These are 10 crimes that have shocked the Coast this year.
These are 10 crimes that have shocked the Coast this year.

REVEALED: 10 crimes that shocked the Coast this year

From a dog being held hostage in a bloody home invasion to two men stealing a Blue Care van and taking it for a joy ride with a "confused" dementia patient on-board, these are 10 crimes that have shocked the Coast this year.

Secret squirrels: Smuggler caught with rodent in pants

A squirrel smuggler used social media to document his ballsy mission of shoving the rodents down his pants and bringing them to Australia from Bali.

"He's ready for the flight" and "It f------ worked, f--- all you haters" were just two of several captions Lucas Seth Jolly attributed to photos and videos of squirrels before he was caught at Brisbane airport.

Jolly, now 20, purchased the juvenile squirrels at a live animal market in Bali before placing them in socks and hiding them in his checked baggage on a flight on December 4, 2018.

They cost $15 each.

Commonwealth prosecutor Sam Hill said a follower had tipped off police who awaited Jolly's arrival in Australia.

The Tewantin man collected his bag off the carousel upon arrival and walked to a bathroom where he stashed the squirrels in his pants.

Jolly pleaded guilty to importing conditionally non-prohibited goods, importing regulated items, and importing regulated live specimens in a cruel manner.

Jolly was sentenced to 18 months in jail with immediate release on the condition he be of good behaviour for five years.

If he commits any offences in that time he will forfeit a $1000 bond and may be required to serve his sentence.

Lucas Seth Jolly.
Lucas Seth Jolly.

'Kill him': Dad jailed for robbing real estate agent

A young father was jailed for his involvement in a violent robbery in which a Coast real estate agent was lured and bashed.

"Kill him and leave him behind," were the words of Justin David Lown as he watched the attack on February 7, 2019.

The court heard Lown was holding a bat as real estate agent Mark McGill was repeatedly hit in the face by co-offender Jacob French.

"As a result of that, the complainant suffered a swollen lip, several breaks of skin to each side of his face and a nose bleed which dripped on the carpet," crown prosecutor Alex Stark said.

French, 28, had been waiting at a Glasshouse Mountains home for Mr McGill who thought he was picking up French's then partner Jamie-Lee Sarelle Bernhardt.

The court heard the victim had been speaking on social media with Ms Bernhardt who had provided photos of herself in exchange for money.

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French bashed Mr McGill before demanding he hand over his $13,000 watch, $400 wallet and $1000 mobile phone.

Mr Stark said while Lown was involved in the robbery, he wasn't involved in setting it up.

He said Lown "shaped up to hit" the victim with the bat he was holding but he didn't use it.

Lown appeared by video from Woodford Correctional Centre to plead guilty to one count of armed robbery in company using personal violence, and one count of robbery.

Lown was sentenced to three years in jail with release on parole after serving 12 months.

He will be released on July 14 next year.

French was sentenced in June to four years in jail with parole eligibility after serving 16 months.

He will be eligible for parole on March 7 next year.

Justin David Lown.
Justin David Lown.

Fruit boss jailed for luring and bashing 'creepy' customer

Fruity Life owner Kurt Drummond was jailed after luring a "creepy" mobile mechanic to a carpark and bashing him.

Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard the 42-year-old businessman had been drinking at Alexandra Headland Surf Club with his mates on January 23 when the mechanic came up in conversation.

Drummond believed the man had acted inappropriately towards his staff when visiting the Fruity Life stores.

He then called the mechanic pretending he required help for a broken down car in order to lure him to a nearby carpark, a plan unbeknown to his friends.

Brendan Wayne Pothecary, 38, was among the men in the carpark with Drummond when the mechanic arrived.

Police prosecutor Amanda Brewer said Drummond attacked the mechanic, punching his legs as he tried to pull him from his car.

The court heard he was simultaneously accusing the man of "touching" a woman who worked at his store.

He then used his elbow to smash the windscreen of the mechanic's car before Pothecary reached into the car and punched the man in the face.

The victim suffered a 25mm cut under his right eye, bruising to his face, abrasions to his knee and a sore sternum.

Drummond and Pothecary each pleaded guilty to one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm while in company.

Drummond was sentenced to nine months in jail with release on parole after serving three months.

A conviction was recorded for his assault charge only.

Fruity Life owner Kurt Drummond.
Fruity Life owner Kurt Drummond.

'Poo time': Tinder terror's revenge porn threats

A Tinder terror who threatened revenge porn when he was unfriended also sent his victim a photo of himself doing a poo.

In a letter of apology to the woman, Trent John Samuels said he was upset that his Tinder match had unfriended him on Snapchat.

Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard the 27-year-old first matched with the woman on the dating app in December last year.

