10 biggest crime stories to unfold in Gympie last month
DOMESTIC disputes have become distressingly commonplace and constitute a considerable proportion of violence-related matters before the Gympie Magistrates and District Courts.
This does not include the many non-criminal domestic violence matters, which involve police or family members seeking court orders under the Domestic Violence Act.
These occupy most of at least one day every week.
Some of these crimes occurred in July, others became public via the courts. In one way or another they are all shocking in at least way.
The Gympie Times' first issue for July carried on its front page the sad and shocking story of one criminal matter, in which a fearful young mother who jumped from a second-storey window to escape "calculated and protracted punishment” for asking a man to stop making her daughter cry.
The man is Benjamin Matthew Rogers, 29, formerly of Gympie, who was jailed in Brisbane District Court for at least another two months, after having served 10 months before his trial and one month since.
Street crime also was no surprise, although some cases stood out, including the woman who, according to submissions in Gympie Magistrates Court, was "affected by an intoxicating substance” when she smashed a taxi window with her phone, after hitting another woman and before trying to pick a fight with some others.
On July 6, we reported on "the fake tradie brothers,” Charles and Reenarto Caston, who stole nearly $70,000 from mostly elderly victims, overcharging them for home maintenance work they did badly or not at all.
On July 10, dramatic scenes of shooting and mayhem took place on the Bruce Highway.
Dylan Matthew Hammond, 25, was arrested after allegedly leading police on a mobile crime spree from Hervey Bay, down the Bruce Highway and through Gympie to Yandina, where he was shot by police and run over by a caravan.
Multiple police crews from Special Emergency Response Team, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Gympie and Sunshine Coast police were involved in the alleged chase.
A man was remanded in custody after allegedly punching a man "viciously,” breaking bones in his face as well as his car window.
Ricky James Pohlner, 32, will appear again in Gympie Magistrates Court on August 12.
"Bizarre” is one word that may come to mind when contemplating the case of Jade Leslie Bird who became agitated after Centrelink workers refused to charge his phone.
He was placed on 12 months probation after pleading guilty to wilfully damaging a security camera after unlawfully climbing onto the roof of a building.
Gold rings and pearl necklaces were among jewellery items stolen from an Imbil residence, police reported on July 12.
Some offences were not so spectacular in themselves, but more in the impact they had on ordinary citizens getting on with their lives.
Such was the case when a family group parked at Lake Alford for a friend's party. While they were there, someone stole their car.
Riding a stolen horse into the Jockey Club Hotel on February 9 was the least of the crimes committed by Matthew Lawrence Grimstone, 24.
Later in the evening he coward punched a man he did not know in an apparent case of mistaken identity, causing serious injury.
Ironically, it was the severe and traumatic facial injuries he caused which kept him out of jail when he appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court in mid-July.
Instead of jail, he was ordered to perform 200 hours community service and pay nearly $6000 in compensation.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan said it was "a finely balanced decision” to allow Grimstone at large.
The court was told Grimstone had declined to fight his victim face to face, but had waited until he could surprise him.
The blows had caused "a great deal of damage to (the victim) and I want to see him properly and appropriately compensated,” Mr Callaghan said. "You can't do that in jail. You can if you are working.”
He sentenced Grimstone to 12 months with immediate parole, with restitution and compensation.
Then came the case of Deon William Brown, who drunkenly struck up conversation with female hotel patrons, warning them that they needed him to protect them from Muslims who, he said, wanted to rape them.
He explained he was an associate of a group called True Blue Crew and had been wound up by conversation about "what's happenig in this country with Muslims.”
"It was going through my head and I carried on about it,” Brown said.
Mr Callaghan said Brown had to accept that Muslims had a right to be here too and Brown's comments in the context of a hotel constituted disorderly behaviour, which had offended his audience.
He fined Brown $700.