South Burnett courts have already dealt with some shocking cases this year, including a racist rampage at a hospital and a father raping his own daughter.
South Burnett courts have already dealt with some shocking cases this year, including a racist rampage at a hospital and a father raping his own daughter.

South Burnett’s most shocking court cases so far in 2021

It’s been a busy start to the year for South Burnett courts, with some truly shocking cases coming before judges in the past two months.

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Here’s the biggest cases you may have missed.


Burnett man in prison after multiple robberies, drug charges

A Cherbourg man will spend two years in jail for his involvement in a number of break and enters, robberies and drug charges, while already on a suspended sentence.

Matthew Ralph Hegarty, 36, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking into a dwelling and committing an indictable offence and two counts of possessing dangerous drugs.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said unless Hegarty can deal with the issues that cause him to take drugs he will keep committing crime and going back to prison.

“While what happened to you is in no way fair or your fault, they are the consequences of you having this sort of life should not be visited on other people,” Magistrate Sinclair said.

“Breaking and entering into dwelling houses I view as one of the most serious offences I deal with, that‘s because it immediately, directly and seriously impacts on other people.”

Hegarty was ordered to serve the suspended sentence of three months and the head sentence of two years for the burglaries.

Convictions were recorded.


“Distressing”: Man arrested after racist rampage at hospital

Tyson Hanks, Murgon Magistrates Court.
Tyson Hanks, Murgon Magistrates Court.

After being taken to Murgon Hospital by police after refusing to answer compulsory COVID questions, a Murgon man has gone off at his arresting officers after a patient with heart problems was seen before him.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Police Prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said Tyson Hanks demanded to be seen first by medical staff and began abusing police when told the doctor was currently attending to the older man.

“The doctor was seeing an older man in the other room who was suffering from heart problems. The defendant replied to the police ‘I don’t care, he’s f--king old and probably going to die, who cares’,” Sergeant Stevens said.

Hanks was charged with obstructing police and conduct causing public nuisance as a result of his actions, which Sergeant Steven described as “very distressing for all involved”. He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said the records show Hanks is currently serving a sentence dating back to October 2019 and was on parole at the time of the incident, which occurred on February 5, 2021.

Hanks received one fine of $1000 for both offences, which was referred to SPER. Convictions were recorded.


Drunk driver has suspended sentence extended for second time

A drunk driver who crashed his car causing his passenger to have permanent brain damage has had his suspended sentence extended for the second time.

In 2015 Mitchell Francis Weeks, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended for four years after serving ten months.

In 2018, Weeks had his suspended sentence extended by a further six months after he was caught with drugs.

On February 19, 2021, Weeks found himself back before the Kingaroy District Court for breaching that suspended sentence again, this time for a stealing charge and contravening an order, which he pleaded guilty to.

Weeks was ordered to serve ten months of the suspended imprisonment, with an immediate parole release date as of 19 February 2021.


Kingaroy man, 21, on parole after cowardly attack on partner

Jason Taylor Carseldine
Jason Taylor Carseldine

A 21-year-old Kingaroy man has been released from prison on parole after he was arrested for contravening a domestic violence order multiple times for launching vicious strangling, biting and punching attacks on his girlfriend.

The court heard Jason Taylor Careseldine was serving a nine month probation order for a public nuisance charge from November 2019 when the defendant called the complainant a “psycho bitch” before placing his fingers down her throat and up her nose.

Carseldine pleaded guilty to one charge of strangulation and four charges of contravening a domestic violence order at the Kingaroy District Court.

In relation to count one, Carseldine was sentenced to serve two years and three months in prison.

In respect to the summary offences the contravention on April 11 he was convicted and not further punished.

In respect to each of the other contravention offences he was ordered to imprisonment for six months.

In respect to those terms of imprisonment the judge declared that 262 days of pre sentenced custody is to be taken as time already served and in those circumstances, the defendant‘s parole release day was fixed to today February 19, 2021.


Woman wakes to father raping her in living room

A 50-year-old Cherbourg man has been sentenced to six years and nine months jail for raping his 20-year-old daughter.

The court heard on August 26, 2020, the defendant, who can‘t be named for legal reasons, and the complainant consumed alcohol and cannabis and at 10pm the complainant went to sleep on a mattress in the defendants living room.

The complainant woke the following morning to find the defendant behind her on the mattress with his penis inside her vagina pushing into her from behind.

After some comments by the complainant, she got up and ran out the door.

Judge Gary Long S.C. said the offending involved a significant breach of trust.

“It‘s noted forensic testing identified that semen was detected on swabs taken from the complainant,” Judge Long said.

“Which confirms the unprotected nature of the sexual intercourse, which adds a component potentially to the obvious distress, which must have been occasioned to the complainant.”

