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Man to face trial over NSW court bombings

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Margaret Scheikowski

A man involved in a long, bitter custody dispute has been ordered to stand trial over the 1980s Sydney Family Court bombings and murders.

Three judges who dealt adversely with Leonard John Warwick were targets, while three whose dealings were not adverse to him were not, magistrate Robbie Williams said in summarising the crown and defence submissions on Wednesday.

Warwick, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 32 offences, including four murders, allegedly flowing from his long custody and property battle with his ex-wife Andrea.

He is accused of the 1980 shooting deaths of her brother Stephen Blanchard, and of Justice David Opas.

He also is accused of planting a bomb at the home of Justice Ray Watson in 1984, which killed his wife Pearl Watson.

And in 1985, Warwick allegedly set off a bomb that ripped apart a Jehovah's Witness hall, killing Graham Wyke and injuring 13 people.

The organisation had counselled and offered support to Warwick's ex-wife.

Other charges relate to an explosion at another judge's home and a car bomb targeting his ex-wife's solicitor.

Mr Williams told Sydney's Central Local Court the Crown contended Warwick's motive had been "his intense desire" to have custody of his daughter and the matrimonial home.

But the defence said this motive was not distinguishable from that of many other male litigants in the Family Court.

The Crown referred to Warwick's knowledge and use of firearms and explosives.

Warwick's father was a coal miner whose job included setting up mine explosions, but the defence said there was no evidence he taught his son to use explosives.

Two former investigators gave evidence at the committal hearing about eliminating other suspects.

"The possibility of there being a reasonable alternative suspect is an issue that can be dealt with properly at trial," said the magistrate, who said this did not diminish the Crown's committal case.

Other "circumstantial" factors he took into account included DNA evidence and items found at Warwick's home which the Crown said would be used to set up explosions.

But the defence argued they could be found in most households and there was no evidence they were used to manufacture explosives.

Warwick is expected to be arraigned in the NSW Supreme Court on February 10.

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