Rodney Clavell’s son blames his father for descent into steroid use and violent crime

THE son of Rodney Clavell has blamed his fugitive father’s influence for a steroid-fuelled spree of driving, drug and assault offences — but says he will rehabilitate by turning to Islam.

The Adelaide Magistrates Court today branded Daniel Joel Clavell “belligerent and defiant” as it sentenced him for a series of offences committed between August 2013 and January this year.

Clavell repeatedly drove without a licence, had steroids in his possession, assaulted a man in his 60s without provocation and intimidated another by “baring his teeth like a dog”.

But defence lawyer Nikki Conley said the criminal acts of her client — who smirked, yawned and tapped his fingers throughout the hearing — could be traced back to his infamous father.

Rodney Clavell is South Australia’s most wanted man, and twice last week escaped a police dragnet.

“His father was a prison guard, and my client had a fairly stable life until his father developed a drug problem and decided to go downhill from there,” she said.

“He began taking steroids as a result of his father’s influence … his father has not been the best role model or support for my client, and not a very good influence, either.”

Clavell, 26, today pleaded guilty to four counts of driving without a licence, one count of driving with methylamphetamine in his system and one count of possessing a prescription drug.

He further admitted three basic and one aggravated count of assault — all offences took place between August 2013 and January 2014.

Matthew Stones, prosecuting, said Clavell was repeatedly caught driving in and around the Victor Harbor area despite “never having had a licence”.

Clavell resumed driving after each charge, in a different car each time, and had failed to pay $4543.60 in impound fees.

The first assault occurred in a Victor Harbor cafe, when Clavell punched a 38-year-old man in the head “without provocation”.

He said the second and third assaults took place at Glenelg within hours of one another.

“A 67-year-old man was walking along Jetty Rd … Clavell said ‘what are you f–king looking at?’ and the victim replied ‘nothing, mate, I’m good, it’s cool’,” he said.

“Clavell then punched him once in the side of the stomach saying ‘f–k you paedophiles’.”

He said the third assault occurred at the block of units where Clavell lived — he approached a fellow resident, “became verbally aggressive” and accused him of stealing mail.

“Clavell said ‘if you ever take mail out of my mailbox I will punch your head in, f–king paedophile dog’, showed his teeth in the way a dog would, and punched him,” he said.

“Clavell then said ‘don’t go to the cops, I will know if you do and I will bash your f–king head in.

The final assault occurred three days later at a gym where, without provocation, Clavell accused a fellow patron of “looking at little girls” and punched him.

Ms Conley told the court her client agreed there was “absolutely no excuse” for his actions, but she wanted to explain them.

“He has been a long-time user of steroids and first began taking them when he was 16, and when he was influenced by his father,” she said.

“My client likes to train and keep fit, and steroids help with muscle repair … (at the time of the offences) he had increased his dose to 2-3mL.

“This resulted in feelings of aggression and anger and, he instructs, a ‘shorter fuse’ (so that) a very minor trigger could cause him to snap without thinking about the consequences.”

Ms Conley said Clavell was the second-eldest of 10 children who had a long offending history and had spent much of his adult life in jail — some of it “in the same places as his father”.

“He has recently become a Muslim and has been dedicating most of his time recently to studying the Koran,” she said.

“He has gained a lot of insight into his past behaviour (and) has no intention of taking drugs when he is released … his new-found faith has changed his life.”

In sentencing, Magistrate Sue O’Connor acknowledged Clavell’s life with his father was “disruptive, dysfunctional” and “lacking in censure”.

However, she said his offences displayed belligerence and defiance, and that his steroid use was prompted by “vanity and health”.

Ms O’Connor said the assaults concerned her most as they were “random, unwarranted, inexcusable, inexplicable and completely unwarranted”.

“These citizens had done nothing wrong, had not provoked you,” she said.

“You picked on perfect strangers and deprived them of their enjoyment of life or their feelings of safety, and then shocked them with unprovoked attacks.”

She said that, even with his conversation, she had doubts about Clavell’s prospects for rehabilitation.

“There is certainly a defiant streak and you do things your own way,” she said.

Ms O’Connor imposed a single three year and four month jail term for all offences, with a 26-month non-parole period.

She disqualified Clavell from driving for three years, and ordered he pay the outstanding impound fees.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/rodney-clavells-son-daniel-blames-his-fugitive-father-for-descent-into-steroid-use-and-violent-crime/story-fnii5yv7-1226931836275

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