Nightclub drive-by killers jailed for life

·3-min read

A vicious and lawless drive-by shooting on the streets of Melbourne left two men dead, three injured and bystanders terrified all because of a desire for vengeance.

The murders of Richard Arow and Aaron Osmani, innocent men gunned down outside the Love Machine nightclub, were the result of a petty and mindless act of retribution.

Gunman Jacob Elliott laughed and there was applause as he was jailed for life on Wednesday. Then there was yelling and crying from the public gallery as Justice Andrew Tinney ordered he serve at least 29 years.

Allan Fares, who drove Elliott, was also jailed for life and must serve at least 26 years before he's eligible for parole.

Their joint intention in the early hours of April 14, 2019 had been to kill and that was put into frightening and devastating effect by their combined actions, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Andrew Tinney said in handing down the "dreadful" sentence.

A jury found both men guilty of murder, attempted murder and intentionally causing serious injury.

Mr Arow, 28, was waiting outside to enter the Little Chapel St nightclub in Prahran, where 37-year-old Mr Osmani was working as a security guard.

At 3.15am Fares drove Elliott to the club in a stolen Porsche. Fares did several laps past the entrance before Elliott fired four shots from the front passenger seat.

Mr Arow and Mr Osmani were both struck in the head by bullets. They were taken to hospital but suffered unsurvivable injuries.

Another bullet struck Semisi Tu'itufu in the shoulder, while the fourth went through one man's arm and into another man.

Mr Tu'itufu rushed to the aid of Mr Arow and Mr Osmani and tried to usher other patrons back inside the club toward safety.

He was so concerned for others he initially didn't mention that he too had been shot and still lives with the entirely unjustified belief he did not do enough, Justice Tinney said.

The shooting was sparked by club security's decision hours earlier to eject Elliott's younger brother Ali Maghnie from the club for poor behaviour.

Elliott, then 18, claimed it was their father Nabil Maghnie - who was himself murdered in 2020 - who came up with the plan to let off "warning shots" outside the club.

He claimed he was reluctant to be involved but that Maghnie senior had told him to "shut the f*** up" and do it.

Elliott said he pressured Fares, who was initially reluctant but eventually agreed, and he fired four shots in the air.

But Justice Tinney found Elliott himself had seen fit to launch a public attack on Love Machine in retribution and with desire for vengeance after his brother was kicked out.

He also rejected that Fares was a reluctant participant in deliberately taking away two precious lives.

"You were not some helpless puppet," he said, adding Fares could have refused to participate and had ample opportunity to later back out.

Neither had showed genuine remorse for their brutal and chilling crimes, he found.