‘The Punisher’ could get $160,000 payout after losing court case

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Taxpayers could be liable for a payout of up to $160,000 to professional kickboxer and former bikie Suleiman ‘Sam’ Abdulrahim despite him losing a court fight for compensation.

Supreme Court Justice John Dixon is calling on the attorney-general’s office to consider a voluntary payment to Abdulrahim, who fights under the boxing name The Punisher, after finding the revoking of his parole was unjust, but not unlawful.

Sulieman ‘Sam’ Abdulrahim outside court on Monday with wife Chloe Wakim Abdulrahim.Credit: AAP

On Monday, Dixon dismissed Abdulrahim’s attempt to sue the Adult Parole Board, finding his further time behind bars was lawful, but noted the Corrections Act had “permitted an injustice” to occur.

Dixon found Abdulrahim was unjustly “deprived of various privileges” when his parole was revoked in 2019, and he spent 72 days in custody, 35 of them in solitary confinement.

The judge directed his reasons be sent to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes, with a recommendation that she “consider making an ex-gratia payment” to Abdulrahim, a former Mongols bikie club member.

This, Dixon flagged, could top $160,000.

Abdulrahim at court in May.Credit: Jason South

Abdulrahim, 31, had been attempting to sue the Adult Parole Board for damages, claiming he suffered a psychiatric injury when his parole was revoked on safety grounds following a string of public shootings.

Abdulrahim was jailed for three years and three months, with a non-parole period of two years, after pleading guilty to culpable driving over a crash in which Muriel Hullet, 88, was killed and her daughter seriously injured in Reservoir in 2015.

Abdulrahim was released on parole in March 2019, but Dixon found that through “no wrongdoing” of his own, the kickboxer was re-arrested in June after police intelligence suggested he was the suspected target in a string of shootings.

“The board considered that the safety and protection of the community was paramount,” Dixon said.

The scene of the fatal high-speed crash in Reservoir that Abdulrahim was involved in. Credit: Nine News

Abdulrahim appealed the parole board’s decision and, in August 2019, Justice Paul Coghlan ordered his immediate release. Coghlan found there was nothing that authorised the parole board to act on the information of third parties.

The 31-year-old later survived being shot to the upper body eight times after being set upon while leaving his cousin’s funeral at Fawkner cemetery in June 2022.

The shooting came five days after the birth of Abdulrahim’s daughter and left him with a bullet in his right kidney.

Abdulrahim’s legal team had argued he should be awarded damages for the deprivation of liberty and psychiatric harm caused by the parole revocation.

Abdulrahim boxes professionally under the name The Punisher.

In May, Abdulrahim told the court the time he had spent behind bars, rather than the attempt on his life, had damaged him and left him untrusting of the authorities.

“Sometimes it feels like too much,” he said.

Lawyers for the state, the parole board or the secretary of the Department of Justice had argued Abdulrahim’s imprisonment was lawful and that neither of the three parties could be directly sued.

Abdulrahim attended Monday’s judgment alongside his wife Chloe.

Dixon found that while the board’s decision to revoke parole was unlawful, the warrant which held him in custody was not, and dismissed the case.

“Had I been required to assess the plaintiff’s damages claim, I would have assessed the … general damages to lie in the range of $140,000-$160,000,” Dixon wrote.

Abdulrahim’s legal team and the attorney-general’s office have been contacted for comment.

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