Kenneth Richards pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court.
Kenneth Richards pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court.

‘I’ll cut you up:’ Man wielding machete forces victim in car

A grandfather who pulled out a machete and told his former partner he would “cut her up” if she didn’t get in the car has been jailed.

Kenneth John Richards, 58, pleaded guilty by video link in the Maroochydore District Court to multiple charges including assault occasioning bodily harm and making a threat.

The court heard Richards had 89 offences on his criminal record, 37 of which were of a violent nature.

The assault started at 9.30am on January 7.

Crown prosecutor Will Slack told the court Richards and his former partner met at an intersection, so Richards could collect his niece.

“The defendant told the complainant to get in the car, at which stage she started to walk away,” he said.

“He got out of his car, put a fist in her back and threatened to cut her up if she didn’t get in the car.”

The court heard Richards forced the victim into the car. His niece stepped into the back seat.

“They drove for awhile and stopped at some traffic lights,” Mr Slack said.

“The complainant unbuckled her seatbelt but the defendant slapped her and yelled further abuse at her.

“He pulled out a machete and poked her in the thigh and threatened to stab her if she didn’t put her belt on.”

The court heard Richards then punched her in the ribs and continued to abuse her while driving on the Bruce Highway.

“She requested to go to the hospital and he responded, ‘I don’t care, you can f------ die for all I care.’”

Richards drove the pair to his mother’s house.

When they arrived, the victim ran inside to seek help and Richards drove off.

He was arrested two days later.

Barrister Simon Lewis told the court Richards had four children and was hoping to get custody of his four-year-old daughter when released from jail.

“He wants to stay out of prison which is not surprising,” he said.

“He’s getting a bit old for this sort of carry on.”

Richards told the court he wanted to go home to “get my little girl back”.

“My little girl’s not coping and I’m not coping in here being away from her. I miss her so much,” he said

“I want to spend time with my granddaughters too.

“I’m not getting any younger, I’m getting pretty old.

The court heard there had been a home invasion at an address where his former partner and niece were the night before the assault happened.

“I was asked to pick them up and asked to get them out of the place where the fight was and the stabbing was and I was taking them back to my mother’s place and all they wanted to do was carry on about what happened,” he told the court.

“I didn’t want to hear it.

“And this is where I am today for helping.”

But Judge Anthony Rafter disagreed.

“You weren’t helping a lot by what you were doing in the car,” he said.

Mr Rafter said the court heard “disturbing” amounts of violence towards the victim.

“You slapped her, you yelled at her, you made threats to her, you punched her in the ribs, called her abusive names and spat in her face,” he said

The court heard Richards had spent 204 days in custody.

Mr Rafter said Richards seemed remorseful for what he did.

He sentenced Richards to two years jail, with a parole release date of September 8, 2020.

Convictions were recorded.