Comanchero bikie jailed over airport brawl
March 02, 2012
A MAN who joined the Comancheros motorcycle club in search of male role models has been jailed for seven years after admitting to the manslaughter of a rival gang member.
Christian Menzies, 29, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of affray last November over a bloody brawl inside Sydney Airport in March 2009.
He faced a retrial after the NSW Supreme Court jury could not reach a verdict on the alternative charge of manslaughter, but he subsequently pleaded guilty to the offence.
Anthony Zervas, the brother of Hells Angels member Peter Zervas, was killed during the brawl between the rival motorcycle gangs.
Menzies is the twelfth man to be sentenced over the fatal airport fight which took place in broad daylight in front of scores of terrified passengers and terminal staff.
On Friday, Justice Robert Allan Hulme jailed him for at least three years eight months and a maximum of seven years two months.
He said Menzies was part of the group of Comancheros who initiated the melee and was a major participant in what he termed "wanton and significant violence".
"The offender was a willing participant in the violence that occurred," the judge said. "He played an active role."
"A clear message must be sent that it will met by punishment that will be severe."
Justice Hulme said Menzies was a major player in the deadly fracas, in which Mr Zervas suffered stab wounds and massive head injuries when he was attacked with bollards and kicked, punched and stomped on as he lay on the floor of the domestic terminal.
In an affidavit, Menzies said he became involved with the Comancheros, in part, because of the absence of his father.
He said the gang had provided him with male role models, and made him feel important and "cared for".
But he said that ultimately the gang "did not fill my void".
To the family of Mr Zervas, Menzies said he was "sorry for the loss of their son, brother and loved one".
The judge said even though Menzies had two previous convictions for violent offences his prospects of rehabilitation were good because he had left the Comancheros and sworn off drugs and alcohol.
As he had promised not to associate with the outlaw motorcycle gang on his release, there was a chance Menzies could find work as a social worker with Aboriginal youth or as a bricklayer, he said.