Twist in bitter feud to bury dead bikie who died suddenly at work months after he he was hit by an assassin’s bullet – as his mum appeals court decision to release the Bandido’s body to his girlfriend
- Ricky Chapman, 32, died after suffering a medical episode at work on April 20
- His girlfriend, Stacey Schoppe, began arranging funeral Chapman’s funeral
- His mother, Suzanne Britt, took Ms Schoope to court over custody of the remains
- Ms Schoppe was granted custody of Chapman’s remains but Ms Britt appealed
The mother of a Bandidos bikie enforcer is continuing to fight for her son’s remains after his long-term girlfriend claimed he wanted her in charge of his funeral.
Ricky Chapman, 32, died on April 20 after suffering a medical episode while working at Rio Tinto’s port in Cape Lambert, 1,500km north of Perth.
Since his death his mother, Suzanne Britt, and girlfriend, Stacey Schoppe, have been locked in a battle for his remains and the right to hold his funeral.
Former Bandidos bikie enforcer Ricky Chapman (above) 32, died on April 20 after suffering a medical episode while working at Rio Tinto’s port in Cape Lambert, 1,500km north of Perth
Chapman’s girlfriend Stacey Schoppe (above) initially started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his funeral before Chapman’s mother, Suzanne Britt, filed to take custody of his remains
Last week Ms Schoppe was granted permission to organise Chapman’s funeral by a Supreme Court judge, The West reports.
The court heard Chapman and Ms Schoppe had been in a ‘marriage-like’ relationship and had once been expecting a child together.
However, Chapman’s mother, Ms Britt, filed an appeal the following day to release Chapman’s body into her custody and give her the authority to organise his funeral.
The urgent appeal hearing has been set for next week.
Suzanne Britt (above) has said there is no proof Ms Schoppe and Chapman were in a ‘marriage-like’ de facto relationship and is seeking permission to organise Chapman’s funeral
The Office of the State Coroner has been listed as a party in the case despite already ruling in Ms Schoppe’s favour.
Chapman’s death came just 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.
Ms 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 (right) and Chapman (left) began dating in late 2019 but Ms Britt said they had been broken up for some five months when her son died
Chapman did not have a will at the time of his death.
Ms Schoppe and Chapman began dating in late 2019 but Ms Britt said they had been broken up for some five months when her son died.
Ms Britt said there was no evidence the couple had been in a ‘marriage-like’ de facto relationship before Chapman’s death and alleges they broke up in November, 2021.
She said Chapman had at one point been staying at the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough without Ms Schoppe.
Chapman (above) died while working at Rio Tinto’s port in Cape Lambert, 1,500km north of Perth after suffering a medical episode, just days after he sought medical treatment for epilepsy
Ms Schoppe wrote in a victim impact statement her relationship with Chapman had ‘ended under the pressure’ of a shooting that killed her stepfather, Martin.
Ms Schoppe responded to these claims with a sworn affidavit stating she was in a de facto relationship with Chapman and he had been ‘excited’ to be a father before she lost their child in a miscarriage.
‘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,’ Justice Curthoys said.
He noted the couple may have broken up between November and December of last year but that didn’t mean the relationship completely ended.
Ms Schoppe said it was Chapman’s wish that she arranged his funeral and was granted custody of his remains by the Supreme Court before Ms Britt’s appeal
Ms Schoppe told the court she would be honouring Chapman’s wish by arranging his funeral.
‘I’m only here because Ricky told me what he wanted, otherwise I would be happy for him to go to his mum,’ she said.
‘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.’