A courtroom sketch of Thomas Walter Bradley, who pleaded not guilty to murdering his parents in 2012.
A courtroom sketch of Thomas Walter Bradley, who pleaded not guilty to murdering his parents in 2012.

Killer who stabbed parents to death to be released

A MAN who stabbed both his parents to death with a hunting knife in Coconut Grove could be released from custody next month following a review of his supervision order in the Supreme Court.

Thomas Walter Bradley, 48, pleaded not guilty to murdering Bill and Hilary Bradley due to mental impairment in 2012 and was given a 25-year custodial supervision order.

At the time, then Chief Justice Trevor Riley found Bradley suffered from a "chronic delusional disorder" causing him to believe his parents wanted him to kill them because their religion prevented them from doing it themselves.

"Bradley was so far from being able to reason as a normal person … that he in fact believed what he was doing was right and that it was what his parents were pleading (for) him to do," he said.

"He misinterpreted their gestures, comments and behaviour - reading irrational meaning into them to come to these conclusions."

But in a review of Bradley's incarceration in January, Chief Justice Michael Grant said fresh psychiatric reports now recommended the order be amended to allow him out into the community.

Chief Justice Grant said the psychiatrists' transition plan recommended Bradley be released into supported accommodation at Banksia House.

"It seems to be that these (reports) effectively recommend variation to a non-custodial supervision order on the 15th of March, 2020 or when a permanent bed's available," he said.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Matt Nathan SC indicated further reports on Bradley's progress on day release and a risk assessment would be required before the Crown could support the variation.

Mr Nathan said while Bradley had a brother who would be notified before his release, prosecutors had not yet made contact with him.

"Until there is a recommendation from the treating psychiatrist and indeed a second report (as required by law), ordinarily we don't seek the views (of next of kin)," he said.

NT Government counsel, Cindy McGrath, said there was currently a bed available at Banksia House should the court grant Bradley's release next month.

Bradley's lawyer, Suzan Cox QC, did not object to the hearing being adjourned until a date later than the 15th, saying "We're not in a hurry for this but we do want it to work".

If released from custody, Bradley would remain under supervision.

The matter returns to court on March 17.