BIKER NEWS: Man jailed for firing shotgun confronting Finks bikie gang members needs protection in prison | Outlaws Bikers News

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BIKER NEWS: Man jailed for firing shotgun confronting Finks bikie gang members needs protection in prison

BIKER NEWS -- One might easily have a "death wish" angrily confronting a gang of fearsome Finks bikie gang members in mour...



BIKER NEWS -- One might easily have a "death wish" angrily confronting a gang of fearsome Finks bikie gang members in mourning at a wake and then blasting two rounds from a sawn-off shotgun as they surround you.

Despite the potential danger to his own life and theirs – let alone innocents in a crowded suburban Oakleigh street of cafes, restaurants and shops – that is precisely what Mario Salatas did in broad daylight in apparent defence of his kid brother.

Melbourne's County Court heard that Salatas "poked a hornets' nest" when he confronted members of the Finks and their affiliates after walking from his car mid-afternoon near the Vanilla Cafe.

Although he left the simmering scene without further incident, police believe shots fired soon after at Salatas' house and his parents' charcoal chicken shop were Finks' retribution.

And now, despite no suggestion or evidence Salatas "fingered" any Finks to police and turned "dog", he is a marked man in prison from bikie inmates who have forced authorities to move him to protection.

When Judge Michael Tinney sentenced Salatas over his "show of force" with a "sinister" weapon, he commented that the "community is sick of guns", their illegal use and possession, and that courts would show "no tolerance to the carrying or possession of such firearms in our society".



Judge Tinney said he needed no convincing the Finks were not "some playful group of tricksters drawn by innocence" to have fun with motorbikes. "They are an outlaw motorcycle gang," he noted flatly.

Prosecutor Matt Fisher described how Salatas exited a car mid-afternoon near the Vanilla Cafe and spoke to some bikies in an "agitated manner", asked "Where is my f---ing little brother?" and stated that "I'm a bikie, too".

Mr Fisher said Salatas was then followed to his car by a number of bikies who surrounded the vehicle and appeared aggressive to him and others who included his female partner.

Joined by his brother, their sister and her boyfriend, a "heated verbal exchange" began between the groups before Salatas took the shotgun from the car and fired once in the air, damaging a shop awning.

Mr Fisher said moments later Salatas fired a second round towards the ground, which startled some people in the area but "did not cause the bikies near the vehicle to move away".

He categorised the conduct as "brazen and calculated" and "given the company he was in he may have had a death wish acting in the way he did".

Salatas, 33, of Notting Hill, earlier pleaded guilty to being prohibited person who used a firearm on July 9, 2013.

His barrister Adam Chernok​ told Judge Tinney his client became involved in the incident after an earlier "schoolyard disagreement" between his brother and a student who later became a Finks member.

Mr Chernok conceded that "some form of vigilantism" was involved, poor decision-making and a misguided expression of loyalty, but Salatas had "enraged some hornets" while police suspect the Finks later "retaliated".

A psychologist reported Salatas had a poly-substance disorder and mixed anxiety-depressive disorder and was prone to impulsive and irresponsible behaviour.

Declared a prohibited person in 2009 after committing firearms and weapons offences, Judge Tinney noted Salatas, a father of two, and his brother could and should have left the area, but instead his conduct was like a "warning off or a show of force".

There was a "big difference" between using and possessing a weapon, and he told Salatas that "you were using a loaded, fully operational sawn-down shotgun that you loaded and discharged twice".

Salatas was jailed for two years and four months and was ordered to serve a minimum of 14 months.

This article was first published on November 8, 2015
Get a copy of theage or go to www.theage.com.au for more stories.

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