The son of disgraced Wollongong councillor Zeki Esen has avoided time behind bars for his role in trying to conceal a bikie shooting at Woonona.
Baris Esen had been in the country just three days after an overseas trip when he was inadvertently dragged into the payback shooting of ex-Lone Wolf bikie Nigel Romaniszyn.
Court documents said Romaniszyn had chosen to leave the club, raising the ire of his one-time “brother”, fellow club member Tyson Bayley.
The former friends were in the midst of a bitter text message feud in the 24 hours before a confrontation out the front of Bayley’s Joanne Street home on the afternoon of September 21, 2016.
The court heard Bayley, Baris and his brother Umit Esen were waiting on the verandah when Romaniszyn parked his VW van out the front of the house.
Bayley ran inside the house as soon as Romaniszyn got out of the vehicle, returning a moment later with gun and firing it in Romaniszyn’s direction.
Romaniszyn was hit in the face and fell to the ground before getting back in his car and driving around the corner to a friend’s house.
Police and paramedics arrived at the house to discover Romaniszyn in the back yard covered in blood.
He immediately nominated Bayley as the shooter, later telling police he had been with “two Turkish fellas”.
Romaniszyn was flown to St George Hospital in an induced coma and underwent multiple operations, however he will never regain vision in his left eye.
Meantime, witnesses in Joanne Street told police they saw Bayley and the Esen brothers hop in Umit’s vehicle and drive in the same direction as Romaniszyn.
Police arrested Umit on the morning of September 23, 2016 while Baris and Bayley surrendered themselves to police four days later.
Bayley has since pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in a plea bargain struck with prosecutors, who agreed to withdraw a charge of attempted murder.
Both Esen men were originally charged with being accessories after the fact, however Baris also struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of concealing a serious indictable offence of another.
In court on Friday, Magistrate Michael Stoddart sentenced Baris to a two-year good behaviour bond, noting he had a limited criminal record and his only participation in the shooting was being present when it occurred.
Meantime, Umit, who has pleaded guilty to the accessory charge, will front Wollongong District Court later this year, along with Bayley, for the start of formal sentencing proceedings.
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