Bandidos bikie who died 16 months after he was wounded in Rebels boss Nick Martin’s assassination will be buried by his girlfriend as she wins an ugly court battle with his mother
- Bikie Ricky Chapman died following a medical episode on a mine site in April
- His mother took his girlfriend to court over who had the right to bury him
- Stacey Schoppe said she knew what he wanted and desired to honour it
- A Supreme Court judge decided in favor of Chapman’s girlfriend on Tuesday
A bitter feud over notorious Bandidos bikie Ricky Chapman’s body has been settled in an court battle between his mother and former lover.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia awarded Chapman’s girlfriend Stacey Schoppe the right to lay him to rest in an emotionally charged hearing on Tuesday, after it was revealed the pair were at one point expecting a baby.
Chapman died from a medical episode in April while working at Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert iron ore port, 1,500km north of Perth in northwest WA.
He was diagnosed with epilepsy and was working closely with doctors to treat his condition just days before his sudden death, the court heard.
Chapman’s died 16 months after he survived being hit by the same assassin’s bullet that killed Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin’s at Perth Motorplex in December 2020.
A judge awarded the girlfriend of ex Bandidos bikie Ricky Chapman (left) Stacey Schoppe (right) the right to lay him to rest in a Supreme Court judgement on Tuesday.
Chapman’s mother Suzanne Britt took the matter to court after her sons death, in a bitter legal battle over who had the right to organise his funeral.
Chapman’s ex-girlfriend Stacey Schoppe, who is also Martin’s stepdaughter, initially started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his funeral.
She raised thousands of dollars for his funeral but those plans were soon halted after Chapman’s mother, Suzanne Britt, took the matter of who had the right to organise his funeral to court.
Ms Schoppe took the case to the coroner who originally ruled in her favor before Ms Britt appealed the decision, with the matter hauled before the Supreme Court.
For the Supreme Court to rule in Ms Schoppe’s favor, she was required to prove to the judge that she was in a de facto relationship with Chapman before his death.
As part of her evidence, Ms Schoppe presented an affidavit stating the pair were expecting a child in late 2019, a baby he was excited for but they lost in a miscarriage.
Nick Martin (middle) pictured with his wife Amanda Martin (left) and daughter Stacey Schoppe (right). Martin was assassinated at the Perth Motorplex in December 2020. Chapman was caught in the crossfire during the assassination of Martin.
At the time of his death Chapman was employed as a FIFO worker despite being diagnosed with epilepsy, dying from a medical episode while working at Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert iron ore port in April, which is located approximately 1,500km north of Perth.
Ms Schoppe told the court she was only petitioning to organise Chapman’s funeral as she knew what he wanted, otherwise she would leave his body to his mother.
‘He did a lot of jail and spent a lot of time in misery and I just wanted him to have what he wanted for once,’ The West Australian heard in court.
Ms Britt’s lawyer, Stuart Shepherd, opposed Ms Schoppe’s view saying they had actually broken up in November 2021 and was staying in a hotel.
He said text messages in February to a young woman about finding a new home showed the pair had not reconciled months later.
A Supreme Court judge ultimately decided in favor of Chapman’s girlfriend on Tuesday ruling there was enough evidence that they were in a de facto relationship, with a major deciding factor being the pair had previously been expecting a child.
Mr Shepherd pointed out that Ms Schoppe said in her victim impact statement about Martin’s murder that their relationship ‘ended under the pressure’ that followed.
Justice Jeremy Curthoys ruled the fact that the pair planned to start a family together persuaded him to award in Ms Schoppe’s favor.
‘Mr Chapman was excited when he found out they were pregnant and devastated when Ms Schoppe miscarried, which indicated they did intend to create a family in a marriage-like relationship,’ he said.
He noted while there was a period between November and December last year the couple had split, it didn’t conclusively prove their relationship completely ended.