Kym Allen Parsons: Terminally ill Bicycle Bandit handed 85-year jail term

Abe Maddison
AAP
Bank robber Kym Allen Parsons has been jailed.
Bank robber Kym Allen Parsons has been jailed. Credit: Supplied

South Australia’s notorious Bicycle Bandit has been jailed for 85 years for his decade-long reign of terror over banks, with the judge noting the terminally ill robber’s family was bracing for his imminent death.

Justice Sandi McDonald acknowledged that there was an “air of artificiality” about the penalty she had imposed on Kym Allen Parsons, which was ultimately reduced to 35 years with a non-parole period of 28 years.

Sentencing the 73-year-old in the SA Supreme Court on Monday, Justice McDonald detailed his crimes and the severe, lifelong consequences for his many victims.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Parsons appeared via video link from the Adelaide Remand Centre after pleading guilty to ten robberies and one attempted robbery, apologised to his victims in court and promised to repay the stolen money.

He used a bike to flee many of the crimes, committed between 2004 and 2014.

“You had the audacity to return to the same bank and rob them on multiple occasions, no doubt realising there may be the same staff working there, staff who would be re-traumatised by your conduct,” Justice McDonald told Parsons.

When a police officer arrived on a motorcycle during his robbery of ANZ’s Balaclava branch in 2008, Parsons confronted him with a gun and forced him to retreat, the judge said.

“You took that opportunity to exit, climbing over a fence to make your escape. You must have cut yourself, because you left some traces of blood on the fence,” she said.

DNA results from that bloodstain became crucial evidence that ultimately led to Parsons’ arrest.

“The police officer was forced to make a choice that day,” she said.

“It was a choice to shoot, and potentially injure or kill an innocent bystander, or to not shoot. It is a choice he has to live with for the rest of his life.

“I hope that has become easier in the knowledge that his conduct resulted in you taking a route out the back door that has ultimately led to evidence that has been a crucial part in identifying you as the person responsible for these crimes.”

In September 2014, he returned to the Mt Pleasant branch of Bank SA for a third time and after a manager activated a security screen, he responded by discharging three shots at the door.

When a “flustered” staff member told Parsons there would be a 35-minute delay in accessing the safe, rather than 35 seconds, he became angry and told her: “It’s gonna get nasty, lady.”

Justice McDonald told Parsons that as well as the many staff in the banks he robbed, and staff of other banks that feared they may be robbed, there was also a further category of victim.

“And that is your family,” she said.

“Your family who now have to grapple not only with your imminent death but the fact that the man who is about to pass away is not the man that they thought they knew.”

Justice McDonald said that Parsons had been a police officer, before he embarked on a career as a firefighter for 35 years, until he became ill with cancers contracted in the workplace.

“Those cancers have infected your brain, your bones, your lungs ... those cancers have progressed and your prognosis is poor, You will die in prison,” she said.

“Your conduct was morally reprehensible. Despite this, you have made a choice to attempt in some way to atone for your behaviour. You’ve attempted to give your victims some answers, some closure ... I accept that the apology you made in court was earnest, driven by remorse and guilt.”

Parsons had been scheduled to face sentencing on June 28 but the court fast-tracked the appearance to Monday because he was “suffering” and wanted to access voluntary assisted dying procedures.

Latest Edition

Friday 19 July The Nightly.

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 19 July 202419 July 2024

Airlines, banks, major companies fall victim to the very system designed to protect our cybersecurity.