In short:

Derek Bromley, who was convicted of killing Stephen Docoza, has been released on parole on Wednesday after spending 40 years in prison.

The parole board previously said Bromley was granted parole because of his good behaviour in jail.

What’s next?

Bromley will have to comply with his parole conditions.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article may contain images and names of people who have died.

An Adelaide man who has spent four decades in jail for a murder he maintains he never committed has been released on parole.

Derek Bromley was given a life sentence for the murder of Stephen Docoza, whose body was found in the River Torrens in 1984.

Bromley, a Narungga Ngarrindjeri man, who is aged in his 60s, was reported to be the longest-serving Indigenous prisoner in the country.

John Karpany was also convicted over Mr Docoza’s murder and was released on parole in 2004.

Bromley has made repeated attempts to overturn his conviction, but last December the High Court ruled against re-opening his case.

In March this year, the state’s parole board granted Bromley parole because of his “exemplary” behaviour in prison in recent years.

Parole Board chair Frances Nelson previously said the board was convinced he did not present a risk to the community if he was released on parole.

South Australia’s Parole Board chair Frances Nelson KC made the announcement on Wednesday morning.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

“His institutional behaviour has been very good, we are convinced that he will not present a risk to the community if he is released on parole,” she said.

“He continues to maintain his innocence.

“He’s entitled to do that, it’s not for us to retry the issue.”

The ABC has contacted the Docoza family via Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Sarah Quick, who said the family did not wish to comment on this occasion.

In April this year, the Docoza family released a statement, speaking of their heartache after Stephen’s death.

Stephen Docoza was killed in 1984. 

“Stephen, raised single-handedly by his father Milenko after the untimely death of his wife, was a gentle soul who grew up to be a kind and hardworking man, cherished by his family and friends,” the statement read.

“The tragic aftermath of the crime left Stephen’s two children without a father and his partner so overwhelmed by grief that she later took her own life.”

They had also said they were concerned ahead of Bromley’s release and disappointed with media coverage of the case.

“The family of Stephen Docoza, the victim, remains firmly convinced of Derek Bromley’s guilt, despite media portrayals suggesting his innocence,” the statement read.

Supporters Robyn Milera and Graham Archer met with Bromley outside of the Adelaide pre-release centre on Wednesday morning.

Ms Milera said Bromley was relieved after 40 years of consistently contesting that he was not guilty of the crime.

“At the same time it’s 40 years of having to negotiate the environment of prison — which has been hugely traumatic,” Ms Milera said.

“I’ve seen him take everything with courage and I know when he steps out today, he’s a man who is very reasonable, compassionate and I have so many evidences that his desire is to come out and to do good.

“There is a sense of — there is some opportunity to get on with life.”

Derek Bromley with supporter Robyn Milera after he was released on parole.(ABC News: Bethanie Alderson)

Mr Archer said there is still a strong belief that he should have never been convicted in the first place.

“Had he not been convicted we can’t guess what his life would be like, because that choice was taken from him,” Mr Archer said.

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