The grieving family of a murdered man in a high-rise public housing in downtown Sydney have shared with a judge their grief over losing such a kind and gentle soul.
“We will never be able to understand or deal with the fact that his life has been taken from him in such a malicious and cowardly manner,” Joanne Bradshaw said Thursday.
She was reading her victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Richard Archer, who was convicted of the murder of her ex-husband David Wayne Bradshaw.
The NSW Supreme Court jury rejected the 49-year-old’s claim that he was acting in self-defense when he plunged a 17cm blade into Mr Bradshaw’s back,
The 54-year-old victim was stabbed in a scuffle in the early hours of February 16, 2020 at a mutual friend’s unit at Kendall Towers in Redfern.
His ex-wife said they had been together for 30 years, had two beautiful daughters and remained friends after the divorce.
The gentle, fun-loving, hardworking soul who was one of nine children would always help the underdog.
âHe was overconfident and was often taken advantage of because of his kind nature,â Ms. Bradshaw said.
She and their daughters, who now live in Queensland, had tried unsuccessfully to get him to settle there.
After his stabbing, police accompanied them to his unit at Kendall Towers, a residence he had not allowed his daughters to visit.
They were shocked at the premises and the terrible smell at the entrance to the building and the elevators.
âThere was a huge shrine set up at its doorstep,â she said.
“In the unit, the only familiar thing I saw were his photos of his two daughters and myself. My heart broke.”
Kirsty Bradshaw said her father was a kind, loving and caring man, a calm and patient parent.
But he became depressed and tried to stay on his own after moving to Redfern Block, hoping the Housing Department would manage to move to a safer place.
Their visit to his unit had been “horrible”, especially considering that he had died a few floors below them.
âI can’t understand why anyone would want to hurt my dad who puts everyone before him,â she said.
On his birthday, “I picked up the phone and realized he would never answer.”
Kylie Bradshaw said she idolized her father.
“He would give his shirt to anyone in need because he knew what it was like to have nothing.”
She too was shocked by Kendall’s “dreadful” block and couldn’t believe he had lived there for a few years before her life was taken to level 10.
“During the painful murder trial, they heard ‘shocking allegations about my father and untruths about him that will haunt me for the rest of my life.’
Prosecutor Gareth Harrison said Archer exaggerated or fabricated information about mental health and other information he provided to a psychiatrist “to help him with this procedure.”
“Although in a letter to Your Honor he expressed certain feelings towards the family of the deceased, he did not accept responsibility … he maintains that it was an accident or that he was acting in self-defense. “
Archer’s attorney, Troy Anderson, said the stabbing was spontaneous.
Archer, who had an underprivileged upbringing, may have gotten the knife due to paranoid beliefs that caused him to interpret the information “in a persecutory manner.”
Judge Peter Hamill will convict him on November 18.
Australian Associated Press