Read the top 10 most high-profile and gripping court cases reported in 2018.
Read the top 10 most high-profile and gripping court cases reported in 2018.

10 court stories that shocked Bundaberg in 2018

BEHIND BARS: Dylan Martin was jailed for a violent attack on his mum and grandmother as well as a series of traffic offences.
Dylan Martin claimed to be the biggest drug dealer in Bundaberg. FACEBOOK

Man punches mum, strangles grandma, threatens to kill them both

HE CLAIMED to be the "biggest drug dealer in Bundaberg", called his grandmother an "old c---", strangled his mum and crashed a stolen car into a home while drunk, causing $13,500 in damages.

Dylan Andrew James Martin's "completely irrational response" after getting into an argument with his mother saw him get handed a three-year jail term after the prawn trawler fisherman pleaded guilty to a long list of offences in the Bundaberg District Court in March.

The then-23-year-old's offending started on June 21, 2017 with a violent attack on his mother and grandmother, which ended in him threatening to kill both of them with a knife and crashing a stolen car he was unlawfully driving, while drunk.

The father of one spent 260 days in pre-sentence custody before he was sentenced by Judge Tony Moynihan.

IN COURT: Jason Gerhardt has plead not guilty to murdering Craig Marshall in 2015.
Jason Gerhardt killed his ex-partner's boyfriend. Contributed

Murderer sentenced to life behind bars

IN A sensational turn of events, murder-accused Jason Errol Gerhardt, 45, changed his not-guilty plea to guilty on day-4 of his Supreme Court trial in March, resulting in a sentence of life behind bars.

The former Hervey Bay man killed the boyfriend of his ex-partner (Kristen Eastley) after seeing the pair kissing at the woman's Coonarr home on July 31, 2015.

Ms Eastley broke up with Gerhardt in 2012.

Craig Marshall, 44, suffered nine wounds in the brutal attack, but died from two stab wounds that punctured both his lungs, causing haemorrhaging in one and instantly collapsing the other.

Gerhardt fled the scene but handed himself in to Southport police some days later, where he remained in custody until his trial in March 2018.

Karl Gebicki outside the Bundaberg Court House.
Karl Gebicki was ordered to pay a $750 fine within 28 days after putting two paramedics through a horror ordeal. Mike Knott BUN160518COURT1

Paramedics recount frightening day they were locked inside a property

GIN GIN advanced care paramedics Jason Thompson and Melissa Bayntun gave an emotional account in court in May, recounting the day they were locked inside a couple's rural property after responding to reports of a pregnant woman in need.

Mr Thompson and Ms Bayntun said they arrived at a Mt Perry property to find a woman suffering from Cellulitis in September 2017.

After declaring the patient (Peri Gebicki) would need to be taken to hospital, Karl Mark Gebicki, who lived with his wife in a makeshift house in a shipping container on the property, proclaimed: "Nobody's leaving without me."

In a flurry, Gebicki arranged for the gates to his property to be locked by his mother, and refused to open them despite the paramedics' insistence.

After a two-day hearing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court in May, Gibecki was found guilty by Magistrate John Smith, who called the man's crimes "deplorable" and ordered him to pay a $750 fine within 28 days.

Karl and Peri Gebicki's house.
Karl and Peri Gebicki's house, the scene of a drug lab.

Man hangs 'danger sign' to keep baby, kids out of meth lab

'POISON, keep out, danger, death is consequence': Those were the words on display outside the 23-year-old man's secret drug laboratory, found by police in 2016.

The father of two pleaded guilty to three counts of giving rise to danger from exposure of unlawful manufacturing in Bundaberg District Court in July - the maximum penalty for which is nine years in prison.

During proceedings, the court heard the man, who cannot be named, tried to stop the one, three and five year-old children from going inside his meth lab by hanging a danger sign on the door.

Inside the room, police found equipment and chemicals consistent with a meth cook as well as children's clothes and toys. All three children tested positive to meth.

Judge Jennifer Rosengren sentenced the man to six months in prison and released him on a $500 recognisance on the condition he be on good behaviour for nine months.

Bundaberg Magistrate Neil Lavaring.
Bundaberg Magistrate Neil Lavaring made headlines for questioning the drink-drive limit. Contributed

Bundy magistrate questions 0.05 drink driving limit

QUEENSLAND politicians strongly criticised Bundaberg magistrate Neil Lavaring in August after he wondered out loud whether the legal drink driving limit should be increased.

On Monday, August 6, Mr Lavaring fined a 50-year-old Victoria man $100 and disqualified him for the minimum one-month period after he recorded a .062 blood alcohol content reading while on holiday at Agnes Water.

He pointed out the 50-year-old man was "not far over the limit" and had a clean criminal history.

"Sometimes I wonder if the limit's a bit low ... I shouldn't say that, but I don't know why we changed from the old .08 because no one at that end is really grossly affected, are they?" he said in open court.

Both Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey and LNP leader Deb Frecklington publicly criticised the comments, with the latter saying "If you drink drive you are a bloody idiot".

Eden Kane
Accused kidnapper Eden Kane had his trial moved to Brisbane due to the age of the courthouse.

