9 Oct 2013

Chopper Read dies after refusing liver transplant

8:45 pm on 9 October 2013

One of Australia's most notorious standover men and self-confessed hit-man Mark 'Chopper' Read has died.

The 58-year-old had been diagnosed with liver cancer last year, and died on Wednesday at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Read claimed to have killed 19 men - though he downgraded this to seven in an interview this year - but he was never convicted of a single murder.

In 1987 he shot and killed a man outside a St Kilda nightclub but was acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

Read spent nearly half his life in jail but made efforts to rehabilitate after he was released from a Tasmanian prison in the 1990s.

Read became a household name in Australia after the eponymous film Chopper, starring Eric Bana, became a cult hit.

Read contracted hepatitis C, reportedly during his time in prison, and refused a liver transplant, saying he did not deserve it.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.