Derek Bromley granted parole after 40 years

Andrew L. Urban

 Granting Derek Bromley’s bail application on March 27, 2024, 40 years after his 1984 murder conviction, parole board chair Frances Nelson KC commented: “He continues to maintain his innocence. He’s entitled to do that, it’s not for us to retry the issue.” Nor was it for South Australia’s appeal court to do to retry the issue, but they did in June 2018 – flouting the law, according to legal academics. 

Not only was the appeal court in error in 2018, but when Bronley sought leave to appeal his conviction at the High Court in December 2023, he was refused in a 3:2 decision, in what the court described as “an extraordinary judgement” – indeed, and it raised eyebrows. Bromley might well consider his wrongful conviction (we say) and his subsequent failed appeals a Guinness Book of Records example of the twisted quip: as one door shuts another slams in your face. (For full details about the case, please refer to the Derek Bromley section in our menu on the right.)

As the High Court judges said, it’s very unusual for the court to give written reasons for a leave to appeal application, “extensive written reasons, over 120 pages,” noted Flinders University legal academic Dr Bob Moles. “It’s also very unusual to have a split decision on such a key issue with three of the five judges deciding that the grounds are not made out,” Justices Stanley, Nicholson and Peek decided.

the Manock factor

“But Justices Edelman and Steward – some very well-known and highly respected judges of the High Court – were both very clear. They said that leave should have been granted; that the appeal should have been allowed; that it was in fact a substantial miscarriage of justice – and they further said that the verdict of an acquittal should have been entered! And so, it’s three in favour of the status quo, as it were – and two of them making it very clear that this was, in fact, a wrongful conviction and Bromley should have been acquitted.

“Given the views of the dissenting judges, along with the other important evidence not yet presented as part of the appeal process, there is still hope of a successful outcome in due course,” added Moles. Appeal attempts continue, to clear his name.

Derek Bromley (2009)

Bromley has always maintained his innocence; his conviction depended to a considerable extent upon the evidence of Gary Carter, a schizophrenic who was having an episode at the relevant time. There was also the ‘Manock factor’ – the problem of the discredited state pathologist, Dr Colin Manock’s evidence. Bromley’s team argued that opinions presented to the jury by Manock as to the cause and manner of death were not based on any proper science and were totally wrong.

“[Bromley’s] institutional behaviour has been very good, we are convinced that he will not present a risk to the community if he is released on parole,” Nelson said. She said it was “uncommon” for someone to spend 40 years in prison before being granted parole. “It’s fair to say that it’s uncommon because most people do apply and are dealt with shortly after their non-parole period,” she said.

Bromley is expected to go to a pre-release centre in Adelaide to initially begin his parole.

Bromley is the second accused and (we say) wrongfully convicted of murder to be released on parole after a lengthy period in prison. In October 2022, Sue Neill-Fraser, convicted of the 2009 murder of her partner Bob Chappell, was granted parole after serving 14 years of her sentence in Hobart’s Risdon prison.


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29 Responses to Derek Bromley granted parole after 40 years

  1. Owen Allen says:

    I am shattered physically and mentally at this time; events just seem to keep on compiling. I have a civil duty and a duty to myself to write the story of Tasmania as I have coped and recovered to date. I was always shy and introverted, a loner any friends I made were loners too, and thats a sociological story in itself.
    I have been hospitalised recently and found there are genuinely caring people in society, in the medical and health profession, unlike some corrupt bueaucrats, judiciary, police and politicians, and I did not want to leave rehab and return to the world, where I believe, we should all carry a gun if we want to. 2 Drs murdered recently, a politician attempted home invasion, when is law and order going to be on the agenda. Hospital staff over worked and under paid. I am pissed off, I still have issues of bullyism to deal with, unchecked and allowed by cowardice in management. Hasn’t reached bureaucracy level yet, pvt enterprise.
    But I ask you for support. Should I write the book and blow the whistle on Tasmania, or should I pack up and piss off to Asia.

  2. Jerry says:

    As an aside. Is there a connection? The SA police murder of and aquittals,Dr George Duncan during that same time. 1980s.Was Manock used to fabricate an aquittal for the police and a convinction for Derek Bromley? One contributor to WCR described this police privilege as flexible forensics . While these sort of comments are flippantly amusing to a cave dweller, Dr George Duncan’s murder was a tragic,tragic event for his many friends and a victory for the police. Not unlike the police murder in SA of Ray Bailey and the Taspol saving from prosecution of their yacht thief murderer friends. The Tasmanian police didn’t even need Manocks help to hide and fabricate the DNA evidence. The DPP and judge were of enormous significance and assistance in the manipulation of the poor jury. It’s fascinating, police desire to ruin the lives of innocent citizens. Some cave dwellers would describe that attitude as “boofheadism”. Personally, I would describe it as a chvnt act.

