Alleged bomber ‘would stop at nothing’

In the midst of a lengthy custody battle, Leonard John Warwick allegedly set out to “obliterate” anything that stood between him and access to his daughter.


Over five years in the 1980s, he is accused of blowing up the homes of judges who issued unfavourable orders and killing, or attempting to kill, those who aided his ex-wife.

More than 30 years on, the chilling allegations involved in one of NSW’s most high-profile unsolved homicide cases have been detailed.

Warwick appeared in Campbelltown Local Court on Thursday, charged with more than 30 offences stemming from the Family Law Court bombings.

The 68-year-old’s alleged series of crimes began after he and his ex-wife Andrea started a case in the Family Law Court following a relationship breakdown, police documents tendered in court state.

In 1979, Andrea had returned to live at her father’s home, where her brother Stephen Blanchard also lived.

Mr Blanchard was shot dead and his body found dumped north of Sydney in February, 1980.

In June, 1980, Justice David Opas was shot dead at his Woollahra home.

Police say he had previously made adverse orders against Warwick in the Family Law Court.

Four years later, another judge’s Sydney home was bombed but no one was killed.

Months earlier, that judge had issued a warrant for Warwick to return his daughter.

In April 1984, Warwick was accused of placing a pipe bomb near the doors of Parramatta’s Family Law Court and causing damage to the building.

In July 1984, he allegedly murdered Justice Ray Watson’s wife, Pearl, when a bomb went off after she opened the door to farewell her husband.

The force of the blast threw Pearl into a brick wall, killing her instantly, but Justice Watson survived.

Police say the solicitor for Warwick’s ex-wife was also targeted. In 1985, a bomb was found under the bonnet of a car outside his previous Sydney address.

He then hired security to protect his new home but another man was spotted on the property on two occasions, the documents detail.

Police say Warwick had connections with the security company, found out the solicitor’s new address and continued to target him.

In 1985, a Jehovah’s Witness congregation helped Warwick’s ex-wife and daughter move to the NSW mid-north coast.

In July that year, a bomb blew apart the Jehovah’s Witness hall, killing one and injuring 13 others.

A blood trail had been found at the hall following an earlier break-in, over which Warwick has been charged.

The blood was DNA-tested and compared against a sample of Warwick’s daughter’s blood.

“It has been determined that the blood found in the Kingdom Hall is consistent with the paternal lineage of (his daughter), therefore belonging to the accused,” the documents state.

After Warwick was granted custody of his daughter in 1986, on her mother’s instigation, there were no more attacks, the documents state.

As Warwick sat in the court dock on Thursday, his wife returned to their Douglas Park home, in Sydney’s south-west, after police finished searching the semi-rural property.

Warwick, who did not apply for bail, is due to appear by video link in Central Local Court next week.