Judge to rioter: ‘One hopes you will tire of your existence’
A JUDGE has told a criminal with a nine-page criminal record and a love of sieges on roof tops that he has little confidence the 27-year-old will rehabilitate.
"One hopes you will tire of your existence," Judge Michael Burnett told Tristian James Watson during sentencing for a prison riot, roof top siege, burglary with violence in company, armed robbery with violence in company, stealing a car with violence and other charges.
Watson was the fifth inmate involved in the prison riot at Capricornia Correctional Centre at Etna Creek, as well as the man who kept police at bay for five hours while sitting on the roof of a Depot Hill house, where he had stashed $16,400 in cash he had stolen from Hidden Valley earlier in the day.
Watson was released on parole on January, 15, 2019, and was arrested on February 8, 2019.
During that period, Watson was involved in an incident where he stole a victim's car after being given a lift, using violence to get the car by pulling the victim out of the vehicle.
He told the victim "get the f--- out of the car before I smash you", after trying to pull him out while the victim was still wearing a seat belt.
The vehicle was found in bushland the next day and DNA evidence linked Watson to the offence.
Next, he, along two other offenders - including Clint Simpson who was sentenced on February 14, 2020 - was involved in an armed robbery with violence in company where the trio stole $20,000 cash from a man in Hidden Valley on February 8, 2019.
Watson was found on a Depot Hill residence roof later that day with $16,400 of the cash protruding from under the roof.
He kept police waiting for five hours before he came down.
The Hidden Valley offence started when the trio arrived in a car and Watson asked the victim about scoring some marijuana.
As the victim looked towards Simpson, Watson punched the victim in the face, causing him to fall down.
Watson then produced a knife, pointed it at the victim and told him to stay there while he went inside the victim;s house.
Simpson was armed with a knife which he waved at the victim while outside the house.
Watson ransacked the house and found the cash in a money tin.
The victim claimed when he counted it six weeks prior and there was about $20,000 in the tin.
When police were called to a disturbance later that day in Rockhampton, they found $16,400 of the cash protruding from under the roof.
Watson was taken into custody after five hours of being on the roof. It was then discovered he had removed a GPS tracking device from his ankle.
He was then caught with drugs in a correctional centre in October.
Watson was also charged for organised opposition to authority after he and other prisoners became aggressive following another prisoner's outburst on October 12.
The Rockhampton District Court heard Watson armed himself during this incident, was observed encouraging other prisoners to oppose corrective service staff directions, put items in front of a door so prison staff could not access the area, blocked a drain in a utility cupboard and pulled his shirt over his head.
The prison was placed in lockdown and police attended.
Almost three weeks later, Watson was involved in a riot at the prison after five inmates who were in the Detention Unit managed to escape their cells on October 30.
Watson covered his cell security camera at 2.03pm on October 30.
Co-accused Anthony George Denis Butler's camera was covered next and then the two inmates appeared at Clifford John Kemp's screen in the door.
The court heard Kemp, 29, kicked at the screen and the other two returned with makeshift tools.
Alastaire Bevan Pope, who was sentenced in June, was the next inmate to cover his camera and then Kemp was the final inmate to escape their cell, at 2.54pm.
Once the inmates escaped, they made their way to the roof and the alarm was raised for a Code Black and the prison was locked down.
"You each armed yourselves with makeshift weapons," Judge Burnett said.
The court heard Butler and Watson climbed down a ladder; Butler holding a scaffold pipe and the other armed with a piece of timber.
Corrective service officers directed the pair to put their weapons down.
They responded with threats to harm if the officers did not step back, and threatened to kill them with the piece of wood being swung around as if to hurt.
The officers retreated with one slipping and injuring their knee.
Meanwhile, Pope took off into a different direction in the prison compound; with Davies and Kemp armed and walking towards corrective services officers.
Oren Thomas Davies, 19, struck an officer in the left rib cage.
"He saw blood on his forearms," Judge Burnett said.
The dog squad arrived with Kemp and Davies surrendering and were handcuffed.
However, the other three ended up on the roof for three hours.
Defence barrister Maree Willey said her client grew up in a household with a violent father and emotionally unavailable mother.
She said he became homeless as a teen and started using drugs.
Ms Willey said Watson's main drug use was methamphetamines and he had started rehabilitation programs, but never completed them.
She said he was on waiting lists for other rehab centres.
Judge Burnett said Watson's criminal record and these offences showed he had an anti-social attitude, doing what he pleased, with parole supervision reports showing he was not motivated to address his criminal behaviours.
He said due to these reports, opposition to authority in prison and other evidence before the court, he had little confidence Watson would rehabilitate from criminal behaviour or drug use.
"Because of your escalating offending, you are becoming a greater and greater danger to the community," Judge Burnett said.
"One hopes you will tire of your current existence."
He said Watson had spent the past four years in and out of prison, mostly in prison
Judge Burnett ordered Watson to a six year head sentence with 466 days presentence custody declared and parole eligibility set for April 17, 2021.
Watson was also disqualified from driving for six months over a dangerous operation of a motor vehicle offence.