News State New South Wales Brothers 4 Life killers get decades behind bars
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Brothers 4 Life killers get decades behind bars

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The leader of the once-feared Brothers 4 Life gang, Farhad Qaumi, has been sentenced to 60 years’ jail for a string of violent crimes in Sydney, including the murder of standover man Joe Antoun.

His younger brothers Mumtaz, 32, and Jamil, 25, were sentenced to almost 51 years and 31 years respectively for the “outlandish and lawless violence” that spilled onto the streets of Sydney between October and December 2013.

Farhad, 35, was convicted of 15 offences, including the contract killing of Antoun, the mistaken identity killing of Mahmoud Hamzy and the accidental shooting of a teenage girl.

The Afghan-born father of three was at the forefront of a “gangland war” sparked between the Blacktown and Bankstown chapters of the gang.

 

He organised the execution-style murder of Antoun in his Strathfield home for a fee of between $80,000 and $190,000, with the sum cloaked as payments for a kebab shop.

Mumtaz was sentenced to a minimum of 36 years with a head sentence of 50 years for 17 offences including murder, conspiracy to murder, solicit to murder.

Youngest brother Jamil was sentenced to at least 30 years’ jail with a minimum of 21 years for 18 offences, including contempt of court, drug supply and attempted murder, with the court finding he was under the influence of his older brothers.

The Crown had called for the trio to receive life sentences.

Brothers 4 Life leader Farhad Qaumi is taken into custody in 2014.

Farhad and Mumtaz began committing crimes as juveniles and regularly used illicit drugs. They have been diagnosed with a range of psychiatric illnesses.

Farhad has been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder and substance-use disorder, and Justice Hamill said his personality traits were “almost psychopathic”.

While Farhad’s psychological issues — caused by exposure to severe violence and death at a very young age — reduced his moral culpability for his offending, Justice Hamill said, it also gave rise to a real concern about his ability to rehabilitate.

He said the family’s “sad” history could not outweigh the need to ensure the safety of the community and to send a message that gangland violence would not be tolerated.

Justice Hamill said he accepted Jamil, 25, “was under the influence of his older brothers”. At the time of his offences he was a newlywed and had a minor criminal history.

Each man has been designated by Corrective Services an extreme high security inmate because of their criminal history and behaviour in jail.

As a result, the trio are being held in “harsh” and “onerous” custodial conditions, including long periods in virtual isolation, little access to education programs, the gym and outside space.

Justice Hamill said he gave the custodial conditions “some weight” in deciding the sentences. Authorities believe Mr Antoun’s former friend Elias “Les” Elias was behind the hit on the debt collector.

Mr Elias moved to the Philippines after the murder.

At a sentencing hearing in April, Justice Hamill said he suspected the now murdered mafia figure Pasquale Barbaro “stood behind Elias” but there was not enough evidence for a finding.

During a shooting at a home in Blacktown in November 2013 a 14-year-old girl was shot, causing “devastating injuries”.

The girl still has a number of pellets in her body and the resultant lead poisoning means it is unlikely she can carry a child in the future.

Teagan Mullins: “We lost Joe for life.”

The trio were in court as the sentences were handed down.

During the trial, a glass Perspex sheet had to be installed in the dock to separate the Qaumis from other co-offenders following a violent attack.

The trio had declined to attend court for much of the trial and sentencing submissions.

Joseph Antoun’s widow, Teagan Mullens, said she was pleased with the outcome.

“It was a good feeling, I mean we have lost Joe forever, so yeah, really happy with it,” she said.

“On behalf of my children and I … thanks to everybody involved, I really appreciate it.”

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