Gloriavale man convicted of beating children

A man from Gloriavale, Clem Ready, was convicted last year of beating two of his children. He has just lost he bid in the Court of Appeal to keep his name suppressed.

A daughter who ran away from Gloriavale after her sister died and complained to the police says that men are taught to be violent with their families.

Stuff: Gloriavale dad Clem Ready hit daughters with shoe, slipper, belt as discipline

A Gloriavale man who disciplined two daughters by hitting them with his hands or objects including a shoe and belt because he “thought it was doing them good” can finally be named.

Clem Ready assaulted the girls – Prayer and Constance (Connie) Ready – between 1998 to 2014, when they were aged between 5 and 17 years old.

So that’s more or less throughout their childhoods.

His battle to keep his name secret has lasted more than a year. It went all the way to the Court of Appeal where, on Thursday, his bid for name suppression was rejected.

Clem Ready first appeared in court on the charges in July last year.  He sought a discharge without conviction for the offending, but in May this year was convicted and sentenced in the Greymouth District Court to 12 months’ supervision for the abuse.

He was ordered to pay Connie Ready, who is now 24 years old, $1000 in emotional harm reparation.

Prayer Ready, who had Down syndrome, died in Gloriavale when she was 14. She choked to death on a piece of meat while in an isolation room where the door handles were disabled.

Her father was not charged for that.

Connie Ready, speaking to Stuff Circuit ahead of Thursday’s hearing, says the beatings were relentless.

“He could just be tired and come home from work, he gets annoyed so he’ll throw something at you or kick you if he gets really worked up, he’ll grab anything that’s around and lay into you with it and beat you, you know, his belt, a coat hanger, one of his tools from his work bag. Anything.”

At the May sentencing, Judge Anthony Couch said the charges related to multiple instances of assault using his open hand or objects such as a shoe, a slipper, a belt and, on one occasion, a framing square (used in carpentry).

It’s very sad to see a father resorting to beating his children.

“No estimate of the total number of assaults has been provided, but it was clearly a large number.”

“The victims were children, unable for the most part to defend themselves. The defendant was in a position of absolute authority over them. They were highly vulnerable.”

“He believed that it was appropriate, and indeed necessary, to strike his children and to cause them pain in order to discipline them and to change their behaviour. Objectively he was hurting them but, subjectively, he thought he was doing them good,” the judge said.

He hit one daughter with a framing square and explained this by saying “I was concerned for her safety and needed [her] to be like her sisters who were more respectful, happy to read or knit at home and not be so sociable.”

Using violence to try to force her into becoming what sounds like a compliant and obedient female. That’s dark ages mentality.

The judge said Clem Ready was working up to 70 hours a week. Since the offending, he had completed an anger management course, a parenting course and a restorative justice conference with Connie Ready, after which he acknowledged a sense of responsibility for the harm he caused her.

This raises a lot more questions about the well being of the other children, and also about whether this violence towards his children was isolated within one family or whether it was generally accepted practice at Gloriavale.

More detail from Stuff Circuit: OUR FATHER

“Men are taught that this is the way to run a family, to be the father of your home. If your wife won’t listen to what you say, you beat her. If your children don’t listen to you, you beat them.

“I don’t want to take away from anything that my father did because you still have a mind and a conscience and you can still say no at any point. But the system that has been created within there by the leaders – they need to be held responsible for that as well. They have allowed, encouraged, taught that this is how things should happen.”

People calling themselves Christians acting like cretins.

“I believe still there are children who suffer at the hands of their parents.”

Daily like your family did?


This is alarming but not really very surprising.