John Odisho: Footballer shot during Five Dock robbery

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Details of the attempted “drug rip” robbery that resulted in the death of a promising young footballer have emerged in court.

On April 2, 2019, around 3.45am, two men entered a first floor apartment in Sydney’s Five Dock, climbing over a balcony and entering through an unlocked sliding door into the living room.

By the time they left, 16 shots had been fired and one of the unit’s occupants, 24-year-old John Odisho, was dead from a bullet wound to the head.

Shortly before his death, Mr Odisho had signed with Parramatta FC to play in the NSW NPL 3, prompting an outpouring of grief from the local community at the news of his death.

One of the gunmen, Cengiz Coskun, and the alleged mastermind behind the robbery, Cem Batak, were both found guilty earlier this year of murder and attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Batak was found guilty of being an accessory before the fact on both of the charges.

They faced separate sentence hearings at the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.

John Odisho’s girlfriend Larissa Mitchell‑Wiszniewski was with him during the terrifying ordeal and had a gun held to her head by one of the intruders.

The unit’s other occupant, Sargon Odisho, was shot in the shoulder during the exchange and was later found guilty himself of supplying a large commercial quantity of cocaine and weapons charges.

During Coskun’s hearing, Crown lawyer Sally Traynor explained the shot that killed John Odisho was fired through a door as Coskun and his accomplice, who has never been identified, attempted to gain access to the bedroom where the drugs were being kept.

“John and Sargon had retreated to that room,” she told the court.

“(The fatal shot) was fired for the purpose of entering into the bedroom and getting the drugs and money.”

The court was also told that within the apartment was more than $500,000 worth of cocaine, which a wounded Sargon Odisho managed to hide in a portable barbecue before emergency services arrived.

He had resisted the intruders from within the bedroom, unloading six rounds from a .38 calibre revolver he kept in the apartment.

During the exchange, one of the intruders fired 10 shots from a handgun, striking John Odisho in the head and killing him.

As the intruders fled empty-handed back over the balcony, someone from within the unit yelled at them, “you f***ing killed him bra, you f***ing killed him”.

Ms Mitchell‑Wiszniewski then called triple-0, telling them, “Oh my god I don’t know, someone just said he got shot in the head. I’m gonna pass out.”

Coskun received a wound to his left torso during the bungled robbery and afterwards drove himself directly to Auburn Hospital where he was tracked down and questioned by police.

Following Coskun’s arrest for murder, detectives turned their sights on identifying the others involved, setting up Batak’s phone, home and car with wire taps.

The tapes would later play a crucial part in establishing Batak’s role in the robbery and murder.

He was heard boasting about the robbery, which he said he initially had planned to take part in, pulling out at the last minute due to having an upset stomach.

“I had to chuck a sh*t, I could not hold it. We were getting everything ready and I had to chuck a sh*t,” Batak told a friend on one of the tapes.

Batak told the court during his hearing that it was Coskun’s idea to rob the apartment after a friend told him it was an easy target since the occupants were using drugs and “smacking out”.

According to Batak, he tried to talk Coskun out of the robbery and was shocked to hear about it on the radio the next day in the context of a “shooting in Five Dock”.

“I said you shouldn’t go. You don’t know nothing about that place,” Batak claimed.

During his hearing, Batak admitted to storing a bag of guns and organising the sale of stolen car parts for Coskun but said he now regretted their association.

“Looking back now I can see how stupid it was to ever be friends with someone like that,” Batak said.

Batak maintains his innocence despite a jury finding he supplied Coskun with one of the guns and planned the robbery.

During Batak’s initial trial, Crown prosecutors alleged that he was known in Sydney for planning “drug rips”, which he disputed.

Batak’s sentence hearing was scheduled to continue on Tuesday.

Originally published as Inside ‘drug rip’ robbery that left footballer John Odisho dead


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