Joseph Readie is put into a police vehicle after he surrendered following an incident in Emu Park in 2009.
Joseph Readie is put into a police vehicle after he surrendered following an incident in Emu Park in 2009. File

Man goes into a rampage

IF it wasn’t for his daughter, Joseph Readiewould most likely be in jail.

A Rockhampton Magistrate sympathised with Readie, after finding out that sending him to jail could make him miss the last moments of his 10-year-old daughter’s life.

After finding out that his daughter had leukemia, Readie embarked on a series of drunken rampages.

Between February 22 and April 17, Readie was caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.157, smashed the windows of a Rockhampton hotel and was tasered twice after refusing to obey police directions.

One of the taser barbs embedded so far into Readie’s chest he required surgery to have it removed.

The incident happened on March 1 after Emu Park police received a call from one of Readie’s children, who said their father had been drinking and become violent towards his grandparents.

Police attended the house to find Readie being very aggressive, continually ignoring police directions to lay on the floor and rushing towards them on several occasions.

As he continued to ignore the directions, police shot two tasers at him, the first proving ineffective as only one barb made contact.

He was then subdued and handcuffed before being taken to hospital to have the barb removed from his chest.

Readie pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Friday to charges of driving under the influence, wilful damage, obstruct police, assault police and possession of a utensil.

Defence solicitor Jack Blackburn said all of the incidents had happened while Readie was heavily drunk.

He disputed the facts of some of the charges, accusing police of using “excessive force” in one incident and “manhandling” Readie in another and said he had described being tazored as the single most painful thing he had experienced in his life.

Mr Blackburn said Readie had become an alcoholic in his early teen years, had a series of mental health problems and had contemplated suicide after learning of his daughter’s diagnosis.

Mr Blackburn said Readie had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and had not had a drink for two weeks prior to the court date.

Magistrate John McGrath told Readie he needed to change his life to support his daughter.

“I’m not going to send you to prison today, because I want you to be the father that you should be to your daughter,” Magistrate McGrath said.

He said he hoped parole would help Readie with his alcohol problems and sentenced him to a total of six months imprisonment with immediate parole.

He also disqualified Readie from driving for two years.

Readie’s offences also put him in breach of a suspended sentence he was issued for a previous offence and he will have to face Rockhampton District Court this week to be resentenced.



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