Thomas Kelly’s killer to be released this month

Kieran Loveridge will be relesed on parole later this month, more than a decade after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Thomas Kelly.
Who is Kieran Loveridge?

A Sydney man who fatally punched an 18-year-old in 2012 will be released from prison after being granted parole by the NSW State Parole Authority.

Thomas Kelly was coward-punched by Kieran Loveridge (pictured above in 2013) during a random attack in the once-popular nightlife district of Kings Cross.

The incident was part of a spate of violence in the area and led the NSW Government to introduce the city’s now-defunct lockout laws.

Loveridge was sentenced to over 13 years in prison. After more than ten years, he will leave prison this month.

Thomas Kelly

Kelly was out with two friends in July 2012 when Loveridge – also aged 18 – struck him on a public pathway. The two men didn’t know each other.

Loveridge’s punch caused Kelly to fall backwards onto the footpath, fracturing his skull.

Kelly never regained consciousness and died two days later.

Kelly’s death came in a string of other one-punch attacks in the same part of Sydney.

Lockout laws

‘Lockout laws’ introduced in 2014 banned CBD and Kings Cross venues from accepting new patrons after 1:30am and selling alcohol from 3am. NSW bottle shops were also banned from selling alcohol past 10pm.

Non-domestic assaults decreased by 53% in Kings Cross and 4% in the CBD over the five years after the laws were introduced, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found. However, assaults in other popular Sydney nightspots increased by 30%.

The legislation was repealed in January 2020.

Who is Kieran Loveridge?

Loveridge was originally sentenced to 7 years and two months imprisonment for several offences. This included six years for Kelly’s manslaughter.

After public pressure for more severe punishment, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeals increased Loveridge’s sentence to 13 years and eight months in jail.

The upgraded sentence meant Loveridge became eligible for parole last year. Parole means an offender is released from prison to serve a portion of their sentence in the community, under certain conditions.

Kieran Loveridge’s parole

Parole conditions allow correctional authorities to keep track of former prisoners, and monitor their reintegration into society.

The NSW State Parole Authority granted Loveridge’s parole earlier this month.

It said it believed there would be a “substantially greater risk” to community safety if Loveridge was released at a later date, when he had a smaller or no period of parole supervision at all.

Kelly’s family did not indicate their support or opposition to Loveridge’s release. His father said it was important that Loveridge’s transition into the community was “as smooth as possible”.

Loveridge’s parole is subject to several conditions. This includes a ban on alcohol use, and contact with Kelly’s family, or with outlaw bikie gangs, with whom he has ongoing connections.

The now 30-year-old will be released from prison sometime before 25 April. His parole order is due to expire in May 2026.

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