Ten shocking crimes that emerged throughout the month of August. File Photo.
Ten shocking crimes that emerged throughout the month of August. File Photo.

Shocking criminal cases from South Burnett courts in August

AUGUST has been a wild ride for South Burnett police officers, with shocking stories of child pornography, violent partners, fraudsters, and thieves aplenty.

Here are 10 stories that shook the South Burnett last month.

1. Man free after lengthy child abuse material investigation

A Nanango man faced Kingaroy District Court last month in relation to a lengthy child pornography investigation, which took place between June 9 and August 21 last year.

On August 20, 2019, police executed a search warrant of Mitchell Holmes' property, locating a laptop containing 135 unique image, which depicted pre-pubescent and pubescent girls between the ages of six and 13, in varying states of undress.

"There was also a further 7598 unique images in the other illegal category, under the system of categorisation," Judge Nicole Kefford said.

A further 60 unique videos were located, described as primarily depicting girls between the ages of six and 16 in various states of undress.

For downloading the material, Mr Holmes was placed on 18-months of good behaviour bond.

Read the full story here.

2. Meth addicted dad loses one-year-old son for nearly an hour

A meth addicted father faced court on 12 charges, which included losing his one-year-old son for over an hour due to his inattention.

The 43-year-old Murgon man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced Murgon Magistrates Court on 12 charges, including possessing dangerous drugs, utensils, contravening police, and leaving a child under 12 unattended.

The court heard the man had been watching the child while he was in the shed, and his son had been playing with their puppy at the time.

The defendant told police when he turned his back, his son walked out onto the parkland with the puppy without him noticing.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair told the man that someone "suffering from an extreme addiction" shouldn't continuously reoffend.

"Perhaps this has played some role in the inattention that you paid towards your son," he said.

Magistrate Sinclair said he was pleased to see the man was open to participating in probation which involved drug rehabilitation, and parent classes, sentencing him to a supervised period of 18 months.

He was then fined $300 for the remaining charges, with convictions recorded.

Read the full story here.

3. 'I will take your head off': Axe-wielding man walks free

A 45-year-old Cherbourg man was sentenced to three months' prison, suspended for 12 months, after threatening his family with an axe, knife and glass cup.

Murgon Magistrates Court heard that on July 18, about 2.45am the defendant entered his wife's room, woke her up and after she told him he needed help he grabbed a glass cup from a bedside table, raised it and said "I will put you in intensive care I will bash you right up".

Later that morning the defendant grabbed a metal axe off the table held it up in his right hand and yelled "I will take your f--king head off, I'll give you one good blow to the head".

The defendant's defence lawyer Alan Korobacz said there were no intentions behind the threats, which Magistrate Andrew Sinclair accepted.

"Taking into account you have already served 17 days, I will be giving you a three-month prison sentence on a 12- month suspension, with release eligibility as soon as you are processed."

Read the full story here.

4. Minimum sentence for 'fake gun' fearmongering

A KINGAROY man was sentenced to six months probation after facing a number of charges before Kingaroy Magistrates Court in August, including waving a fake gun at Memorial Park.

Reagan Whitfield, 40, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, contravening a direction or requirement given by police, obstructing an officer, going armed as to cause fear, and three counts of breach of bail.

According to Police Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi, on July 7, several concerned citizens made triple-0 calls in regards to a man waving a 'gun' around at Memorial Park. It was later confirmed the weapon was a gel blaster hand gun.

"He told police that most people go to the bar and have a beer to unwind, I like to shoot my gun around to unwind," said Sgt Gangemi.

Defence lawyer Thomas Carr told the court that Whitfield suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and 'didn't think about whether it (the gel blaster) would scare people.'

"He was merely testing the gel blaster with his hand out the window shooting it at the ground."

Whitfield was given the minimum sentence of six months probation for the assault charge, going armed, obstructing police, and breaching bail. For the contravene direction or requirement of a police officer, he was convicted and not further punished.

Read the full story here.

5. Man wield sledgehammer and knife in ice-fuelled fight

A Beenleigh man faced Nanango Magistrates Court in August after reports of a horrifying fight, which took place in front of his young children.

According to police prosecutor sergeant Pepe Gangemi, on Saturday January 12, 2019, a number of triple-0 calls were made to police.

"During those calls, between bouts of crying and pleading for police to attend, the phone was passed to a young person, who appears to be eight years of age," Sergeant Gangemi said.

"The triple-0 operator could hear parties yelling and screaming profanities at each other in the background."

"The 8-year-old said at one point, the aggrieved smashed glass in the house after throwing an object, followed by the defendant brandishing a sledgehammer and a knife while the pair fought each other."

While this was the first domestic violence breach committed by the defendant, Sergeant Gangemi said 'it's probably toward the more serious end, considering the effect on the children'.

