Years of childhood trauma manifested in criminal tendencies for Douglas Paul Harding.
Years of childhood trauma manifested in criminal tendencies for Douglas Paul Harding. Imgorthand

How the dark reality of childhood trauma forged a man's life

TWO years after a boy was almost scalped in a car accident which killed his best friend he was forced to watch his little brother fall three storeys from his arms.

The difficult childhood Douglas Paul Harding, 35, faced - which included seeing a girl being sexually abused when he was five - set him on a dangerous path of crime and addiction, leading to the accumulation of nine pages of criminal history in one spree.

In 2009, Harding was released to parole for 10 months after he served 2.8 months in prison for committing 40 offences which included assaulting two of his children.

Harding thought they had locked their younger brother in a cupboard and punished them, although it was later revealed the boy had accidentally locked himself in.

He pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court yesterday to another 25 charges which he committed after he "fell of the wagon".

The court heard Harding had embarked on a four-month "crime spree" from July to October in 2017 in which his theft and damage bill totalled more than $33,000.

He stole tyres, number plates and a bull bar from cars; drove off without paying for petrol twice; took coins from a laundromat; received a stolen firearm and trailer; stole cars to commit more crimes and then set on fire to cover his tracks.

Defence barrister Nathan Turner told the court his client suffered from complex post traumatic stress disorder stemming from three major emotional upsets in his life.

The most impacting of these, Mr Turner said, was when Harding couldn't save his brother from falling from a three-storey window after the pair had a pillow fight.

Mr Turner said Harding harboured guilt as he had moved a bunk bed near the window while he was cleaning his brother's room earlier that day.

Harding became a carer for his brother who was in court to support him.

Judge Glen Cash warned Harding that "children tend to follow the paths of their parents" and urged him to be a better role model.

Harding was given a head sentence of four years' imprisonment with parole eligibility on December 8.



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