Although Koby was prosecuted, he didn’t pull the trigger. So, why did he face charges?
**CONTENT WARNING: This article details about murder and references sexual assault.**
What Happened to Bra Boy, Tony Hines?
The Abberton brothers — Jai, Sunny, Koby and Dakota — are the founding members of the notorious surfer gang the Bra Boys, who hail from Maroubra in Sydney.
In 2003, the eldest of the four brothers, Jai, shot fellow member and standover man, Tony Hines, in the head several times.
After killing him, he then threw Tony off a Maroubra Beach cliff where his naked body was later found.
Almost immediately, Jai admitted to the crime and was charged, telling police that he had “no choice” because he believed that Tony was going to rape his girlfriend and then kill them both.
“I had to do it,” he told police after his arrest.
But Jai wasn’t the only person charged in relation to the shooting. His younger brother Koby was also charged with perverting the course of justice and being an accessory to murder. The second charge was dropped before court proceedings.
What Happened During the Murder Trial of Tony Hines?
During the trial, Tony was depicted as a jealous maniac who bashed his girlfriend and attacked anyone who associated with her.
The defence barrister, Graham Turnbull, said: “I expect that the evidence will show that Anthony Gerard Hines was known widely – and in fact he encouraged this knowledge – as a violent man, a standover man and a rapist.”
At the time, Koby also famously declared he’d rather “die” before serving a long jail term.
“I’ll die before I go to jail for ten years,” he told surfing magazine Waves. “My spirit’s free.”
Jai remained in custody for 21 months before a jury acquitted him of the charges after only 90 minutes of deliberation on the grounds that the then-29-year-old was acting in self-defence.
However, Koby was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in 2005, receiving a nine-month suspended sentence in relation to the shooting.
He lost a number of lucrative surfing endorsements following the court’s decision.
Why Was the Bra Boys Film Made?
The Bra Boys became so notorious after the murder of Tony, that Koby’s brother Sunny decided to capitalise on the public interest surrounding the gang. He wrote and co-directed a feature-length film Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker Than Water, alongside fellow gang member Macario De Souza.
Russell Crowe narrated the film, which premiered in 2007 and featured 49 well-known surfers from the Bra Boys, including Richie ‘Vas’ Vaculik, Evan Faulks. Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater and surfing legends Mark Occhilupo, Bruce Irons, and Laird Hamilton were also featured in the award-winning film.
The film shot the Bra Boys to international stardom after they attended the premiere in Hollywood, introducing the Abberton brothers to a world of celebrity.
Koby partied with Lindsay Lohan and heiress Paris Hilton, who he was previously photographed teaching to surf in Malibu in 2007.
The Bra Boys were so well-known, they also became the real-life inspiration behind Home and Away’s resident gang, the River Boys.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line on 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or head toThe Australian Human Rights Commission for a list of state by state resources.
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