'Dated courthouse' the reason Childers kidnapping trial moved to Brisbane

EDEN James Kane, accused of kidnapping a three-year-old girl from her Childers home in 2014, had his trial transferred from Bundaberg to Brisbane in September after a judge ruled

the local courthouse was too small and dated to host such a high-profile case.

At a pre-trial hearing in the Bundaberg District Court earlier this year, Judge William Everson Referring said his decision to move the trial was based largely on the limited space inside the courthouse and its distance from the police station.

Judge Everson said it would be difficult to ensure the necessary level of security would be present during the upcoming trial, given the public outrage and verbal abuse Mr Kane had endured in earlier proceedings at the local courthouse.

"The only matter which really concerns me is the presumption that trials should ordinarily proceed in the district where the alleged offence has occurred, however ... the facilities at the Bundaberg Courthouse are rudimentary by modern standards to say the least," he said.

Bryan Hodgkinson.
Photo: Contributed
An inquest into the murder of Bryan Hodgkinson. finished. Contributed

Inquest into cold case cabbie murder finishes

A CORONIAL inquest into the 30-year-old cold-case murder of Bundaberg cabbie Bryan Hodgkinson came to a close in October, after days of witness testimonials and evidence.

On October 24 Coroner David O'Connell told Mr Hodgkinson's grieving sister, Doris Hillier, he'd do his best to sift through the mountains of evidence before him and to try and establish what was credible and reliable.

"It may be that I may not be able to get answers on the required standard of proof," he said.

During the final days of the inquest, convicted murder Paul Sutherland gave evidence he couldn't have been involved in the killing of Mr Hodgkinson because he'd been on his way back from Brisbane when the cabbie's body was found on September 10, 1987.

Customers, we are currently in the process of a store conversion from Supa IGA to Everfresh.
A woman was sexually assaulted in the IGA carpark. Mike Knott BUN290818IGA3

Man sexually assaults woman in IGA carpark

IN NOVEMBER a court heard of a harrowing sexual assault of a 59-year-old woman, who was left frozen in fear when a stranger slid his hand down her shirt and put her breasts in his mouth outside a local IGA.

Mike Andrew Connell, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault in the District Court at Bundaberg on November 15.

The Crown told Judge Katherine McGinness that Connell had an intellectual impairment, significantly reducing his comprehension skills and ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

The charges against Connell arose on September 25, 2014, at Cornetts Supa IGA on Woongarra St, where he sucked on a woman's breasts after offering to help her with her groceries.

Judge McGinness sentenced him to 12 months in prison, wholly suspended for 12 months and released him on probation and convictions were recorded.

ADJOURNED: Edward Blair Kennedy appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on April 18, 2018 on three charges including one count of aggravated dangerous conduct with a weapon and two counts of unlawfully wounding another. The matter was adjourned for a brief of evidence until June 21, 2018.
ADJOURNED: Edward Blair Kennedy appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on April 18, 2018 on three charges including one count of aggravated dangerous conduct with a weapon and two counts of unlawfully wounding another. The matter was adjourned for a brief of evidence until June 21, 2018. Facebook

Burnett Heads shooting case ends in deportation

EDWARD Blair Kennedy, the man who shot at two people during a drug deal-turned-violent-robbery, was sentenced to seven years prison for his crimes. But that won't be the only consequence of his actions at Burnett Heads eight months ago.

In November the Bundaberg District Court heard the 27-year-old father would most likely be deported back to his country of birth, New Zealand, after serving at least one third of his sentence (two years and four months), following which he will be eligible for parole release.

The shooting on April 9 left one man with a gunshot wound and another injured and arose when the four defendants (Kennedy, Fagan, Crane and Roll) organised to steal $21,000 or about 7lbs of marijuana from their victims.

Matthew Charles Crane.
Matthew Charles Crane. Contributed

Kennedy pleaded guilty to one count each of unlawful wounding, grievous bodily harm, possessing a weapon used to wound and engaging in conduct with a weapon used to injure.

Corey John Roll.
Corey John Roll. Contributed

His co-offender, Matthew Charles Crane, 29, pleaded guilty to the same charges, apart from engaging in conduct with a weapon used to injure, on the same day, as did third defendant, Corey John Roll, 28, who pleaded guilty to one count each of supplying a weapon and accessory after grievous bodily harm.

Brodie John Fagan.
Brodie John Fagan. Contributed

Fourth co-offender Brodie John Fagan, 25, was sentenced on July 20 to four years in prison suspended after one year for one count each of grievous bodily harm, wounding, and possessing a weapon.

Kimberley John Jenkinson, 47, pleaded guilty to possessing and searching for child exploitation material in the Bundaberg District Court.
Kimberley John Jenkinson pleaded guilty to possessing a huge number of child porn images. Facebook

CBD worker caught with 450,000 child porn pics

A WELL-known man employed in the Bundaberg CBD for more than 13 years by unsuspecting retailers was sentenced to prison for three years in court after he was caught with more than 456,000 child porn images and videos.

In the Bundaberg District Court on November 19, Kimberley John Jenkinson, 47, pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material and using the internet to access child pornography.

He was charged after police conducting a house search barged in on him scrolling through the internet, looking for fresh child porn in April.

After serving 10 months in jail, Jenkinson will be released on 12 months' probation and a $2000 bond, on the condition he remain of good behaviour for two years.