The conversation migrated to Snapchat where the woman sent several photos of herself to Samuels.

The woman then stopped engaging in conversation with Samuels who would occasionally send her random pictures.

"And on one occasion he sent a photo of himself defecating on the toilet with the caption 'poo time'," Sen Constable Allan said.

"As a result, the victim has removed him from her list of friends on social media platforms."

Samuels then messaged the woman on Instagram, asking why he had been unfriended.

He told her she was "not hot enough" to be rude and that she should be careful because he had her nude photos saved.

He said he would hate for them to show up in messages to her family.

Samuels pleaded guilty to threatening to distribute a prohibited visual recording.

Magistrate Rod Madsen said the conviction was to be recorded because the offence was an indication of Samuels' character.

Samuels was fined $2500 and ordered to pay the victim $1000 in compensation.

Trent John Samuels.
Trent John Samuels.

Teacher fined for punching student he didn't know

A court heard Coast teacher Andrew James Best didn't know the name of the 14-year-old student he punched in the face.

The 39-year-old was fined for the assault on March 12 last year.

He had been on oval duty when he spotted the student leaving the grounds at lunchtime.

Best followed and used his phone to film the student who said "none ya" in response to being asked his name.

Crown prosecutor Stipe Drinovac told Maroochydore District Court the student attempted to knock the phone out of Best's hands, which were held close to his chest.

Best then punched the student in what was accepted by judge Suzanne Sheridan as self defence.

A second blow to the left side of the jaw in quick succession was considered to be excessive.

CCTV footage of the assault, next to the school bike racks, was played before the court and showed Best lunging at the student to deliver the second punch.

Best was fined $1500 to be paid within one month and no conviction was recorded.

Andrew James Best.
Andrew James Best.

Lamborghini and lies unravel lavish lifestyle

A rehabilitation program landed a high achiever with a drug addiction in more trouble when she met an overnight Bitcoin millionaire.

A court heard Kaori Celine Nakase, 23, was looking for a fresh start when she moved to Queensland and enrolled herself in a drug rehabilitation program.

But it was there she met a cashed-up boyfriend who allegedly coaxed her into crime and lying to police.

The court heard Nakase, who received an OP1 equivalent in high school, was given $637,800 from the man to buy a Lamborghini Huracan from a Brisbane dealership on October 14, 2019.

It was registered in her name.

Crown prosecutor Will Slack said the car was then involved in a police pursuit where the male driver got away.

Her partner told police the car had been stolen.

The court heard Nakase helped her partner prepare an affidavit which swore she had parked the car in Brisbane CBD before it was stolen.

Nakase later admitted that the affidavits were not truthful.

On November 8, she was pulled over driving at Nambour and tested positive to having methamphetamine in her system.

Nakase appeared by video link from prison at Maroochydore District Court to plead guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice, two counts of possessing property suspected of being the proceeds of a drug offence and one count of driving with a drug in her system.

Defence barrister Martin Longhurst said Nakase began abusing Ritalin but transitioned to methamphetamine because it was cheaper and "quickly became hooked".

He said her partner, who made $10 million through Bitcoin, was overbearing and influenced her offending.

Nakase was placed on probation for three years.

For driving with a drug in her system, she was disqualified from driving for one month.

No conviction was recorded.

Nakase's former partner and co-accused has charges before the court.

Kaori Celine Nakase.
Kaori Celine Nakase.

Blue Care bus bandits sentenced for crime spree

Two men were jailed for stealing a Blue Care van and taking it for a joy ride across the Sunshine Coast with a "confused" dementia patient on-board.

Crown prosecutor Alex Stark told a court Dean Robert Richards, 24, and Jarred Taylor Strafford, 21, were trying to evade police during a crime spree on June 18, 2019 when they spotted the Blue Care van pulled over on Hinkler Pde at Maroochydore.

Police released bodycam footage of the moment two men were arrested after stealing a Blue Care van with an elderly man still inside.

Mr Stark said Strafford kicked the bus driver in the chest before Richards took the wheel leading police on a 70km chase across the Coast.

A 76-year-old dementia patient was in the back of the bus during the joy ride.

At Maroochydore District Court, Richards pleaded guilty to 22 charges including dangerously operating a motor vehicle and deprivation of liberty - detain/confine.

Strafford pleaded to three charges including common assault, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and deprivation of liberty - detain/confine.

Mr Cash considered both men had "concerning criminal history.

He sentenced Strafford to 12 months' imprisonment with parole eligibility in July.

Richards was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment with parole eligibility on May 15 next year.

He was disqualified from driving for two years.

Con takes $8k from elderly woman, leaves her stranded

A 91-year-old with dementia spent a cold night wandering the streets after a woman took her from a retirement village and coaxed her to withdraw $8500.

