Murder, drugs and abuse: Court cases that shocked Coast
THEY were the cases that shocked us, disgusted us or got the whole community talking.
Here the Chronicle looks back at some of the biggest court cases over the past year.
BEFORE he killed her, Frederick Ronald Sinfield raped his neighbour.
The explosive admission came as a Maryborough Supreme Court jury found Sinfield guilty of murdering Norma Ludlam, 75.
He had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
After a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for about five hours before returning a guilty verdict.
Once the jury returned its verdict, Sinfield, 63, pleaded guilty to the additional charge of rape, according to court documents seen by the Chronicle.
A MUSCLE-bound child basher, whose sickening attack left a two-year-old with a broken back and pelvis, was given immediate parole edibility.
Despite being previously convicted of assaulting a three-year-old, Jesse Lee James, 29, was able to apply for parole immediately, after pleading guilty in Maryborough District Court to bashing another little girl.
James' crimes came to light when a Child Health and Safety caseworker visited the girl's home and noticed her injuries.
AN ATTEMPT to argue a former paedophile teacher was now of "good character" was rejected by a judge in Hervey Bay.
Urraween's John Vincent Lewis, 77, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent treatment of a child when he appeared before Hervey Bay District Court.
It was the third time he had been sentenced in relation to molesting young girls while he was a teacher at a Maryborough school.
Lewis spent three months in custody for sexually assaulting four girls in 1986.
The convictions ended his career and in the years since, 13 more students have come forward telling of the abuse they suffered at his hands.
FROM halfway around the world, William Glen Fissenden preyed on a 12-year-old girl, sending and receiving naked photos and videos, and having sex toys delivered to her United States home.
The images would later be shared to a website and to Skype users, including the girl's mother.
Fissenden, 20, pleaded guilty to a series of charges in Hervey Bay District Court, including distributing and possessing child exploitation material and making child pornography.
The court heard Fissenden's crimes came to light when the girl made a complaint to police in the US.
A MAN who tried to sodomise his young daughter and manipulated her into using sex toys has had his years of sexual abuse laid bare.
The 40-year-old Hervey Bay man kept his eyes to the ground as his horrific crimes against his daughter, which began when she was just 12, were read out in Hervey Bay District Court.
The girl sat in the public gallery to watch the man who had abused her for three years face justice.
The man, who cannot be identified to protect his victim, pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a child and recording in breach of privacy.
A BAY rugby league player has been locked up for a terrifying armed robbery.
A court heard Alexander John Mark Williams used a kitchen knife to threaten a staff member at Urraween's United Service Station.
The 20-year-old, who is a second rower with the Hervey Bay Seagulls, wielded the 30cm weapon while demanding money from the till, and cigarettes.
He then fled on foot and police caught him later that day.
The details emerged in Hervey Bay District Court, where Williams pleaded guilty to one charge of robbery while armed.
A MARYBOROUGH father has landed himself behind bars after trying to smuggle drugs to his adult son in prison.
Trevor Deacon, 48, was busted with 40 strips of buprenorphine and tobacco in his underpants at the Maryborough Correctional Centre in Aldershot.
Buprenorphine is a drug used to treat opioid use disorder and severe pain.
Crown prosecutor Natalie Lima said Deacon's criminal history was littered with five prior drug-related matters, including the production and possession of marijuana.
A REPEAT phone sex pest, who dialled businesses at random and subjected strangers to crude conversations for his own pleasure has been ordered to undergo counselling.
Jason David Currey pleaded guilty via video link in Hervey Bay Magistrates on Thursday to multiple charges of telephone harassment.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Michael Ruddiman said Currey specifically targeted businesses, which heightened the criminality of each instance because employees were on duty.
"The difficult situation for the victims is that they were at their place of work and had to answer calls," he said.
A RETIRED nurse and respected community volunteer had a "significant fall from grace" when he sexually assaulted a teenage boy.
Maryborough District Court heard Stanley William Pidgeon, 67, was regarded as a grandfather figure by his teenage victim.
That was until March last year, when he looked after the children while their father went to work.
The court heard the boy fell asleep on the lounge but woke shortly after to find Pidgeon on top of him.