, was bludgeoned with a bollard and stabbed in the chest and abdomen during the brawl on March 22, 2009, which shocked bystanders and the city more broadly.

Today, Hawi, 31, was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court to a maximum of 28 years in jail with a non-parole period of 21 years. This followed a marathon trial, which concluded on November 2 last year, when Hawi was found guilty of murder and affray.

Behind bars ... Mick Hawi.

Behind bars ... Mick Hawi.

The sentencing judge, Justice Robert Allan Hulme, said the Commancheros and Hells Angels had assembled at the airport after being contacted by gang members on a plane from Melbourne.

Hells Angels chapter president Derek Wainohu, who was on the plane and felt intimidated by Hawi and other Commancheros present, sent a text for help and, in response, a number of Hells Angels, including Mr Zervas, went to the airport.

There were a series of scuffles in which 12 Commancheros confronted five Hells Angels, punching and kicking each other and attacking each other with heavy metal bollards in the departure lounge.

Anthony Zervas's mother, Frederika Bromwich, leaves court.

Anthony Zervas's mother, Frederika Bromwich, leaves court today. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

Mr Zervas died during the brawl.

Five other Commanchero members were also tried for murder. They were found not guilty, found guilty of manslaughter or are facing retrials after the jury was hung.

A further six members or associates of the Commancheros were subsequently convicted of a range of offences including riot, affray and assault.

Anthony Zervas ... killed during a brawl at Sydney Airport.

Anthony Zervas ... killed during a brawl at Sydney Airport.

"This was a shocking and violent crime," Justice Hulme said.

"The deceased was killed in an act of retribution because he dared to attack the president of the Commenchero. No one, in his mind, was going to get away with that."

Justice Hulme described how many of those who saw the brawl were left in a state of shock, including a young mother who, after protecting her child, was "frozen in fear".

"The fighting, though short-lived, was shocking and vicious," he said.

"There was a large crowd of innocent bystanders. They were shocked and frightened that such violence could occur in such a public place."

Justice Hulme said the Commenchero had been in conflict with the Hells Angels for some time.

"A business being conducted by persons associated with the Hells Angels in Brighton-Le-Sands had been firebombed. A Hells Angels controlled tattoo parlour in Petersham was the subject of a drive-by shooting. A Hells Angels clubhouse in Crystal Street, Petersham, had been bombed.

"It was the belief of police that the Comanchero were responsible for each of these incidents."

He said a chance meeting with Mr Wainohu, on the flight from Melbourne and the summoning of reinforcements to Sydney Airport led to the riot that culminated in the death of Mr Zervas.

"Anthony Zervas was the first to make a move by attacking the offender [Hawi]. It was a pre-emptive strike in the face of an inevitable attack but it was foolish in the extreme. He was 161 centimetres tall and weighed only 58 kilograms while [Hawi] was 178 centimetres tall with a muscular build. A witness description of a man having 'arms as big as legs was apt for the offender'."

Hawi stood, chin raised, as the judge delivered the sentence.

Mr Zervas's mother, Frederika Bromwich, broke down in court after the sentence was read and nearly fainted outside court as - flanked by her daughters - she addressed the media.

"No punishment is enough for the loss of my son," a shaky and tearful Ms Bromwich said.

"I just pray that he gets the punishment he deserves. My son didn't deserve to die in that way."


A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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