The terrifying inside story of how an innocent dad was tortured and killed by a group of chainsaw-wielding ‘paedophile hunters’ – after his wife falsely accused him of molesting her daughters

A ruthless gang of drug-fuelled vigilantes menaced an innocent father with a chainsaw while trying to force a confession out of him for crimes he did not commit, in a brutal torture and murder that shocked Australia.

  • Bradley Lyons’ final hours alive were caught on CCTV
  • Mr Lyons was tortured and murdered by Albert Thorn
  • Thorn had been the leader of vigilante gang 
  • Mr Lyons was falsely accused of being a paedophile
  • Thorn’s co-accused were found not guilty of murder 

Father-of-eight Bradley ‘BJ’ Lyons was tortured and executed after being betrayed by his meth-addled wife Jana Hooper, who falsely accused him of sexually assaulting her daughters.

Video obtained by Daily Mail Australia shows Hooper leading her husband to his death after ‘giving the nod’ for thugs to enter their house in Lakes Entrance, in Victoria’s east, and attack him.

Final moments of vigilant victim’s life caught on camera

CCTV captured from a neighbour’s property showed Mr Lyons follow his wife into their home blissfully unaware of the horrors about to befall him.

He would not be seen alive again after being stuffed into the boot of his soon-to-be killer’s car and driven away.

‘The cat’s in the bag,’ Albert Thorn told the girlfriend of his co-accused Jordan Bottom, who along with Rikki Smith was found not guilty last week of Mr Lyons’ murder.

Jessica MacFarlane, the then-girlfriend of Bottom, had been living in a caravan with him on Thorn’s Nyerimilang farm when he arrived with Mr Lyons still trapped in the boot of his car.

Ms McFarlane told the Supreme Court of Victoria jury Thorn had claimed to have had Mr Lyons trapped in the car’s boot for up to 21 hours under the baking summer sun.

Thorn, 57, was found guilty this month of the torture, imprisonment and murder of Mr Lyons. 

‘I walked over to the car that was parked under the tree, and tapped on the boot, and ah, I heard someone scream in the back of the car,’ Ms McFarlane told the jury. 

Asked what she heard, Ms McFarlane provided a chilling response. 

‘Get me out of here, or kill me now,’ she said. 

Thorn had been the leader of a vigilante gang with a very specific hatred for paedophiles. 

Bradley Lyons’ wife Jana Hooper falsely told a meth-addicted group of so-called ‘paedophile hunters’ that her husband had impregnated her daughter
Albert Thorn shot the innocent dad in the knee and the back of the head after he was forced to dig his own grave
Bush burial site of Bradley Lyons

Such was Thorn’s hatred for paedophiles, he tattooed the gang’s name, Australian Freedom Fighters, across his entire back and posted photographs to Facebook. 

It had been spurious intel provided by Hooper, who shared three biological children with Lyons, that lit Thorn’s fuse. 

In December 2018, Hooper told Thorn she believed Mr Lyons was the father of her 16-year-old daughter’s child and had also made her 14-year-old daughter pregnant. 

The court heard it was a straight-out lie. 

On Sunday, December 2, 2018, Thorn and his gang raided Mr Lyons’ home in what was supposed to be an idiotic attempt to beat a confession out of him.

Aided by another mate, Alec Harvey, and Thorn’s drug-addled lieutenant, Nicholas Stefani, the men ran into Mr Lyons’ bedroom and each punched him in the face and head.

Jordan Bottom lived in a caravan (pictured) on Thorn’s property
Mr Lyons was strapped to a massage table in a shed at the top of this image where he was tortured

Harvey struck him with a metal pole and Smith lashed out while holding a cigarette lighter between his fingers as a knuckle duster. 

Stefani forced the barrel of the shotgun into Mr Lyons’ mouth and threatened to kill him if he didn’t confess to the sexual assault allegations.

CCTV shows Harvey and Smith run from the home, with Smith falling out of the getaway vehicle driven by yet another mate, Jayden Ball.

Mr Lyons was eventually dragged out of the boot of Thorn’s car to an old shed on his property where things went from bad to worse for the terrified dad.

The court heard Thorn was giddy with excitement.

‘I could see Bert getting really turned on and getting some sort of pleasure from this,’ Ms MacFarlane told the jury.

What happened next is not exactly clear through the cloudy haze of meth-induced accounts that followed. 

One account had the men sawing Mr Lyons’ hand off. 

The jury was told only 93 per cent of Mr Lyons’ skeleton was recovered, with both feet, bones from his hands and a neck bone missing 

CCTV shows Harvey and Smith run from the home, with Smith falling out of the getaway vehicle driven by yet another mate, Jayden Ball.

What is clear is that Mr Lyons was subjected to hideous torture that left him on the brink of life. 

During Stefani’s sentence in December over his role in the crime, the court heard a chainsaw was among the gang’s torture tools. 

‘A chainsaw was held over his head to make him talk, he was punched, hot water from a kettle was poured on him, and Deep Heat was put on his body,’ the court heard.

Stefani later told one of Hooper’s own daughters that at the farm, a chainsaw had been held over Mr Lyons and that they kept making him ‘piss himself’. 

‘You said that you and others had held a chainsaw over Lyons’ head trying to get him to confess, and that he had been made to piss himself,’ Justice Andrew Tinney said.

‘You said to one of the girls that it was your expectation that before the end of the night, Lyons would have the tattoos of the girls’ names cut off him and would “be a few knuckles down”.

‘You told one of the girls that it made you sick what you “had to do”.’

When they were done, by all accounts without having extracted a confession, Mr Lyons was stuffed back into the boot of Thorn’s car. 

With towels taped around his head and his hands bound, Thorn, Smith and Bottom drove out into the wilderness along a dirt track near Double Bridges. 

There Mr Lyons was made to wait while a shallow grave was dug. 

When it was ready, Thorn blasted Mr Lyons in the leg with a .410 shotgun cartridge. 

On his knees, another shot was put into the back of his skull. 

Bottom would later lead police to the burial site, which had a large log dragged over it. 

A single shotgun cartridge remained at the scene. 

The court heard the men had celebrated their crime, holding a party at Thorn’s property in which Mr Lyons’ own wife and children attended.

‘It looked like they were celebrating,’ Ms MacFarlane told the jury.

‘Jana was drinking, but I thought – it was a bottle of whiskey or something and they were (cheering), like – yep.’

Hooper was jailed last year for seven-and-a-half years and will be eligible for parole after serving just four-and-a-half. 

Smith, 26, and Bottom, 25, were found not guilty of Mr Lyons’ murder, but the pair were found guilty of his assault and false imprisonment.

Thorn will face a pre-sentence hearing later this year.

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