A black towel from the home was placed over Mrs Bradbury’s head, and the duct tape around her arms and ankles also came from inside the home.
In findings on Wednesday, State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan found Mrs Bradbury was killed in the late afternoon or early evening of October 31. At 6.30pm, Halloween trick-or-treaters knocked on the door and she did not answer, suggesting Mrs Bradbury was already dead.
“The evidence suggests Mrs Bradbury was killed around 7 to 8 hours earlier than 11.32pm, the time when ambulance officers examined her body,” Ms O’Sullivan found.
Witnesses saw a group of young men walking near Mrs Bradbury’s home at about 6.20pm, with one wielding a piece of timber, but Ms O’Sullivan said there was “nothing to indicate that the injuries had been inflicted by a piece of timber”.
The inquest was told it “appeared there had been an attempt to stage a robbery at the house” but there was no direct evidence to suggest who did this. Ms O’Sullivan acknowledged it was “not impossible” that a genuine robbery attempt was abandoned, but “the balance of the evidence presented in the inquest does not support this scenario”.
She found even though the back door was unlocked, there is “no evidence [to] support the entry of an intruder or intruders into the house” and “insufficient evidence to support a finding that Mrs Bradbury was killed by an intruder or intruders”.
Ms O’Sullivan said there was no evidence of identifiable fingerprints in the home from “anyone other than a member of the extended Bradbury family”. Despite numerous families trick-or-treating in the street, no witnesses saw an intruder enter or leave the home.
Mr Bradbury was charged with murder in 2013 but the charge was dropped due to a lack of evidence in October 2014. The state was then ordered to pay Mr Bradbury’s legal costs.
The inquest into Mrs Bradbury’s death was heard in June 2019 and was then suspended after Ms O’Sullivan “formed an opinion that the evidence was capable of satisfying a jury beyond reasonable doubt that a known person had committed an indictable offence”.
Ms O’Sullivan wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but was notified last month that “no proceedings would be taken against that known person in relation to the indictable offence”.
In 2014, lawyers for Mr Bradbury told the Supreme Court: “Mr Bradbury didn’t do it.”
Two years earlier, a distraught Mr Bradbury said in a statement that “Lynette was my life”.
“She was the glue that kept our family together and without her I only exist,” he said. “Our family was our life and somebody entered our home and took that away … Our lives will never be the same.”
The Coroner extended her condolences to the family and friends of Mrs Bradbury.
Georgina Mitchell is a court reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.