  3. Linda Barry says:

    Conratulations and best wishes to Derek Bromley
    I would like to know who are these people who make these desicions to ruin peoples lives and why is it so difficult to look into cases and why it takes so long to get people aquitted of wrongful convictions.
    It is an absolute disgrace that this man has been locked up for 40 years
    I dont know how these so called intellegent people who have studied law sleep at night.
    I also believe that a jury should have a few independent people example law students perhaps making sure they are doing there job properly.
    I also think if a judge can see doubt in a case where a jury doesnt he should be allowed to over rule the case. Would save alot of time with appeals.
    This country is in desperate need of an independent review board and a good look into the justice system as there is no justice in so many cases.

    • Jerry says:

      Power corrupts .Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Ruining someone’s life gives that inner glow. Often, juries are treated with contempt. A jury can’t be trusted with those little secret discussions between the powerful. There is no evidence of blood in the dingy or in the Chamberlain’s Holden. SSSSHUSH. Bring in a Manock . Block any information a jury might ponder and then spoil the judges glow of judicial satisfaction. Choke on his Chardonnay. Study closely the victims despairing demeanour Fun fun ! 40 years of Manock satisfaction.

  4. I am so thrilled for Derek, his family and his supports………….the state of Operation of Law in Australia is absolutely offensive when the Crown might be held liable for damages as is the case for Derek and his family and Henry Keogh and his family as only two of the appalling state of affairs after the “Disgraceful Dr Colin Manock”

  5. Pv says:

    Happy Birthday to Me ! The 27th March gave Bromley parole and made me 75 years old. A landmark date for both of us. I cry for you. I failed 3 to 2 to get leave to appeal at High Court. Tom Molomby SC has looked at my submissions to the AG for a review. He said I should never have been charged on baseless tendency evidence, the case against me without such was weak or non existent , yet the CCA refused my appeal and the High court refused my leave to appeal. I am not guilty of anything. ! The 27th of march is memorable now because I’m so happy for Mr. Bromley. I was not celebrating that date otherwise because I’m now 13 years down the road from my conviction , I’ve lost my voice and I don’t know how much time is left in my life to right the wrong . Pv

  6. Jerry says:

    Is that the same Jonah in the book that lived in the whale? We better review his case.Everything we read in the bible, aint necessarily so. Some of those old yarns need a probability review commission. Such a commission would have surely prevented many a miscarriage of justice in Nineveh

    • Owen Allen says:

      Are you a cave dweller? Which societies developed over the centuries.
      Christian based societies all threw out men and women of vision, as Noah was, and the Ark is proven by science. Owen.

      • Jerry says:

        Derek Bromley was proven guilty by science Our dear leaders had enough faith in that science to deliver Derek 40 years in the Slammer It’s a scientific fact that all 8 billion earthlings have Noah’s DNA . How many Sheilas were on that love boat ? Noah was a busy boy and Collecting 2 eastern brown snakes. Actually Jonah was also bit of a mad bastard.(bit like Mannock).

        • Owen Allen says:

          I survived 7 months in Tasmania Risdon Maximum Security Prison in the hardest yard Jerry.
          From arrival in the prison I had one of the locals attempt to intimidate me into submission and hide in the protection yard. And I didn’t, and he played a shot locked in the showers trying to break my mind with fear; he was the latest celebrity murderer in the prison. I wasn’t attacked, he looked a fool. I know all about Tasmanian crime and corruption and I prayed every day to help me through. You, are just encouraging me more to write The Book, it will blow your mind the experience I had in Tasmania, and the suffering since, and still to now 30 years after I went there with my family for a career job. I know absolutely how corrupt Tasmanian judiciary, bureucracy, police and politicians are.
          Thanks Jerry, Owen.

          • Jerry says:

            Am seriously and genuinely pleased to further inspire your book,Owen . It seems a great pity that some books don’t get written,also a pity that some other books ever see the light of day. Unfortunately (maybe), a million stories die with many of us poor creatures. However, some of us wonder if blissfully ignorant wouldn’t be a happier state. We can presume that Derek Bromley will be gagged? 40 years in prison! A tale or two there? The Bathurst Prison riots inquiry found that the worst criminals in that prison were the warders. Read all about it! The bashings were fun. At least the drugs were relatively cheap and usually of good quality. It should be said that there are and have been some amazing people in prisons around the world. Not me. I was just a common old journeyman.Will Sue be permitted to tell her story one day ? Prison Warders are not usually impressed with being delivered men who have had the hell beaten out of them by the police. Demarcation? Have been reading much of the WCR.In some countries it would be shut down. So thanks Andrew (and you, Owen write of your experiences)

