A man shot in the face outside a Woonona home in September 2016 was in the midst of a bitter text message feud with the gunman, his former Lone Wolf Motorcycle Club “brother”, Tyson Neil Bayley.
The texts were made public for the first time in Wollongong Local Court on Monday as Bayley, 29, pleaded guilty to a charge of discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The plea came after the charge was downgraded from intent to murder.
Police documents show Bayley was once close with the victim, Nigel Romaniszyn. But by the evening of September 20, 2016, he was addressing his old club mate as a “dog”, a “c-nt” and a “Unanderra mutt”, in a series of poisonous messages.
“I was ur brother I loved u and u turned on me,” Bayley wrote, urging Romaniszyn to “come fight” at his Joanne Street, Woonona home. “Be at mine [tomorrow] or I’ll come to yours.”
“Come to mine,” Mr Romaniszyn replied, “and this is [where] u rest C-NT”.
Bayley responded: “LOL I’ve saved your life twice dog now I’m gonna take it. You’ll be leaving Wollongong tomorrow night.”
Despite the threats, Romaniszyn agreed to meet at Bayley’s home the next day. He was standing on the side of his van looking up at Bayley and his two club mates, brothers Baris and Umit Esen, when Bayley ran inside the home, returned with a shotgun and fired towards him.
Romaniszyn managed to drive to a friend’s house on nearby Mountain Avenue.
Before he was placed in an induced coma, intubated and airlifted to St George Hospital with multiple three-millimetre gunshot wounds to his forehead, face and neck, he spoke to detectives.
“I left the bike club,” he told them. “I was having an argument with Tyson … I got out of my car. Tyson came out of the house. I thought he might have had the safety on. But then it went off.”
Scans later revealed multiple shotgun pellets had lodged in the soft tissue of Romaniszyn ‘s face and neck and, and three pellets had penetrated his left eye.
He underwent four operations to repair the damage to his eye but is not expected to ever regain “useful vision”.
Phone records seized by police show Bayley urged his father Garry to leave the Joanne Street address in the minutes after the shooting.
“Leave house now go to your mrss [sic] till will call you. Do it now … don’t go home till i contatct u,” he wrote.
In court on Monday, Baris and Umit Esen, the sons of former Wollongong councilor Zeki Esen, pleaded guilty to charges of concealing a serious indictable offence and of accessory after the fact, respectively.
Bayley and Umit Esen’s matters have been referred to Wollongong District Court for the start of sentencing proceedings, on March 9.
Baris Esen, in custody for unrelated matters, will return to Wollongong Local Court March 19.
The following text messages are from an exchange between Tyson Bayley and the victim.
Tyson Bayley: I got nothing to speak to u about Dog u want ur one on one u know were I live
TB: Nothing to do with the club I'm no putrid c**t u wanna put me on the weak c**t we'll see, come get it
Victim: I not gona come to ya house that's a low act I'll see ya round no big deal y u wanna write back now
TB: Low act? I was ur brother I loved u and u turned on me come to my house c**t ur not my mate anymore
Victim: Yea going to someone's house is a low act! In my books! But wat evs I'll call u tomoz
TB: COME FIGHT THE WEAK C**T
TB: Get some rest ur over tomorrow
TB: See u at mine tomorrow
TB: Turn up or don't show ur face in woonona anymore
TB: Lol what u tryin to throw off this beef to him? He wants none of it and if he does hell cop what u do dog be at mine tomorrow this is my town this will be on my terms Unanderra mutt
Victim: Bring ya swag c**t u will be having a nap
TB: Be at mine or I'll come to yours
Victim: Come to mine and this is were u rest C**T
TB: Lol I've saved your life twice dog now I'm gonna take it
TB: You'll be leaving Wollongong tomorrow night