Put my 'animal' son in prison
GRACEMERE mother Mary Meadowcroft wants the judicial system to "wake up'' and jail "animals'' like her son.
"New South Wales would have locked him up and thrown away the key, but for some reason Queensland keeps letting him out all the time,'' the mother of four said yesterday in an exclusive interview with The Morning Bulletin.
On Friday, 18-year-old Michael Alexander Fulton, Mrs Meadowcroft's biological son from a previous marriage, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to numerous offences including stealing from her and his sister, and robbing a sick mate who was in hospital.
The court placed Fulton on 18 months' probation.
Mrs Meadowcroft said she had "disowned Michael'' and did not even know the court hearing was on.
"The first I knew about it was when I read it on the front page of The Morning Bulletin on Saturday,'' Mrs Meadowcroft said.
"We were horrified. I haven't seen him (Michael) since December when the police came and took him away.
"He rang me on Saturday and said 'hey mum did you see the paper?, like he was proud of it'.''
She said she had relocated twice due to Michael's criminal activities which started when he was 13.
"We came to Gracemere in 2004 for a fresh start only to have him follow.''
Mrs Meadowcroft said her family, including her husband and three children aged four, five and eight, were now living in fear of Michael and had considered leaving Gracemere.
"We cannot live here with the knowledge that he has caused so much pain and damage to families and businesses,'' she said.
"The finger pointing and the vi-cious rumours have already started, towards our family and my three children.''
Mrs Meadowcroft said the family was battling for acceptance in the community.
"We really love it here. We don't want to go.''
Her husband drives trucks for a living and her three other children attend Warraburra School at Gracemere.
"At the moment I have neigh-bours watch the house when I take the kids to school and pick them up,'' Mrs Meadowcroft said.
"We're living in fear of where he (Michael) is because we know what he's capable of doing.
"I just want to tell people don't befriend him because he is such a liar. Some of the stories he tells people to get into their homes are unbelievable.''
Mrs Meadowcroft said Michael had a long criminal history in New South Wales, having served three terms in juvenile detection centres.
"I keep asking myself why he turned out like this.
"All the kids have had the best of everything. I think that's the problem with him. Now he's grown up he's got to pay for things himself and he doesn't want to.''
Mrs Meadowcroft said she believed there were break and enters Michael had "gotten away with'' at Gracemere.
"He drags kids in with him, like 13 and 14-year-olds, who have never been in trouble with the law before.
"We are the innocent victims here, why do we feel like the criminals?
"He (Michael) has been getting a slap on the wrist for far too long.