There were no motorbikes, no club colours, at the funeral of Mahmoud ‘Mick’ Hawi on Tuesday. That was how the Comanchero boss’ family wanted it. The tense, tearful farewell was instead about the 37-year-old’s faith, his friends and, of course, his family.
His two young children, now fatherless, and his wife of 15 years, Carolina Gonzales, a widow.
The southern Sydney man was murdered in broad daylight on February 15, shot in the face and chest while sitting in his luxury 4WD outside a Rockdale gym shortly after midday. The two masked gunman fled on foot, before climbing into a grey Mercedes-Benz wagon. The car was later found alight in a nearby street, but the assailants remain at large.
In the hours after her husband's death, Gonzales' thoughts were on her family, the one she had created with Hawi and the one they had planned.
Within a day, she filed an urgent application with the NSW Supreme Court to have his sperm posthumously extracted. As court documents reveal, Gonzales "desired, and still desires, to have a child from [Hawi] in the near future".
Under the advice of a urologist, it was submitted that, for any hope of success, the retrieval procedure must take place within 36 hours of the time of death. The coroner agreed, investigating police agreed, and ultimately so did the judge.
The Supreme Court ordered the State Coronor to make Hawi's body available to Gonzales' urologist for collection of the sample, and authorised police to be attendance during the process.
That sample will now be stored until the widow makes an application to use it.
To Gonzales, her husband was "the love of [her] life", loving father. "Only I, his close friends and family know how truly beautiful his heart was," she wrote on Facebook.
Because to the outside world, Hawi was the bikie boss, the convicted killer.
The Lebanese-born man was among those jailed over the 2009 killing of Anthony Zervas, an associate of rival motorcycle Club, Hells Angels. Zervas was bludgeoned to death with a bollard during a brawl in the arrivals terminal at Sydney domestic airport.
Hawi was originally sentenced to 28 years in prison for murder, but in 2014 the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal overturned his conviction and he was released on bail. He then plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter for which he received a six-year term and was promptly released with time served.
On the day of the ruling, Gonzales shared her joy on Facebook: "This is a blessing for my children," she wrote.
"For children to live without a father is heartbreaking."