Matthew De Gruchy, who has spent 23 years in jail for slaughtering his mum, brother and sister in their Albion Park Rail home, is now "motivated to do nothing else than live a normal community life". The 41-year-old thinks he's done his time.
At his parole hearing in Parramatta on Thursday, De Gruchy's lawyer Melissa Smith said his "main goal on parole" was to seek employment and eventually obtain independent housing.
"What he has achieved in custody over the past 23 years, taking into account his age when he went into custody, has been quite remarkable and there is nothing more for him to achieve in custody," Ms Smith said.
"A refusal at this point would be counter productive.
"My client has demonstrated to this authority that he can be released on parole and not be a risk to community safety and I would ask the authority to confirm their intention to release Mr De Gruchy on parole today."
The panel reserved its decision until a later date.
De Gruchy, in prison greens, showed no emotion through the hour-long hearing he watched via video link from Long Bay jail.
He was sentenced to a maximum 28 years in jail for murdering his mother Jennifer, 41, sister Sarah, 13, and brother Adrian, 15, in their Shearwater Boulevard home on March 12, 1996.
All three were slaughtered by the then 18-year-old; Jennifer and Sarah in their beds and Adrian in the garage.
He feels De Gruchy gets a determined sentence; the family gets a life sentence.
Jennifer's head and facial injuries were so severe the coroner required blood-match samples to identify her. Sarah also sustained significant head and facial injuries. Adrian had 21 wounds to his face and neck, and had been doused in petrol. De Gruchy arrived at the home the next morning to tearfully 'discover' the bodies.
The parole hearing was told De Gruchy had the support of his father Wayne, who lives in Tasmania, and his aunt who lives in Sydney and had a "strong structured post-release plan".
"Although the following matters may seem like minor things, for an offender coming out of custody after so long, the fact that he has a bank account, a tax file number, a birth certificate and medicare card and a photo ID card are quite significant things for him to make that initial transfer from custody to parole particularly," his lawyer said.
Katrina Curry, on behalf of the NSW Crown Solicitors Office, did not oppose De Gruchy's application for parole.
However she said the state "obviously has concerns given that the extreme and violent nature of the events in this matter".
"Whilst the defender indicates he will have some support upon release the state submits that support is limited," Ms Curry said.
"And this is an offender who is going to need a significant level of support and guidance to assist him in reintegrating into the community after such a lengthy time in custody."
In November 2018, De Gruchy wrote to the NSW Parole Authority expressing his own concerns about his ability to reintegrate into the community "and the limited support he felt he had, and the limited skills that he has at this point in time".
The State's primary concern now is the limited support from his family in NSW and the fact he "could be finding himself in a very stressful situation with limited access to support structures".
"The support for his father is limited given that he does reside in Tasmania," Ms Curry said.
"A letter from his father indicates that he is willing to come to NSW for an indefinite period of time, but the State submits that that is obviously limited and will have to come to an end at some point.
"The assistance from the aunt is set out in a letter again that he won't be residing with the aunt.
"And there are the grandparents but the state notes they are elderly and therefore their assistance is limited."
Ms Curry said it would be "beneficial to the offender" to remain in custody and continue pre-release leave "which would greatly assist in him building the skills and confidence he needs to be able to reintegrate into the community in a way that will be less stressful for him".
"He indicated that he has very limited knowledge regarding technology and public transport in the Sydney area and all these things can be quite confronting."
Outside the hearing, Peter Rolfe, support person for De Gruchy's uncle Ray Halliwell, addressed the media.
Mr Halliwell gave a written submission and did not oppose parole.
"He murdered Ray's sister Jennifer, his nephew Aiden and his niece Sarah and that's three murders. Ray feels like he should be on three life sentences," Mr Rolfe said.
"He feels De Gruchy gets a determined sentence; the family gets a life sentence."
Mr Halliwell has asked that De Gruchy not be allowed into the Illawarra and be required to see a psychologist.