Comanchero Axel Sidaros jailed for 14 years over failed assassination

Comanchero MC

A Canberra Comanchero MC nominee has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for attempting to kill a rival bikie in a failed hit in 2018.

The ACT Supreme Court also ordered Axel Sidaros, 25, to pay $20,000 in reparations for damage caused in the attack.

Axel Sidaros leaves court after being granted bail to attend his grandfather's funeral.
Axel Sidaros leaves court after being granted bail to attend his grandfather’s funeral.

Dramatic CCTV footage of the attack shows a group of armed, hooded men sneaking over a rear fence and into the backyard of former Canberra Comanchero president Peter Zdravkovic, in June 2018.

Two of the intruders fire weapons into the house at Mr Zdravkovic, who returns fire with a rifle.

Meanwhile, two other intruders pour petrol over three cars, including a BMW and a Mercedes, and around the property.

The men flee and ignite the petrol.

Mr Zdravkovic was wounded in the hail of bullets and lost a finger.

Sidaros was at Melbourne Airport trying to board an international flight to Abu Dhabi in September 2018 when he was arrested and charged with eight offences, including attempted murder, arson and intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Police have not yet charged anyone else over the incident.

Sidaros pleaded not guilty and faced a trial last year.

Jurors heard Mr Zdravkovic had fallen out with the club, and traded threats and insults with his rivals on social media before the attack.

Jurors heard one message had read:

“Peter Zdravkovic, you and your crew have 24 hours to hand over your bikes, and your colours … otherwise the hit squad’s going to show up to your families.”

Prosecutors say Mr Zdravkovic’s social media messages,
such as this one, provoked his attackers

Snapchat images, tendered in court, showed Mr Zdravkovic burning his Comanchero colours with the words:

“You will never take my colours. Like I took yours.”

Prosecutors said this act provoked his rivals.

The court also heard the attack had destroyed the inside of Mr Zdravkovic’s house. Smashed glass was strewn throughout, while the blood-splattered walls had bullet holes in them.

The jury deliberated for two days before finding Sidaros guilty of seven offences.

He was acquitted of an eighth charge, which related to shooting at a second home soon after the gunfight and firebombing.

Attack was ‘homicidal warfare’

The ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Drumgold, told a sentence hearing on Wednesday the attack had been “homicidal warfare brought to a Canberra suburb”.

He said Sidaros was a nominee with the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle club at the time, and his motivation for the attack was to earn promotion to the rank of fully patched club member.

Mr Drumgold argued the crimes were premeditated, planned and coordinated, with no regard for public safety.

He called for a severe sentence.

Defence barrister Kieran Ginges argued the offender was a young man, with no criminal history other than a minor driving offence.

The defence said the offences were in the mid-range of seriousness.

A pre-sentence report had found Sidaros was a medium-to-low risk of reoffending because of his strong family support and employment history as a carpenter.

But Chief Justice Helen Murrell rejected the assessment, finding Sidaros poses a substantial risk of recidivism because of his ongoing association with Comanchero MC members.

The judge said Sidaros was emotionally immature and struggled with a lifelong difficulty of fitting in and being accepted.

She said outlaw motorcycle clubs had represented a brotherhood in which he could gain acceptance by engaging in criminal activity.

The court also heard Sidaros had maintained his innocence and claimed the guilty verdicts were a result of his ethnicity.

The judge said it was unfortunate Sidaros had been unable to accept responsibility and had chosen to live an anti-social life.

Chief Justice Murrell said it was “only a matter of luck” that Mr Zdravkovic was not killed or the entire house engulfed in flames.

She sentenced Sidaros to 14 years’ jail, with a non-parole period of eight years. He will be eligible for release in August 2026.

Sidaros has appealed the conviction. His appeal will be heard next month.

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Source: ABC