Martin Bryant’s mother believes that if his father had not committed suicide then the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania would not have happened.


Carleen Bryant spoke about her son on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes on Sunday night where she was asked what her dead husband, Maurice, would have thought of the Port Arthur murders that her son was convicted of.

“Well I don’t believe it would have happened,” she answered.

Martin Bryant entered the Broad Arrow cafe at the historic Port Arthur site where he opened fire and killed 35 people on April 28, 1996.

He is currently serving 35 life sentences in Risdon prison just outside of Hobart.

His mother, who is the only person who visits Bryant, admits that he was an “annoying” and “different” child.

She said that she often found Bryant’s toys broken and didn’t know if it was through temper or frustration.

“Martin was different, I’ll put it that way,” she said.

Although his mother still doesn’t believe he was capable of abusing people she says he became unpleasant towards his sister Lindy’s friends.

“I’m his mother, I know what he was like. Yes he was annoying like most boys are especially with their sisters but, as he got older and Lindy started bringing new friends home, he started turning very nasty towards them.

“He’d just shout at them and tell them not to ring anymore and abuse them if they came there to the house,” she said.

Carleen also says that a psychiatrist who examined Bryant told the family he would never be able to hold down a job “simply because he would aggravate people to such an extent that he’d always be trouble”.

Bryant was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome three years ago and is overweight from medication and lack of exercise.

Bryant has never spoken about the events of the massacre to Carleen, who said in the interview that she believes he is innocent.

She said that for weeks after the incident he claimed that he was never in Port Arthur and she believed him and that there was no evidence against him.

“A lot of people on that day came forward after, people who had known Martin for years, that as far as they were concerned they didn’t recognise the gunman as Martin Bryant,” she said.