Melbourne Love Machine nightclub drive-by killers Jacob Elliott and Alan Fares jailed

Two men who murdered two people in a drive-by shooting outside a Melbourne nightclub have been sentenced to life in prison.

Supreme Court Justice Andrew Tinney described Jacob Elliott and Allan Fares’ crimes as “heinous”, “evil” and “dreadful”.

Security guard Aaron Osmani was killed immediately, while nightclub patron Richard Arow died a week later in hospital from his injuries after Elliott opened fire from a moving vehicle driven by Fares outside the club in the early hours of April 14, 2019.

Elliott claimed he was ordered to go to Love Machine, in Prahran, by his late father, violent underworld crime figure Nabil Maghnie, who was angered that another of his sons, Ali Maghnie, had been kicked out of the venue earlier in the night by security.

Elliott fired four shots from a semi-automatic handgun into the crowd outside the nightclub.

Mr Osmani and Mr Arow were shot in the head, while three other men, two patrons and a security guard were hit in the upper body.

Forensic police search a drain at the scene.
The 2019 shooting took place in one of Melbourne’s busiest nightlife districts.(ABC News: Peter Lusted)

Both Elliott and Fares were also convicted of two counts of attempted murder and one count of intentionally causing serious injury.

Elliott must serve a minimum of 29 years, while Fares was ordered to serve a non-parole period of 27 years for crimes Justice Tinney said were in the highest category of seriousness.

Victim a ‘wonderful and decent’ man

During the trial, Elliott’s lawyer argued that he acted out of fear of his father and had only intended firing warning shots at the club.

However, Justice Tinney rejected this, saying he was unconvinced that Maghnie had ordered the shooting, and even if he had directed his son, it did not lessen Elliott’s culpability.

Likewise, Justice Tinney rejected Fares’ lawyer’s claim that Fares was an unwilling participant in the shooting who had no control over how events transpired.

Maghnie was shot dead in Melbourne’s north in January 2020. Nobody has been charged over his killing.

Justice Tinney said Mr Arow’s partner, Rebekah Spinks, had in a victim impact statement painted a “lived picture of a wonderful and decent young man … whose cruel death has caused unspeakable trauma and loss”.

Elliott refused to stand when asked by the judge, and there was an outbreak of screaming and crying when Justice Tinney pronounced his sentence.

A woman shouted, “I love you. I’ll always be here for you” to Elliott.

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