After almost forty years, justice has finally been done in the infamous case of the “Family Court bombings”.
On 23 July 2020, Leonard John Warwick was found guilty of murdering a judge and two other people in a series of shootings and bombings targeting the Family Court in the early 1980s.
The attacks occurred during a bitter custody dispute between Warwick and his ex-wife. They include the shooting of a judge out the front of his home, the bombing of two other judges’ homes, the bombing of the Family Law Court building at Parramatta and the bombing of the Casula Jehovah’s Witness hall.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter Garling, who oversaw the case, said the following:
Between 1980 and 1985, the Family Court of Australia, its judges and a practitioner were the targets of a number of episodes of extreme violence, each of which were well publicised and many of which had tragic consequences.
This was a distinct period of violent offending against judicial officers of the same registry of the same court in a way not seen before in any court in Australia, let alone concentrated in one registry of an Australian court.
This was a horrific series of crimes committed against all lawyers and against the legal system. Justice Garling found that each of the targeted judges had made decisions that adversely impacted the killer.
At Martin Bullock Lawyers, we have a special relationship with this case. Greg Martin has worked in and around Parramatta for many years and has done lots of work in the Family Court.
For those of you who have visited our office, you may recognise the photograph above – our current office building is built on the site of the old Family Court, which was destroyed by the bombings.
A plaque in the Garfield Barwick Building, the new location of the Family Court in Parramatta, commemorates the attacks and those who died whilst serving the court.
Let us hope that nothing like this ever happens again.
For more information about the case and its verdict, have a read of this Sydney Morning Herald article.
We know family law and we know its risks. Your safety is important. The safety of your family and friends is too. If you feel unsafe or need legal advice, seek help. Call Greg Martin on 02 9687 9322.