Rachel Brooke Villella, 43, was with her five-year-old child when she visited Buderim's Village Green on June 13 last year with a sinister agenda.

Maroochydore Magistrate Court heard she was out to fuel her drug addiction.

The 91-year-old wasn't the only pawn in her ploy.

"She went into her home and later in the afternoon she drove her to the Sunshine Plaza to the St George bank," police prosecutor Amanda Brewer said.

"While there, she has had the victim withdraw a total of $8500 in two separate transactions."

Senior Constable Brewer said she found it hard to comprehend what happened next.

"(The woman) was then left on her own and with her dementia she was unable to get herself to her home and to a place of safety," Sen-Constable Brewer said.

"She was left to wander the streets disoriented and confused for the whole of a winter's night in June."

The elderly woman was found at 8.30am the next day about 1km from her home.

Consequent dehydration and disorientation led her to be hospitalised for 10 days.

At Maroochydore Magistrates Court, Villella cried as she confirmed her guilty plea to 10 offences including negligence causing harm and burglary.

She had spent 285 days in pre-sentence custody.

Villella was given a head sentence of two-and-a-half years' imprisonment for the burglary of the 94-year-old woman.

She was on a six-month suspended sentence at the time of the offences for previous fraud she had committed.

Mr Stjernqvist activated the suspended sentence to be served cumulatively with these sentences.

Villella was released immediately on parole and will be on parole for three years.

Rachel Brooke Villella.
Rachel Brooke Villella.

'Impostor:' Woman forges qualifications to gain nursing job

A mother-of-two forged documents and used another nurse's identity in order to gain employment at a Sunshine Coast aged care home.

Charlotte Emma Price pleaded guilty to three charges in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court, including attempted fraud, forgery and uttering.

Police prosecutor Amanda Brewer told the court Price had made an application for the position of clinical manager with Bolton Clarke residential accommodation.

The court heard the requirements of that position was a bachelor of nursing, current nursing registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with a minimum of four years' experience.

"As a result of Ms Price making an application for this position, there's been documentation presented," Senior Constable Brewer said.

"AHPRA has contacted this victim business and advised that the defendant under the name Charlotte Price was not and had never been a registered nurse."

The court heard that the registration number provided by Price belonged to a female nurse by the name of Charlotte Price Robertson, who was a registered nurse and resided in Victoria.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist told the court these were very serious offences, particularly because Price had been offered the position.

"You've taken a shortcut but you were an impostor. I don't know how you went about finding something with a similar name, but you did. That shows a lot of thought and planning," he said.

"You were successful in receiving the position and you were just lucky that like a lot of other fraudsters you were caught early."

Price was sentenced to a head sentence of nine months jail, which was wholly suspended for 18 months.

Charlotte Emma Price.
Charlotte Emma Price.

Dog held hostage in bloody home invasion

Two fathers used a large knife in a bloody home invasion where they demanded money or drugs, threatening to kill a dog.

Luke Thomas Bendall, 35, entered a former co-worker's Tewantin home in May 2018, saying he was leaving the country to start afresh and the man would have to "pay for it".

Crown prosecutor Alex Stark said Bendall produced a sawn-off shot gun, placed two bullets in it and said "give up your money or I'm going to shoot you or your dog".

His former co-worker fled his home and Bendall took about $400 from a wallet he left behind.

Bendall returned to the home four days later, accompanied by Xian Pietro Pedretti.

The same victim came home and was unlocking his front door when Pedretti grabbed him from behind and took him inside.

"Pedretti produced a 25cm to 30cm knife from the bag," Mr Stark told Maroochydore District Court.

"Bendall directed Pedretti to drag him into the bathroom and grab his chain and his chain was grabbed.

"Pedretti pushed the complainant to the floor and also struck the complainant, causing a visible injury of bleeding."

Bendall asked "what have you done? Did you stab him?" to which Pedretti replied: "No I've just whacked him".

Bendall told the victim to get off the floor and demanded he hand over drugs or money.

"They took him to the bank and they also took his dog as insurance for the complainant to comply and not play up," Mr Stark said.

The victim withdrew $1000 from an ATM in Noosa before Bendall and Pedretti "ransacked" the house of property.

Bendall was convicted of nine charges including armed robbery in company with personal violence.

Pedretti was convicted of seven offences which also included one count of armed robbery in company with personal violence.

Judge Glen Cash said the "unusual circumstances" amid the COVID-19 outbreak meant it was appropriate Pedretti was released from prison immediately.

He was given a head sentence of four-and-a-half years' imprisonment, suspended immediately.

He will also be on parole for three years.

Xian Pietro Pedretti.
Xian Pietro Pedretti.


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