A drug fanatic caught on camera attempting to kidnap a child from his father’s arms could be released from prison in just over a year.
Images of Michael Paul Rawson, 41, trying to kidnap the little boy shocked Australia after it was revealed by Daily Mail Australia last week.
On Tuesday, Rawson was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to four and a half years in prison with an unconditional release of just two years and three months.
He’s been behind bars for 302 days.
Michael Paul Rawson, 41, was tricked by a cocktail of meth and GHB when he violently tried to wrestle a little boy away from his father while they were walking their dog
In sentencing the father of five, Judge Felicity Hampel said she accepted that Rawson was in a “ transient drug-induced psychotic state ” when he grabbed the boy and hit his father.
Rawson had spent days on a methylamphetamine bender, which was topped with a jet of gamma-hydroxybutyrate he claimed to have found on a park bench.
Judge Hampel said that while Rawson’s defense of mental disorders could not be used to evade responsibility for his actions, she said the bender had reduced his moral guilt.
The judge accepted that Rawson’s behavior had been “spontaneous” and “arbitrary,” describing his actions as “every parent’s nightmare.”
Rawson had just gotten out of a police station cab on drug bail while the boy and his father are walking their dog.
When the father helped his son from a chair outside the Preston Library in Melbourne on November 25, 2019, around 8:30 PM, Rawson ran up to him and grabbed the child.
Rawson, a truck driver, supposedly thought the toddler was his own estranged daughter.
The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wrestled his son back, but was dragged into nearby bushes with Rawson’s arm around his neck.
He was dragged to the ground, where he curled around his son to protect him while the drug-crazed assailant hit him repeatedly on the back of the head.
Julio Alberto ran to help him, but was unable to stop Rawson from pulling the child away and running to Gower Street.
Mr. Alberto gave chase, grabbed him by the waist and, with the help of the boy’s father, managed to wrestle the child back, along with Rawson’s black robe.
A battle ensued between Rawson – who now only wore a Hawthorn AFL jersey, gray pants and bare feet – and two witnesses as the father comforted his child.
Rawson left and hid in a front yard, where he was cornered by police and charged when they tried to arrest him.
The father suffered a cut lip and bruises to his eye and the back of his head while his son was traumatized and screaming.
Rawson pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping, assault, causing reckless injury, resisting arrest, and assaulting a counselor
The father has a phone call while his son is playing in a garden outside the Preston Public Library in Melbourne
Judge Hampel described camera images of the attack as ‘poignant’.
She said Rawson’s victims had now lost their sense of security in their own communities.
Although Judge Hampel said Rawson’s drug visit may have given him some time off for the kidnapping attempt, he couldn’t rely on it for what happened next.
After the attack, Rawson was transferred to Austin Hospital where he tried to escape from his bed while “screaming and grabbing.”
He took the wrist of a police officer and squeezed and twisted it until he was tied and tied to the bed.
Rawson pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping, assault, reckless injury, resisting arrest, and assault on a counselor.
Judge Hampel suggested that her verdict should send a message to the community that the court would punish offenders who dared to act like Rawson.
The maximum sentence for attempted kidnapping is 20 years, while the other charges include five years in prison each.
‘Seeing the aftermath … the tenderness the father held and stroked his child after you walked away shows how terrified he must have been and why it is so important that the verdict reflect the charge and conviction and behavior’ Judge Hampel said.
Rawson runs to the father as a son while the father helps the toddler from the bank
Rawson grabs the child, and his father desperately wrestles with him to prevent the toddler from being taken
The court heard that Rawson broke up with the mother of his five children in 2015 after a row over the household, after which his ‘world collapsed’.
His lawyer previously told the court that he turned to the deadly drug ice cream to “ boost his motivation. ”
Rawson had delved into conspiracy theories and “constantly” bombarded his estranged partner with screenshots of anti-vaxxer material linking vaccines to autism.
His Facebook page is littered with hundreds of bizarre images, memes, and links to conspiracy theory material.
He was dragged to the ground, where he rolled around his son to protect him while the drug-crazed attacker hit him repeatedly on the back of the head
A battle ensued between Rawson – who now wears only a Hawthorn AFL jersey, gray pants and bare feet – and two witnesses as the father consoled his child
The court heard that Rawson had repeatedly violated orders for intervention against his ex-partner and slammed his nose at previous community orders by violating those too.
He had previous convictions for cannabis possession and burnout on his own wedding day.
Rawson hadn’t been allowed to see his kids for a while before attempting to catch the boy he thought was his daughter.
Judge Hampel told the court that in addition to his early plea and remorse, she also took into account Rawson’s previous good behavior and work history.