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SA woman terrified by bikie shooting

Published in 1%er News and All News

File photo of Finks bikies

The former girlfriend of an SA Finks bikie has told a judge of her terror at the shooting of a boy. Source: AAP


THE ex-partner of a Finks bikie has told of her nightmare life after rival gang members smashed their way into an Adelaide home and shot one of the bikie's four young sons.

"I did my best to look after them," she told the South Australian District Court on Thursday.

"I formed a strong bond with them … I felt very protective."

The woman, whose name is suppressed, broke down while reading her victim impact statement at the sentence hearing of Hells Angels associate, Arron James Cluse.

In February, Judge Gordon Barrett found Cluse, 23, guilty of aggravated serious criminal trespass and two aggravated counts of endangering life in September 2011.

The woman lived with the then prominent Finks bikie, Mark Sandery, who was out when windows were smashed, the front door kicked in and his 11-year-old son shot twice in the leg.

The judge found Cluse was one of those who smashed windows, finding him guilty on the basis that he was part of a joint enterprise aimed at striking fear into the occupants.

Up to eight people arrived near the house, with at least five carrying out the attack and two of them entering the residence.

The woman said everything was quiet and normal before the attack, which left glass everywhere and the children and her terrified.

She was now scared of the dark and of every loud noise, which reminded her of that night.

She checked inside her wardrobe all the time, found it hard to trust people and panicked if she was at home alone.

Cluse, who maintains his innocence, wiped away tears as his lawyer, Martin Anders, told the judge of his devastation at the stabbing death of his brother, Kayne Cluse, in an unrelated attack in January.

After their parents separated and his Hells Angels father moved to Darwin when Cluse was 14, the teenager played a significant role in bringing up his younger brother and sister.

"He supported both his siblings as though they were his own children," Mr Anders said.

As he was in jail on remand, Cluse was unable to attend the funeral although he went to a private viewing of the body the previous evening.

The hearing will continue on May 9.