Father’s death led to alcohol issues and homelessness

A man who has had alcohol issues for the past two decades – since his father died – was found sleeping on the streets after failing to appear in court for drinking related charges.

Ryan Edward Barker, 31, pleaded guilty on March 1 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to three fail to appear charges and two public nuisance charges.

Police prosecutor Kelvin Boyd said police were called to East St on November 1, 2020, at 1.30am where a male was causing a disturbance outside the kebab shop.

He said police found Barker intoxicated and acting in a disorderly manner.

Mr Boyd said police attempted to give Barker a “move on” direction but due to his intoxication level, police instead gave him a notice to appear in court and had the Queensland Ambulance Service take Barker to Rockhampton Hospital.

Police next came across Barker after a Hill St, Emu Park, business complained Barker was harassing customers for money on December 14 at 2pm.

Mr Boyd said Barker was extremely intoxicated and consuming alcohol in a public place.

He said police located Barker at Emerald on February 18, after he failed to appear in court on two occasions – once for two charges.

Mr Boyd said Barker was sleeping in the streets when located.

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Barker was unemployed after he was stabbed in the eye in 2020 which caused issues with re-entering the workforce.

He said Barker had been medicated by a doctor for his underlying issues with alcohol which started after his father died in 2001.

Mr Robertson said the fail to appears occurred because Barker was homeless.

He said Barker was now in stable accommodation with family.

Barker was sentenced to a 12-month probation order with convictions recorded.



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