Defence lawyer Thomas Carr noted the incident occurred more than one and a half years ago, however no charges had been laid until April this year. For this reason, Magistrate Andrew Sinclair struck out the charge.

Read the full story here.

6. Blue Care worker charged for stealing from 'little old lady'

A 55-year-old Wondai aged care worker has been fined $750 for helping herself to her 78-year-old client's purse.

Noreen Wessling pleaded guilty to all five charges of stealing at Murgon Magistrates Court.

Police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens said despite the insignificant amount of money, it's a gross breach of trust.

The defendants lawyer Mark Werner said the stealing was very out of character.

"There are obviously some underlying issues here like stress at work and health issues because something caused a change in behaviour for Ms Wessling," Mr Werner said,

Magistrate Sinclair said "everyone gets a chance to make a mistake and therefore I will fine you $750 and order you to pay back the remaining $18.55 for compensation."

She had already paid back $55 out of job seeker payments.

Read the full story here.

7. 'White maggot': convicted assailant abuses magistrate

A Cherbourg woman convicted with stabbing a victim with a butter knife verbally abused a magistrate after receiving a 15-month sentence.

Shaylene Irene Joyce Jerome, 26, appeared before Kingaroy Magistrates Court via video in August, entering a plea of guilty to numerous assault charges committed between May and August 2020.

For the assault occasioning bodily harm of May 11, Magistrate Andrew Sinclair sentenced the mother of two to six months imprisonment.

For assaulting a teenage girl and then striking her with an object, Jerome received two prison sentences of six months and nine months.

For the assaults where the victim was stabbed in the foot, and another in the ear, Jerome received two more prison sentences of 15 months and nine months.

The sentences are to be served concurrently, equating to a total of 15 months, with the parole release date set for January 4, 2020.

The victim had to be returned to Murgon Watchhouse during the sentencing, due to her persistently yelling abuse at the magistrate - telling him to "get f--ked" and calling him a "f--king white maggot" and "motherf--ker".

Read the full story here.

8. 'Reoffending mess': jail sentence activated for church thief

A Nanango man, who broke into a Kingaroy church, was sentenced to 12 months actual jail time after breaching a suspended sentence imposed early this year.

Originally sentenced in Kingaroy District Court in February by Judge Gary Long, Barry Michael Parkes began breaching the conditions of his bail just a month later.

According to the Crown, the breaching offences started to occur only a month into the order, with the first, a disqualified driving charge issued on March 22, 2020.

The second breach occurred when Parkes broke into St John's Lutheran Church in Kingaroy and stole several items. The 49-year-old and an accomplice, who can't be named for legal reasons, used a jimmy tool to open the front door of the church. They then proceeded to steal several items including musical instruments, a laptop and bag, cables, recording equipment, cam recorder, tripod, keys and a donation tin.

Judge Nicole Kefford activated the 12 month suspended sentence, starting from Tuesday August 18, with the parole release date set for November 28.

After this date, Judge Kefford said "he would then have 9 months under supervision to hopefully provide some support for rehabilitation, and to establish new habits."

Read the full story here.

9. Cherbourg woman used bank card to buy KFC and smokes

An opportunistic fraud has helped herself to someone else's bank account after using a card to make a string of purchases.

While on probation Danielle Diane Georgetown used a bank card to purchase a phone, cigarettes and food from KFC.

Georgetown pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud, one count of possessing drug utensils and one count of possessing dangerous drugs.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said on March 6 the victim had gone shopping at IGA in Kingaroy, putting his wallet in a trolley before driving away without it.

"When the victim noticed he had forgotten his wallet he went back to find it was missing," Sgt Stevens said.

"The next day the victim noticed multiple transactions on his account."

Georgetown's defence lawyer Bonnie Djordjevic said Danielle found the keycard on the road.

She was ordered to pay $197.65 in compensation to Commonwealth Bank through SPER as well as having her probation extended for a further nine months.

Read the full story here.

10. Drunk man speeds through Murgon on wrong side of the road.

A man who decided to get behind the wheel after drinking half a carton of full strength beer has been served a suspended prison sentence.

On May 30 at around 4.55pm police in Murgon observed Jacob James Kingsley Frahm stumble out of a house before entering a white rodeo car parked on the side of Webster Street.

Frahm was observed by police driving between 70-75 kilometres per hour in a 50 zone, failing to slow down at give way signs.

After following the defendant through Armstrong Street, police observed the defendant driving in the middle of the road before continuing on the wrong side of the road.

Frahm's defence lawyer Jay Rose said her client does "not accept the facts, however wishes to plead guilty to all charges."

For driving without due care Frahm was sentenced to three months imprisonment on a 12 month suspended sentence and was disqualified from holding or obtaining a license for 12 months.

For driving over the middle alcohol limit, he was given a 12 month probation order and was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for five months.

In relation to driving unlicensed he was given a 12 month probation order and disqualified from holding or obtaining a license for two years.

Read the full story here.

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