Ex-partner of Bandidos bikie Ricky Chapman wins the right to bury him, ahead of his mother
Ex-partner of Bandidos cyclist who died on a mining site wins right to bury him in place of his mother after bitter lawsuit between the two women
- Ricky Chapman, 32, died after a medical episode at work on April 20
- His girlfriend, Stacey Schoppe, has been given permission to organize his funeral
- His mother, Suzy Britt, twice appealed rulings granting her rights to his remains
The story over who will bury ex-Bandido Ricky Chapman has successfully ended with his ex-girlfriend after judges said further delaying his funeral was an ‘insult’ to the dignity of the dead.
Ricky Chapman died nine weeks ago, on April 20, after a medical episode while on duty at the Port of Rio Tinto in Cape Lambert, 1,500 km north of Perth.
His death sparked a series of bitter legal battles over who would bury the 32-year-old Chapman between his mother, Suzy Britt, and his ex-partner Stacey Schoppe, who represented himself everywhere.
The saga over who will bury ex-Bandido Ricky Chapman has come to an end with his ex-girlfriend, Stacey Schoppe (pictured), after judges said further delaying his funeral was an ‘insult’ to the dead man’s dignity
Chapman (above) died while working at the port of Rio Tinto in Cape Lambert, 1,500 miles north of Perth, while his girlfriend told the court he had suffered several seizures in the run-up to the case
Chapman was diagnosed with epilepsy and worked closely with doctors to treat his condition just days before his sudden death, the court heard.
Chapman died 16 months after surviving being hit by the same assassin bullet that killed rebel boss Nick Martin’s in Perth Motorplex in December 2020.
Mrs. Schoppe, of Perth, paid for Chapman’s funeral in advance and claimed her plans for his funeral were in accordance with Chapman’s wishes.
Ms Schoppe has been given final permission to hold a funeral for her ex-partner, Ricky Chapman
His death sparked a series of bitter legal battles over who would bury the 32-year-old Chapman between his mother, Suzy Britt (pictured) and his ex-partner Schoppe
Ms Britt, from Adelaide, challenged two previous court rulings granting Ms Schoppe permission to conduct Chapman’s funeral and took the case to the WA Court of Appeal.
Part of her appeal was that Chapman’s cultural roots should be taken into account when deciding on his funeral.
Mrs Britt’s family is made up of Aboriginal people from the Kaurna nation of South Australia.
She lost that appeal before three judges on Friday, but made one last attempt to uphold the decision as her legal team weighed up an appeal to the High Court of Australia.
The appeals court ruled that there was insufficient reason not to allow Ms Schoppe to administer Chapman’s estate or arrange the funeral.
Previously, Ms Britt’s team produced text messages indicating that Ms Schoppe and Chapman were not dating when he died.
She disputed this saying, although they broke up, they were also reunited and in a long-term relationship.
“We just want to be able to free him the way he wanted,” said Mrs. Schoppe.
It was noted that Mrs. Schoppe had also offered to share Chapman’s remains with his mother
Ms Schoppe said she and Chapman started an actual relationship in 2019 and she was pregnant with him
It was noted that Mrs. Schoppe had also offered to share Chapman’s remains with his mother.
After Judges Graeme Murphy, Robert Mitchell and Andrew Beech delivered their verdict, they rejected Ms Britt’s application at the last minute because the delay had already been too long and that waiting any longer was an ‘insult’ to his dignity.
While acknowledging Chapman’s indigenous roots, they found that ‘he has no lasting connection to South Australia and wished that his remains be disposed of in the manner suggested by Mrs Schoppe’.
While the WA Court of Appeal recognized Chapman’s indigenous roots, they found that he had no lasting connection to South Australia, where his mother’s family came from.
The WA Court of Appeals heard testimony from Ms. Schoppe that she was the only person to visit him in prison after he violated his parole for riding bicycles.
Mrs. Schoppe was given the right to take Chapman’s remains after he died, but Mrs. Britt appealed.
Justice Curthoys ruled in the younger woman’s favor, accepting that she had been in an actual relationship with Chapman since 2019 when she was pregnant with his child.
She eventually miscarried.