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Mother questions Bryant's guilty verdict

Carleen Bryant, mother of Martin Bryant, questions her son's guilty verdict and lack of trial almost 15 years after the Port Arthur massacre.

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

Carleen Bryant spoke about her son on Channel Nine's 60 Minutes last night. She was asked what her dead husband, Maurice, would have thought of the Port Arthur murders of which her son was convicted.

"Well I don't believe it would have happened," she answered.

Martin Bryant.

Martin Bryant.

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 serving 35 life sentences in Risdon prison just outside Hobart.

His mother, who is the only person who visits him, admitted that he was an "annoying" and "different" child.

She said that she often found his toys broken and did not know if it was through temper or frustration.

"Martin was different, I'll put it that way," she said.

Although his mother still does not believe he was capable of abusing people she said he became unpleasant towards the friends of his sister Lindy.

"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 any more and abuse them if they came there to the house," she said.

Mrs Bryant also said that a psychiatrist who examined her son 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, she said.

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

She said that, for weeks after the killings, 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.

AAP

* Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.