Childhood no excuse: judge


TO understand how Ryan Edward Dwyer came to kill his childhood friend on the grounds of the Capricornia Correctional Facility you have to look back to when he was nine years old.

This was when he first tried amphetamines which were given to him by his mother and step-father.

He has had a connection with drugs ever since.

His childhood was marred by abuse at the hands of people he trusted and he was surrounded by drug and alcohol abuse.

As an adolescent he lived with friends and spent a portion of his teenage years in juvenile detention.

His nine-page criminal history starts with an offence he committed when he was just 12 years old.

It covers offences from drugs to street offences, dishonesty and violence and traffic offences.

The 27-year-old Gladstone man is now serving a nine-year sentence for the manslaughter of Jayde Biddulph, who was once his close friend.

He was sentenced for the crime, as well as a string of break-and-enters and other more minor offences in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton on Tuesday.

During the sentencing hearing, the court heard the above details of his early life and his following life of crime.

Justice Duncan McMeekin noted that Dwyer had an appalling history.

The judge described him as a "shocking criminal" with a background of breaking into homes and businesses in order to fund his drug habit.

"The facts show you are a thief with no respect for other people's homes or businesses," Justice McMeekin said.

He said Dwyer showed no respect for any laws, even prison regulations.

Though he acknowledged the impact of Dwyer's childhood, Justice McMeekin suggested that this could not be used as an excuse.

"At some point in your life you have to decide whether you are going to go on being influenced by, and controlled by, your childhood," the judge said.

He recognised that some of those close to Dwyer saw hope for him and said he had the capacity to be a caring friend and wanted to be a good dad to his two daughters. Dwyer said he was determined to stay drug-free and stop committing crimes.

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