THE parents of Andy Marshall — who died after he was pushed out a window at the Ocean Beach Hotel — say they hope the man responsible has changed during his time in prison after they were told he had been granted parole.
Former Rock Machine bikie associate Stefan Schmidt was sentenced to nine years jail for the manslaughter of Mr Marshall, 29, in May 2011.
Mr Marshall’s parents Alan and Wendy, who live in New Zealand, confirmed they had been told Schmidt had been granted parole and was due for release today.
The couple said they had forgiven Schmidt, despite him never reaching out to apologise for his actions, but hoped he had learnt to treat other people better during his time inside.
Mrs Marshall said: “I don’t know if anything would ever be enough, but then even if he was in there for another 20 years, would it make any difference?
“Our main concern is that the community is safe and that he has done the work that he needs to do to change some of his behaviours and be safe in the community.
“As a couple, we believe that everyone can change. We hope and pray that he has changed and has made some good choices while he has been away.”
Mrs Marshall said losing their son, who would be 36 this year, was still raw for the family.
“It is very difficult, we still miss him every day,” she said.
“I was tidying out some stuff the other day and I found Andy’s diary and he has got written his goals. One of those is to come back to New Zealand and get married and have a family of his own and that’s pretty hard to take.”
Mr Marshall said the couple had made the difficult decision to forgive Schmidt because it was the best thing for them to be able to continue with their lives.
“We have come to our own decisions and made our own choices irrespective of his attitude,” he said. “It is not an easy decision. It is something that we have struggled with and it does not take away the pain. We are always thinking about what stage of life Andy would be at. It leaves a huge gap in our lives.”
The Prisoners Review Board has not yet revealed details of its decision. During his sentencing, it was revealed Schmidt had been convicted of a similar assault outside a Northbridge nightclub in 2005.
Then 19, Schmidt hit a man, fracturing his skull and causing bleeding on the brain. Schmidt was given a supervision order.