Alleged Family Court bomber fronts court

The man accused of orchestrating the Family Law Court bombings will remain behind bars after appearing in a Sydney court.


Leonard John Warwick, 68, was arrested in Sydney’s south-west on Wednesday, more than three decades after he allegedly embarked on a crime spree that left four people dead, including a Family Law Court justice.

Wearing a purple jumper and jeans, Warwick appeared in Campbelltown Local Court when his matter was mentioned briefly on Thursday.

His lawyer initially told the court Warwick would not appear but Magistrate Robert Rabbidge said it was in the public interest that he be brought into the dock.

Warwick’s lawyer also objected to a statement of police facts being tendered but Mr Rabbidge allowed for that to take place.

“Clearly there is vast interest in this case for very good reason and the prosecution wish to tender material for me and I see no reason why they should not,” Mr Rabbidge told the court.

Warwick, who appeared emotionless as he glanced between his lawyer and the magistrate, did not apply for bail.

The case was adjourned to Central Local Court on August 6.

Prosecutor Clint Nasr also made a application to suppress the names of a number of alleged victims of the bombings during the 1980s.

The court heard this was for their protection. Warwick was charged with more than 30 offences on Wednesday night, including four counts of murder.

The former firefighter, who has long been a prime suspect in the high-profile investigation, is accused of bombing the homes of two family law court justices, the Family Law Court in Parramatta and a Jehovah’s Witness hall in Casula.

He also allegedly shot dead Justice David Opas at his Woollahra home in 1980. Another justice’s wife was killed when a bomb went off at their Sydney home four years later. 

Another justice, who can’t be identified, and his family survived a similar explosion at their Sydney home in the same year.

Police will allege all three justices had been involved in Warwick’s bitter dispute with his ex-wife in the Family Law Court.

Warwick is also accused of placing a bomb under a car in Northmead in 1985 and attempting to kill his ex-wife’s solicitor.

In the same year he allegedly bombed the packed Jehovah’s Witness hall at Casula, after the religious group offered support and counselling to his ex-wife and daughter.