The defendant was sentenced to six years and nine months imprisonment.

174 days pre-sentenced custody was to be taken as time already served.

In respect to the period of imprisonment the defendant‘s parole eligibility is fixed as 28 August 2022, after serving a period of two years.

Judge blasts South Burnett meth dealer and father

A single father has narrowly avoided spending time in prison after he supplied meth in the Burnett while addicted to the drug himself.

Mark Holton, 53, faced Kingaroy District Court on Monday, February 15, on two charges of supplying a dangerous drug and possession of a mobile phone used in commission of a crime.

The court was told in May last year, police executed a search warrant at the single-father‘s home where they found clip sealed bags which contained 0.1 grams of methylamphetamine, used needles and syringes that had not been appropriately disposed off, and a glass pipe among other things.

Holton‘s mobile phone was also seized.

While the minor drug possession was dealt with in Kingaroy Magistrates court, analysis of his phone led to Holton being charged with supply charges.

On the first count of supply, Holton was sentenced to six months in prison, nine months for the second count of supply, and three months for possessing the phone.

His term was then suspended for three years.



Burnett dad’s foul mouthed tirade at principal ends in court

A Burnett father’s foul mouth and expletive-ridden rant at his child‘s school principal ended with a court date.

Daniel James Hawkins, 42, faced Murgon Magistrates Court on February 9, charged with insulting a member of a state educational institution while in the presence of a student.

The incident occurred on February 18, 2020, at the Wondai State School.

Police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens told the court the incident occurred when the defendant attended the school’s office after the school had contacted his wife about a diabetes action plan involving their daughter.

“Upon entering the office the principal has spoken to the defendant in the office area,” Sergeant Stevens said.

“He immediately yelled ‘F--k you c-nt, I’ll be taking my kids out of school’.

“The defendant continued calling the principal a ‘f--king c-nt’.”

Hawkins was placed on a good behaviour bond of $350 for six months.

No conviction was recorded.


Convicted child sex offender faces South Burnett court

A former police liaison officer and teacher convicted of child sex offences returned to court to face charges of failing to meet his reporting requirements.

Sam James Chambers pleaded guilty to failing to comply with reporting obligations in the Murgon Magistrates Court on February 9.

Chambers was previous convicted of two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 and sentenced in the Gympie District Count on July 23, 2019, to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens told the court the fresh charge occurred at The Range, Rockhampton, last year.

As part of Chambers’ sentence, he is required to provide certain information to police, including reporting any contact with children.

“On the 13th of December last year, police conducted a compliance check, during that investigation it was revealed that he had contact with his children,” Sergeant Stevens said.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair took into account his early plea of guilty, and sentenced Chambers to 12 months of probation.

No conviction was recorded.


Assault victim tasered by police after brandishing knife

After being seriously assaulted and calling triple-zero, the last thing a Proston man was expecting was to be tasered and charged with obstructing police.

But that‘s exactly what occurred to 57-year-old Darren Arthur Bricknell, who faced Murgon Magistrates Court on February 2.

Bricknell pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing a police officer after a violent incident on January 16.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens told the court police were called to a Proston address at 11.45pm where they found Bricknell in his front yard with a “large laceration” to his head.

He told police the injuries occurred when he was assaulted by several people.

“The defendant then entered the bathroom and upon seeing the injury, immediately became enraged,” sergeant Stevens said.

Bricknell then ran through the kitchen and grabbed a large steel knife and fled through his front door, with the officers following.

Despite being ordered to stop and warned he would be tasered, Bricknell ignored officers and was subsequently tasered and arrested before being taken to Kingaroy Hospital for treatment.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair noted he was“clearly the victim of a serious crime”, and while it appeared as though he had intended to ”take matters into your own hands” he had been affected by the injury and was subsequently tasered.

Bricknell was released into a good behaviour bond of $500 for four months, with no conviction recorded.


Violent baseball bat rampage lands Kingaroy woman in court

A Kingaroy woman has been placed on probation for nine months after using a baseball bat to strike someone as well as causing significant damage to that person’s car.

Mikaela Tasmin Quinn pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, one count of going armed to cause fear, one count of obstructing police and once count of wilful damage.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said Quinn pleaded guilty to the offences and he took that into account along with the circumstances that were explained in relation to the offending.

“Rather than taking events into your own hands, by simply phoning police you wouldn‘t of been here today,” Magistrate Sinclair said.

“The use of weapons, particularly weapons that damage property and harm people is serious but in your case is out of character given your complete lack of history.

“A period of probation will allow you to be supervised to deal with some of the issues your relationship has left you with.”

Quinn was ordered to pay compensation of $1046.50 to the victim and $2303.50 to Alliance, both referred to SPER.

No convictions were recorded.


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