Canberra boy Bradyn Dillon has been described has been described as a “cheeky little monkey” and a polite child who saw himself as a great soccer player and awesome friend, at the beginning of an inquest into the nine-year-old’s death at the hands of his father.
- Bradyn Dillon was murdered by his father, Graham, at their Canberra home in 2016
- The inquest will look at what more multiple agencies, and the broader community, could have done
- A barrister representing a number of government agencies said Graham Dillon hid his son from the system
Graham Dillon is serving more than 40 years in jail after pleading guilty to killing his son.
Bradyn Dillon died after an old head wound began to re-bleed after a beating from his father in February 2016.
He was unconscious for hours before an ambulance was called, and later died in hospital.
Today the inquest into his death heard there will be a focus on how Graham Dillon used the system to isolate his son, and keep him from view in the lead-up to the murder.
Rebecca Curran, the counsel assisting the coroner, told the inquest how his school received an email saying Bradyn would be going to another school interstate several months before his death.
But Ms Curran said Bradyn did not leave Canberra.
“Bradyn did not ever attend another school,” she said.
“How was it that Bradyn was able to be unenrolled from a school in the ACT, while he remained in the ACT unnoticed?”
Ms Curran also outlined a long list of reports from Bradyn’s teachers and others about their concerns.
She read his school reports to the court, which described him as polite and quiet, including one that said Bradyn consistently contributed to a safe and welcoming classroom and playground.
“The irony is that for Bradyn the community failed to provide a safe home environment.” she said.
Inquest to examine what more could have been done on multiple fronts
Ms Curran said the inquest would span many issues, including whether any of the government agencies or police could have done more.
“How was it that intervention for each of these entities was discontinued?” she asked.
And Ms Curran said the responsibility of the broader community in Canberra would also be considered.
“I’m not talking about mandatory reporters,” she said.
“I am talking about ordinary members of the public like neighbours who may have noticed the injuries.”
The inquest heard convicted murderer Graham Stuart Dillon isolated his son from the public, even pulling him out of school. (Supplied)
A self assessment by Bradyn from school was read to the court, in which he said he was good at colouring in.
“I am great at playing soccer,” he wrote of himself.
“I am awesome at being a friend.”
The inquest further heard many government agencies have already made changes in the wake of Bradyn’s death.
Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS), Education and Health have overhauled their practices and now liaise with police to monitor families affected by family violence.
Barrister Joe Kellaway, appearing for a number of ACT Government agencies, told the court Graham Dillon had skilfully navigated his way through the system, to hide his son.
“Bradyn had been slipped by a lie into a vacuum,” he said.
He said at the time of the murder CYPS had discontinued its file, as had other agencies because of the way Dillon had hidden his son.
Mr Kellaway said the Government deeply regrets such a traumatic loss, and Bradyn’s death has left a profound legacy, with significant changes to the system.
The coronial is expected to run for a fortnight.