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I didn't mean to hurt anyone, man tells bikie murder trial

Jane Harper | 

BIKIE John Bedson said fear and panic rather than a thirst for revenge drove him to fire the six shots that killed Bandidos enforcer Ross Brand.

"I was scared," Mr Bedson, 27, told Melbourne's Supreme Court.

"I started to panic. I wasn't intending to hurt anyone, I just wanted to shoot the clubhouse."

Mr Bedson, a member of bikie group Death Before Dishonour, is accused of murdering Brand and seriously wounding Bandidos associate Paul Szerwinski after opening fire at a group of men outside the Bandidos Breakwater clubhouse on October 22, 2008.

The court heard tempers had been running high after a fight between a friend of Mr Bedson's and a nominated member of the Bandidos at the Geelong Cup earlier that day.

Mr Bedson told how he and a group of friends met his brother Derek Bedson in Buckleys Tabaret in Breakwater, where Derek appeared drunk and agitated by news of the earlier fight.

"He said he wanted to shoot the clubhouse," Mr Bedson said.

"In his car I saw the end of a gun sticking out from one of his work vests.

"Obviously he was serious, but that's not what Derek's normally like.

"So I told Derek: 'You're not going to do it, I'm going to do it."'

Mr Bedson said he, his brother and a driver climbed into Derek's white twin-cab Toyota Hilux, and John directed the driver to the Bandidos' clubhouse.

"My intention was to see if the coast was clear, and if not, just keep going," Mr Bedson said.

Mr Bedson said he could see people outside and instructed the driver to keep going, but instead the driver slowed and came to a stop outside the club.

"I saw Ross Brand storm out of the clubhouse rooms, reaching forwards," Mr Bedson said.

"I was scared. I thought we were going to be shot at.

"I picked up the gun and started shooting, turning my head, telling the driver to go."

Mr Bedson said he had not been aiming at the men.

"Did you intend to shoot them?" defence counsel Ian Hayden asked.

"No, not at all," Mr Bedson said. "I didn't shoot at anybody."

Mr Bedson said he had been troubled to learn the next day that Brand died. "When I heard someone had been killed I was worried about it," he said.

"I didn't want anything like that to happen.

"I wouldn't have even left my house if I'd known this was going to happen."

But Crown prosecutor Christopher Ryan, SC, reminded the jury other witnesses had denied Brand had a gun on him when he was shot dead.

"There was no gun," Mr Ryan told Mr Bedson.

"You have made up that story to give some decency to what you did that day.

"You knew there were people in that clubhouse. When you had the rifle in your lap you took the opportunity to shoot at them.

"Those men ran for their lives back into that clubroom."

The trial continues before Justice Elizabeth Curtain.


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