Jail for shooting bikie friend
Jail for shooting bikie friend

A Vietnam veteran who shot a former bikie friend dead during a showdown in a small country town has been jailed for eight years for manslaughter.

James Stephen Callaghan, known as Jim or Jimbo, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Gavin McMaster in Koorda last year.

At the trial earlier this year, Callaghan had argued he was defending himself when he shot McMaster while confronting him over suspicions he set his car ablaze in February 2013.

In jailing Callaghan, Justice Kevin Sleight said he had to send a message that vigilante action could not be tolerated, as otherwise society "where anarchy prevails".

The court was told the pair had once been mates but the friendship turned bad.

Callaghan had armed himself with a rifle and went to Mr McMaster's house believing there was just one solution to his trouble with the one-time bikie - to kill him.

But defence counsel Philip Urquhart said Callaghan feared retribution if he had gone to the police with his fears over McMaster, and the ex-bikie had sought the confrontation which took place in the early hours of February 23.

Mr Urquhart said it was only after Mr Callaghan threw a tomahawk at his client and began to leave that Callaghan feared for his life.

The prosecution told the jury Callaghan had shot through a cupboard and struck his victim in the leg before firing another two shots that hit him in the back, and had meant to kill him or at least leave him seriously injured.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West