    • Jerry says:

      Probably should hold my tongue.(finger). A probability review commission would probably decided that it’s extremely probable that Meagan Vass described exactly the events on the Four Winds. Sue Neil-Fraser was not present. These probability reviewers would almost certainly find that it’s extremely probable that Meagan was threatened by interested corrupt police in the trade . What trade ? The probable drug loaded fire extinguisher trade. Well described by persons probably ( certainly) aware of this drug smuggling method. Probably protected by those with a probable (certain) financial interest. It’s also probable (certainly illegal) that every trial that Manock was involved with was a debacle of improbabilities.
      It’s also probable that those with an interest probably (certainly) knew that Manocks qualifications were qwap. It’s extremely improbable that the prosecution would ever inform a Jury involved that Manock was an expert in only one discipline. Quackery for the prosecuting police. Improbable behaviour in a decent society, Improbable, but true. Welcome to the Australian Justice System.
      You’ll probably rot in jail,no matter how Improbable your conviction. It seems Improbable that such a group of Improbable boofheads could climb to such heights.(of power in the courts). Talking about power and wealth. A full page add in our paper today, page 5 Week End Australian March 30 / 31. stated. “We buy anything from them and they don’t buy anything from us” China buys approximately $200 billion from Australia. 2023. What the hell has this got to do with our Australian Justice System. It’s to do with power,privilege and honesty amongst the the people with the power to stuff up your life. AKA. Sue and Derek and the multitude we read about in WCR.

      • Owen Allen says:

        Well said Jerry, and you do know the murderer on the yahct is related to a pimp whose book had the names of one hundred clients of the under age girl, whom provided service to the ex Glenorchy Mayor and Member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council, and the names were with held from the public. One could assume friends and connections of Terry Martin could have participated and could include politicians police and who who knows who. No wonder Tasmania ” is, as it is”, and nobody wants to clean it up. They squash outsiders before they gain a foothold of power and respect, case after case is on file. They, the Tasmanians rely on their integrated network in Federal Politics, national business and international connections. Their tentacles are global and they think they are invincible, and the locals cower, afraid of the police and the criminal families. And then there are the suburbanites buying and selling drugs funded by the Sandy Bay upper connected mob and so it goes around and around.
        The polical parties like police thugs that protect their interests, it was admitted to me by a political staffer. What chance do we have. None, if we remain silent. Thanks.

  7. Dieter Fischer says:

    Alleged child abuser, magistrate Peter Liddy was due for parole in 2019. He has also maintained his innocence. Instead of granting parole, the SA government made legislation to keep him behind bars indefinitely. There must have also a media blackout imposed. Nothing on his case since 2019. His full prison sentence is meant to be completed in 2026. What chance is there for him to prove his innocence? South Australia needs a justice system, not a legal system.

  8. Owen Allen says:

    The Book of Jonah describes a society just like Australia called Ninevaeh. Jonah, as the book reveals was instructed by GOD to go to Nineveh and tell them to Repent from their corrupt behaviour. When Jonah got there eventually and delivered his message from GOD, he sat down and waited and watched for GOD to Nuke them with fire and brimstone. And he was pissed off because GOD did not; they repented their sin and gave up their evil ways. Thats what I believe.
    Australia needs a Criminal Case Review Commission.

  9. Chris says:

    Great news!

    Also note that Joby Rowe (WCR case 09) has also been released on bail after spending 6 years in prison for a crime he did not commit (indeed, a crime that never happened!)

  10. Robert Greenshields says:

    Different states with Sue and Derek, but when looked at on a national basis involving every aspect of other policing and judicial administrations, practices and ongoing cultures across our nation, the common denominators are identified as more than just coincidentally similar.
    Australia has huge problems with the credibility and consistency of policing and authorities, and the length of time Sue and Derek have spent incarcerated only emphasises the magnitude and longevity of the existence of the criminal debacle.
    Oz is being smothered by the ongoing venality within supposedly respected and valued institutions, and while the petri dish of institutionalised allies closing ranks to protect their own is continually allowed our moral and ethical basis as a functional community is further eroded.

    • Jerry says:

      Obnoxiously divorced from reality. Sounds like the prosecution case against Derek Bromley.

      • Jerry says:

        And Sue .The readings in WCR could sure be deeply disturbing to Australians with stories of abuse in the hands of the second raters. Not all that surprising that in the USA , some take to the gun ! For sure many can find comfort in religion . Forgive your enemas. Can be difficult. (or virtually impossible) Especially if you are hanging at the end of the Government ROPE. Ray Bailey, won’t you come home ?

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