Leonard Warwick On Trial Over Four Murders, Bombings
Warwick pleaded not guilty 24 times to 21 charges and 3 alternative charges.
Leonard Warwick is accused of one of Sydney's most notorious crime sprees.
Four murders, including the fatal shooting of a judge, and several deadly bombings targeting two other judges’ homes, The Family Court of Australia in Parramatta and a church hall.
And on Tuesday -- 38 years since it started -- he went on trial, pleading not guilty 24 times to 21 charges and 3 alternative charges.
Crown Prosecutor Ken McKay told the court Warwick was motivated by what he would view as adverse findings against him in family court proceedings.
He'd appeared before each of the three Family Court judges targeted during a bitter family court custody and property battle with his ex wife.
“It involved extreme violence, targeted violence and where a person was targeted, it’s the crown’s case... (there was) an intent to kill,” McKay said.
Dressed in a khaki jacket and resting his glasses on the bench in front of him, Warwick listened closely as the Crown read out the case against him.
He’s accused of shooting dead his brother in law in 1980. His body was found in a creek at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park -- he’d been shot in the head with a point 22 calibre firearm.
Four months later the judge presiding over his custody case was killed. David Opas was shot in the stomach at his Woollahra home, again with a point 22 calibre firearm.
In 1984 a second judge Richard Gee was targeted when a bomb went off outside his home. He was injured but survived.
A short time later in April there was another explosion - this time at the Parramatta Family Court of Australia, which caused extensive damage.
Three months later Pearl Watson, the wife of judge Ray Watson died when a bomb exploded as she opened the front door of their Greenwich home.
Despite the Prime Minister of the time, Bob Hawke and Premier Nevill Wran, setting up a taskforce to find the perpetrator, the violence did not stop.
The biggest blast in 1985- targetted 130 worshippers, including 25 children,at a Jehovah's witness church hall. One man, Graham Wilkes died and a further 13 parishioners were badly injured.
The Crown said a few days before the blast, parishioners had found a smashed window and blood on the carpet.
“DNA testing has matched that blood as consistent with the accused’s DNA,” McKay said.
“One person was responsible for all events -- it’s the Crown’s case it is the accused."
The trial has been set down for six months.