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Chopper’s boy speaks: “I’m not my father’s son”

Infamous criminal Mark "Chopper" Read's son Charlie breaks his silence.
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Speaking for the first time in the December 2013 issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the 14-year-old boy describes the difficulties of living in the shadow of the notorious criminal, who died in October 2013 after a battle with liver cancer.

“We walk the same, talk the same … but I’m not going to follow in his footsteps,” Charlie says. “I’m proud to be his son, but it’s a bit hard living with his reputation. I can’t go anywhere without people asking, ‘Are you Chopper’s son?’

“Most people are pretty good. Some say nasty stuff, some just assume I’ll be a criminal, too. I’ve had comments from schoolkids like, “Why don’t you just go to jail now’.

Read all about the life and times of Mark “Chopper” Read here…

“I know that people are looking at me to see what I do and how I grow up, but we are very different people.”

Charlie’s mother, Chopper’s first wife Mary-Ann Read, says Charlie is bullied continually for no other reason than the identity of his father.

“It’s been very hard for Charlie. He’s had lot of bullying because of his father’s reputation and he gets pre-judged.”

“It’s been very hard for Charlie,” she says. “He’s had lot of bullying because of his father’s reputation and he gets pre-judged.

“I worry about him constantly because he is so much like his father and he needs to be able to handle himself. He’s a very strong boy, but I have to be twice as strong as him.”

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But despite the trouble his famous father has bequeathed him, Charlie still has some good memories of his dad.

“He’s always been just ‘Dad’ to me. I don’t think of him as anything else, I don’t think of him as being the criminal. I’ve seen the other side of him and I’ve seen him do stuff that wasn’t great, but I want to remember the good times I had with him.

“I was thinking about what he used to be like, when he was around when I was little. It was pretty good then. He was a good dad then. We’d shoot at the gun club sometimes and we’d walk everywhere together. He liked that.”

Chopper and Charlie in happier times. (Pic credit: Penguin)

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