There were some truly bizarre crimes committed in the Gympie region this year.
There were some truly bizarre crimes committed in the Gympie region this year.

RIDICULOUS: The 9 most bizarre Gympie crimes of the year

There have been some truly bizarre crimes committed across the Gympie region this year.


From a train masturbator who risked it all to steal a bag of lollies from Target, to a man who got bogged trying to escape police, to a woman who kept knuckledusters, tasers, a butterfly knife and other illegal weapons to protect her from yowies, the Gympie courts have certainly been busy dealing with all kinds of criminal matters through 2020.

Here’s a look at the nine most bizarre crimes to go through Gympie courts this year:

1. Gympie train masturbator’s crime spree lands him in court

A SERIAL shoplifter banned from Target stores nationwide who risked it all to steal a bag of lollies found himself in front of Gympie Magistrates Court this week.

Chase Shorthouse, 25, was sentenced for several offences including masturbating on a train, shoplifting, stealing and drug possession.

Knowing he had been banned from all Target stores since February for similar offences, on March 18 Shorthouse entered Target Sunshine Plaza, headed to the confectionary aisle and grabbed a bag of lollies and put them in his pocket while walking around the store.


2. Drunk mechanic attacks vending machine with sledgehammer

A COOLOOLA Cove man who tried to “have a conversation” with a vending machine before smashing it with a sledgehammer was fined $400 in Gympie Magistrates Court this week.

Piriniha Te Whenua Kelly, 41, pleaded guilty to wilfully damaging property at Rainbow Beach Car Wash on October 19 last year.

Police prosecutor Lisa Manns said CCTV footage showed an intoxicated Kelly approach a vending machine at the car wash, “have a conversation with it”, and then kick and punch it before leaving.


3. Gympie man steals boat, gets bogged trying to outrun police

A YOUNG Gympie man who breached COVID-restrictions to steal a boat and was caught after getting bogged trying to outrun police, had also been disqualified from driving.

While fishing at Rainbow Beach on April 18, Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes saw a small aluminium boat, known as a tender, tied to a tree near the Carlo Point boat ramp, and decided he would steal it.

Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes faced the Gympie Magistrates Court this week
Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes faced the Gympie Magistrates Court this week

The 21-year-old headed home to Gympie to get a trailer, and at 6pm returned to the boat, untied and loaded it onto his trailer before he was witnessed driving it out of town.

Jessop-Warnes was charged with driving unlicensed while on a court disqualification, stealing, evading police and obstructing police. He was sentenced to 18 months’ jail with parole eligibility from November 28.

He was banned from driving for two years.


4. Gympie stalker called woman 7500 times in 3 months

A GYMPIE man who stalked and harassed his ex girlfriend by phoning her an average of once every 12 minutes for more than three months straight has been given a suspended jail term for his “absolutely stupid” behaviour.

Peter Matthews.
Peter Matthews.

Father of eight Peter Matthews was 58 years old when he began 96 days of harassment against the woman after their relationship ended.

Gympie District Court heard from February 24, 2018 to May 11, 2018 Matthews called her 7499 times, leaving voicemails on a number of occasions.

Matthews pleaded guilty to one charge of stalking and was sentenced to six months’ jail, suspended for a year, and issued with a restraining order.


5. Arsenal to repel yowie attack lands meth addict mum in court

KNUCKLEDUSTERS, tasers, a butterfly knife and other illegal weapons found in a Cooloola Cove woman’s house were to protect her from yowies.

Helen Doran claimed the
Helen Doran claimed the "plethora" of weapons found in her Cooloola Cove home were to protect herself against yowies.

Helen Rachael Doran, 46, pleaded guilty to eight charges including producing marijuana and possessing several illegal weapons in Gympie Magistrates Court.

Police from Gympie CIB and the Wide Bay Crime Squad searched Doran’s Cooloola Cove home on September 9, finding two tasers, a butterfly knife, knuckledusters, a credit card knife and an illegal laser pointer.


6. Tin Can Bay man bashes family friend over a skateboard

BELIEVING a family friend had stolen his skateboard, Dylan Ross Byriel thought there was only one course of action to be taken.

Dylan Ross Byriel, Gympie Magistrates Court
Dylan Ross Byriel, Gympie Magistrates Court

So on January 19, Byriel confronted the man, pushing him over and kicking and punching him when he was on the ground.

Byriel was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and sentenced to 12 months jail, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay $800 in compensation to the victim.


7. Teen dumped stolen ute in cemetery lake after ramming car

A GYMPIE teenager who stole a car, dumped it in a lake and assaulted three people was told to grow up and take responsibility after blaming his behaviour on drugs and alcohol.

Jason Dylan Chilly, 19, pleaded guilty to 16 charges in the Gympie Magistrates Court, including assault causing bodily harm, going armed in public to cause fear, theft and breaching bail conditions.

In February drove the car to the cemetery and left the handbrake off so the car would roll into a lake, writing it off.

Mr Callaghan gave Chilly a head sentence of 18 months in prison, to be released on 12 months parole after six months served.


8. Grub who abused his mum says he’s Gympie’s Chopper Read

A Pie Creek man who claimed to be Gympie’s own Chopper Read faced the Magistrates Court charged with contravening a DVO against his mum and possessing a drug.

The man was arrested on June 15 after he was reported breaking a domestic violence order and harassing the victim.

In the leadup to a previous offence he reportedly threatened violence and had said he was Gympie’s Chopper Read.

He told the court his mouth was the problem, and was ordered to spend two more weeks in custody.


9. Gympie creep caught looking through binoculars at hotel guests

At about 3.30pm last November 17, a guest of Gympie’s Verandah Motel observed a “green laserlight” following her around her room, before striking her in the eye.

Scott Andrew Chambers.
Scott Andrew Chambers.

The guest and her partner saw light coming from Chambers’ dwelling, and the guest later saw a male outside a dwelling “looking through binoculars in their direction”.

The next morning at about 8am a staff member doing cleaning duties saw Chambers “standing inside his dwelling looking at her using binoculars”.

Chambers was fined $300 after pleading guilty to breaching a good behaviour order.


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