A young man who fell victim to a violent Apex gang carjacking has tearfully called on the government to deport the ringleader, saying his upbringing ‘isn’t an excuse’.
Daniel Sibberas was sitting in the passenger seat of his friend Sam Newman’s car on their way home from a Melbourne bar in 2015 when they were rammed from behind.
When the pair, who were both teenagers at the time, got out to inspect the damage a group of African youths jumped out of a stolen BMW wielding sawn-off shotguns.
The attack left Mr Newman so traumatised he took his own life just months later.
Now, with the government struggling to deport the Sudanese-born gangster who led the shocking attack, Mr Sibberas says he believes a stance should be taken to send a message to refugees.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Mail Australia, he said: ‘You need to realise how lucky you are’.
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Isaac Gatkuoth, an alleged Apex gang ringleader, spent 16-months in a youth jail and had his visa automatically cancelled as a result of the attack.
But the 20-year-old has since appealed against his deportation, something his victim Mr Sibberas told Daily Mail Australia needed to be stopped.
‘It’s all about getting harder laws, they can’t just take it easy because they’re worried to offend a minority,’ Mr Sibberas said.
‘The thing with Isaac saying “I was on ice, I didn’t sleep for two weeks”… sure (but) it’s not an excuse.
‘You see people come from a third world country who are so happy and appreciative to be here and they want to work and they’re amazing at what they do.
‘But then you see young kids who just take it for granted and push the boundaries to a point where they cause trouble.’
In the months after Mr Sibberas and his best friend were attacked, the pair met with one of the youths who was inside the stolen car.
Having agreed to the meeting for their attackers rehabilitation, Mr Sibberas said they were delivered a kick in the teeth when he re-offended only months later.
‘Everybody deserves a second chance but it’s when they repeat offend you have to point towards sending them back home,’ he said.
‘It’s on the verge of getting real nasty again in Melbourne, it feels like it’s going to go one of two ways.
‘Either it’s going to fizzle out and become nothing, or it’s going to be on again.’
Mr Sibberas’ decision to speak out comes just a week after his mother told Daily Mail Australia her son was too frightened to stay in Melbourne and was planning a move overseas.
Shelley Sibberas said that while the African thug who attacked them didn’t pull the trigger on that night, he essentially took the lives of two young boys anyway.
‘Daniel relives Sam’s death everyday. The day Sam took his own life was the day I lost a part of my son,’ she tearfully said.
‘My son’s leaving the country in August because he can’t handle it anymore. I’m now losing him and it’s not fair, it’s all because of this stupid idiot.
‘He’s scared to go out now in case any of that kid’s friends recognise him and attack him again.’
The shocking carjacking attack wasn’t the only one to be committed by members of the Apex gang in that stolen BMW.
Amanda Matheson, 47, died after her vehicle was struck head-on by the same luxury car as it hurtled down the wrong side of the road three days later.
The mother-of-three died in hospital three days after the attack. A 15-year-old boy at the wheel of the stolen car was jailed for three years in 2016.
Gatkuoth has previously denied being a member of the Apex gang, with supporters of his online saying his ‘hellish upbringing’ had contributed to his crime spree.
A petition aiming to ‘stop the Australian government deporting Issac Gatkuoth’ was backed by 602 people when set up last year.
‘Issac Gatkuoth came to Australia as a nine-year old child refugee. He “endured a hellish, parentless upbringing in Sudan”,’ the petition read.
‘He hasn’t seen his mother since he was five years old, his two brothers were killed when his village was “wiped out”.’
But according to Mr Sibberas, while his story is an unfortunate one, there’s no way it can be an excuse for violent behaviour that eventually cost his best friend’s life.
‘As kids we always had clothes on our back, food in your lunchbox and school to go to… and later in life you realise how lucky you were,’ he said.
‘These kids didn’t have that yet they’re still mistreating it – it can’t be allowed to go on.’