Bail varied for 'sitting duck' feud member

·2-min read

A member of an underworld family feuding with a rival Sydney group will be able to change his residence at short notice to avoid becoming a "sitting duck", under varied court orders.

Rafat Alameddine, whose Merrylands home was the subject of a drive-by shooting on October 19, 2020, sought a bail variation in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.

Justice Robertson Wright said the 29-year-old's bail conditions were not "entirely consistent" with a serious crime prevention order previously imposed on Alameddine by Justice Richard Cavanagh.

That judge referred to evidence about the escalating violence between the Alameddine and Hamzy "organised crime" networks.

They were said to be responsible for "drug importation, interstate drug supply, local drug supply, money laundering, public place shootings, kidnapping and other offences of violence."

Rafat Alameddine has been on bail since January 2020 on robbery in company and trying to steal a car charges.

In Thursday's variation application, his barrister Tom Hughes referred to the "sitting duck" problem associated with his night curfew and specified address.

He cited a December 18 related judgment by Justice Peter Garling , who said Alameddine did not report the drive-by shooting at his bail-specified Merrylands address.

It only came to light after Mejid Hamzy, brother of Brothers 4 Life gang leader Bassam Hamzy, was shot dead outside his Condell Park home hours later. But it is not suggested Alameddine had anything to do with the shooting of Mejid Hamzy.

Police located 15 bullet holes spread across the front door and facade of the Merrylands house.

Justice Garling was satisfied the rival families "are sorting out their differences between themselves in a violent manner and without engaging with the police".

There was a "a clear, present, real and substantial risk" that family members and their criminal associates will continue to "engage in retaliatory attacks, conducted in public places, in circumstances where it is highly likely that one or more members of the public will be harmed or adversely affected".

But the judge rejected imposing curfews in the related case.

"If such a condition was to become known to those who wish them harm, the orders would have the potential to escalate the violence rather than diffuse it by publicly identifying where a possible target is to be found in a known time period," Justice Garling said.

Justice Wright on Thursday agreed to delete Alameddine's bail condition that he reside at a specified address, noting he was required to tell authorities of a temporary move within 12 hours of it occurring.

He can stay at other locations at short notice as long as he informs police and remains there between 10pm and 6am.

Rafat Alameddine is the brother of Talal Alameddine, who is in jail for supplying the gun used to murder police accountant Curtis Cheng in 2015.