80-Year-Old ‘Bicycle Bandit’ Robber Takes Own Life Through Assisted Dying

Two days after being sentenced to 35 years in jail for his crimes, the infamous bank robber Kym Parsons—who terrorized Southern Australia throughout a 10-year crime spree—self-initiated a VAD kit (voluntary assisted dying kit), ending his life. 

He was 80.

From 2004 to 2014, Parsons robbed eleven banks while wearing a balaclava and brandishing a rifle. Police caught up to him in October of 2023. He pleads not guilty. On June 17, he abruptly changed his plea to guilty, admitting to his criminal spree.

Parsons has terminal cancer, with not much more time to live. He said his cancer is eating his bones and his brain.

Supreme Court Justice Sandi McDonald told Parsons, who was seated silently in the dock from the remand center, that his behavior was “morally reprehensible” as she handed down her sentence. 

Twelve victims’ impact statements were read aloud in court as part of the sentencing submissions. Many of Parsons’ victims reported suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression as a result of the ordeal of being held at gunpoint. 

In what his attorney said was an effort to provide “closure” to the victims, Parsons’s counsel accelerated his sentence despite his stage 4 cancer. Last Thursday, in South Africa’s Supreme Court, he admitted guilt on ten charges of violent robbery. The court heard that Parsons, a retired fireman and police officer, was gravely ill and that his death was near.

During the sentencing submissions, Parsons read an apology and became emotional. He apologized profusely and sincerely, expressing his profound regret and asking for forgiveness. 

Having a terminal disease is one of the strict requirements for accessing VAD in South Australia. In order to maintain patient anonymity, SA Health does not comment on specific VAD permission applications, according to a spokesman.

The question of whether incarcerated individuals should have access to VAD has been a controversial topic and hotly debated among victims of crime advocates.