Bradley Soper death: Home invasion in Harrington Park


The father of a champion bodybuilder who died in a suspected home invasion has opened up on his son’s battles in the lead up to his death.

Raymond Soper told Daily Mail Australia his son Bradley Soper, 35, was still “suffering from a broken heart” when he broke into a home in Harrington Park, in Sydney’s southwest, on Sunday morning.

He said his son’s mental state deteriorated late last year when he split from his long-term lover Kaisha Gambell.

“He hadn’t taken it well at all, he still had a broken heart,” Mr Soper said.

“They had been going out for well over 12 months, I’d say. We met her and she was a very nice girl.”

Mr Soper said he didn’t know why his son broke into and ransacked the family home of businessman Johann Schwartz, 44, while in a “zombie-like state”. Friends said Bradley Soper he had been struggling with drug addiction and financial issues.

“All I can say is it was all out of character for Bradley. We feel that he’s had some sort of a breakdown or something,” Mr Soper said.

“There’s no way he would go into anyone’s place intentionally, there’s just no way.”

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media_cameraBrad Soper died in a home invasion in Harrington Park. Picture: Instagram.
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media_camera‘They had been going out for well over 12 months, I’d say. We met her and she was a very nice girl,’ Mr Soper’s father said of his son’s relationship with Ms Gambell (left). Picture: Instagram.

On Sunday, Mr Schwartz woke to sounds of his dogs barking around 7.30am and went downstairs, where he found Mr Soper wearing a singlet, shorts and standing barefoot in his lounge room.

A violent struggle between the pair ensued before Mr Soper collapsed and died. Neighbours rushed to help and gave the man CPR and Mr Schwartz’s wife called triple-0 but he couldn’t be saved.

Mr Schwartz was questioned by police and released without charge, and investigators were advised on Tuesday not to pursue him over the incident.

Investigators from Camden Police Area Command will have the final say on whether or not the South African-born finance worker faces charges.

But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the state crime command’s homicide squad has given advice not to charge Mr Schwartz unless an autopsy result shows evidence to the contrary.

Mr Schwartz’s wife and young child were home at the time of the incident.

Detective Chief Inspector Shane Woolbank on Sunday said “generally people are entitled to their home, and they’re entitled to use reasonable force to protect themselves and their property”.

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media_cameraBrad Soper with ex-partner Kaisha Gambell. Picture: Facebook.

Mr Schwartz, a South African finance worker, had been living in Harrington Park estate for less than two years when their family home was broken into on Sunday morning.

A neighbour told news.com.au he witnessed Mr Soper walking barefoot and “zombie-like” through the forest adjacent to the family home before climbing under, rather than over, a shin-high wooden fence.

The ABC reports that Mr Soper was battling a cocaine addiction and had spent some time in hospital for kidney failure in the weeks leading up to his death.

“He had some personal issues, like everyone does … there was nothing in his personality that would ever indicate anything like this,” a friend told The Daily Telegraph.

Disturbing details about Mr Soper’s past have continued to emerge in the wake of his death.

Court records viewed by news.com.au show that Alysse Bowen, a former personal training client of Mr Soper, made an application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order against him in February 2017.

The matter was heard in Waverley Local Court with both parties present.

Mr Soper represented himself and was ordered to not assault, threaten, stalk, harass, intimidate or destroy or damage any property that belonged to Ms Bowen.

Conditions of the 12-month order also included that he “must not approach or be in the company of Alysse Suzanne Bowen for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs”.

News.com.au has contacted Ms Bowen for comment.

Originally published as Bodybuilder’s father defends son



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