5 June 2018

Canberra murderer sentenced to 41 years’ jail but “nothing will give Bradyn his life back”

| Glynis Quinlan
Start the conversation
The Jacka residence in which Bradyn Dillon was gravely injured last night.

The home in which Bradyn Dillon was murdered in February 2016.

The mother of nine-year-old Bradyn Dillon has been unable to find satisfaction in the lengthy sentence handed down to his murderer yesterday, saying that “nothing will give Bradyn his life back”.

Canberra man Graham Stuart Dillon was yesterday sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court to 36 years in jail for the February 2016 murder of his son Bradyn, with another five years for a series of other offences.

In sentencing Mr Dillon, Justice John Burns described his behaviour towards his children as “brutal, cowardly and callous” and said that the acts which caused Bradyn’s death were not isolated or out of character.

“Those acts were simply the culmination of a brutal process of torture of Bradyn that you engaged in over many months,” Justice Burns said.

In his Judgement, Justice Burns said that in the years preceding the murder Mr Dillon had sole custody of Bradyn and his sister JL (name withheld) who lived with him at an address at Jacka.

“From December 2014 to February 2016 you repeatedly, violently assaulted JL and Bradyn, the violence becoming more acute in late 2015 and early 2016,” Justice Burns stated.

“You regularly inflicted serious injuries on both children including multiple bruises, abrasions, lacerations, burns, scars, fractured teeth and broken bones.

”Within an eight week period before 15 February 2016, you assaulted Bradyn, with intent to do serious harm to him. This assault included blows to his head, which caused a subdural haemorrhage on Bradyn’s brain.

“Autopsy findings suggested that following that assault, and prior to 15 February 2016, there was another episode involving trauma to Bradyn’s head which caused further bruising to his brain.

“At around midday on 15 February 2016, you again assaulted Bradyn. You struck him to the head multiple times, which caused fresh brain injuries and also caused the older brain injuries to re-bleed. These aggregated brain injuries caused Bradyn’s death on the evening of 15 February 2016.”

Justice Burns recounted the horrific details of Bradyn’s death in his Judgement, including Mr Dillon’s failure to call for emergency assistance after a final assault left Bradyn unconscious.

The judge also said the murder had particular features “which are of very great heinousness” including the fact that Bradyn was Mr Dillon’s son, he was only nine years old, he was effectively isolated from the world, another child was present, no medical assistance was sought and “the acts which caused his death were part of a process of physical, mental and emotional torture of the victim extending over months”. To read the full Judgement please click here.

In a statement to the media after yesterday’s sentencing, Bradyn’s mother Rachel Jones said the sentence was “harsh” but not a cause for celebration.

“No sentence that could have been handed down today against this vicious and cowardly predator could ever give me satisfaction,” Ms Jones said.

“We have lost our little boy forever in the most callous and brutal way possible.

“Nothing can be celebrated without Bradyn by our sides.”

Ms Jones described Bradyn as “completely innocent”.

“There is no comprehending the abuse that led to Bradyn’s death or the authorities that allowed the abuse to continue for such a great length of time.

“I was absolutely helpless to defend or assist my little boy as much as I tried.”

Justice Jones set a non-parole period of 32 years, starting from 15 February 2016 and expiring on 14 February 2048.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.