18 of the biggest cases in Mackay courts in 2020
Here are some of the high profile cases that played out in the Mackay courthouse in 2020.
Seven years for answers
For families going through the court process every hour feels like a day, every day a week, every week a month and every month a year.
Time stretches slowly as loved ones wait for answers and outcomes.
For one grieving family that wait took more than seven torturous years until the Central Coroner publicly named who he believed took the life of Shandee Blackburn.
"Miss Blackburn died due to injuries sustained in an incident involving violence with Mr John Peros, who used a bladed instrument."
Coroner David O'Connell delivered that powerful statement during a three-hour hearing of his 66-page inquest findings on August 21.
Her tragic story is well known - her violent death left a deep scar on the Mackay community sparked a number of safety initiatives.
The pretty 23-year-old hospitality worker was viciously stabbed and slashed more than 20 times in less than one minute.
And for seven and a half years, her family waited for answers to be made public.
It was one of the biggest matters to go through the Mackay courts this year garnering national attention.
The man named as her killer, Mr Peros, is a free man. Having been acquitted of her murder by a jury in 2017. Under double jeopardy laws he can only be recharged if there is fresh and compelling evidence.
Mr Peros maintains he had nothing to do with Ms Blackburn's death.
The six month old died two days after he was last seen alive with his family at Far Beach.
After a two-month complex and in-depth police probe, his father Ayden Bradshaw was charged with one count each of murder and grievous bodily harm over allegations Beau suffered a traumatic brain and internal injuries.
Beau was taken to Mackay Base Hospital the afternoon of June 2 and that night was flown to Townsville Hospital. He died on June 4 and his organs were donated to others in need.
Mr Bradshaw's case is still before Mackay Magistrates Court as he remains in custody on remand. It will be mentioned again early this year.
Mum of fugitive jailed
A hard working, well respected mother of an accused cocaine smuggler helped him flee the country the month before his supreme court trial.
Markis Scott Turner last reported for bail about 6.30am on August 14 - he then disappeared until his arrest in the Philippines two years later.
Twenty witnesses including Elizabeth Anne Turner herself gave evidence during a six-day trial in Mackay District Court.
She was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice for buying and preparing a yacht to help her son abscond from Australia and three counts of perjury for lying to the supreme court.
Turner claimed she had no idea and played no part in her son's escape and he had done so using her money and details, making it look like she was involved. But after deliberating for six-and-a-half hours a jury found her guilty on all counts.
Her sentence was listed for December 15, but it was pushed to the new year. Turner was taken into custody where she remains awaiting sentencing.
Drivers linked to fatal crashes
Two women faced court over separate traffic crashes that caused the death of children.
One fled the scene after running over a popular schoolgirl, while the other was a mother responsible for the tragic death of her young daughter.
In October last year, Jessica May Goulding was jailed for three years - the maximum term allowable in the magistrates court - for a string of offending including failing to remain at the scene.
She panicked after striking Nilly Mooney on Nicklin Drive about 3.15am on March 1, 2020 and fled the scene before handing herself into police 12 hours later.
Goulding has appealed the sentence, arguing the term was too harsh. The case is expected to be listed sometime this year.
Pioneer Valley mum Lauren Ashleigh Turner had been glancing at her sleeping son when she crashed her car at Mirani - tragically her 12-year-old daughter Amelia was killed.
In July Turner pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death. She was fined $2000 and disqualified from driving. A conviction was not recorded.
Cop on rape charge
An off-duty Mackay cop was charged with raping a woman after giving her a lift to her former boyfriend's home.
It is understood he plans to fight the allegations - his lawyer told Mackay Magistrates Court it was a consent issue.
The incident occurred in mid January and is still going through the court process.
Animal sex, lies and videotape
Shocking claims of bestiality and extortion came to light in May this year after a Mackay man was charged with trying to force a former girlfriend to drop a domestic violence order by threatening to post dog sex videos on social media.
It is alleged the former couple engaged in bestiality twice while in a relationship. Police alleged the woman had sex with a dog while the man helped and recorded a video of the act.
He is facing multiple charges including bestiality and extortion. He has denied any involvement in having sex with a dog.
It was one of two bestiality cases handled by Mackay courts this year.
In a separate case, a man in his late 30s was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to 29 charges including sex with a dog and child rape.
Mackay restaurant's filthy food prep conditions
These were among the shocking observations Mackay Regional Council workers made during inspections at Panda House at Mount Pleasant.
Owner Kent Loi Meng Cheuk pleaded guilty in August last year to four offences under the Food Act 2006 claiming a language barrier made it difficult to understand council emails about necessary improvements.
He was fined $2000 and ordered to pay $1577 in costs. Convictions were not recorded.
Shocking attack on Sarina taxi driver
About 10 days later, police revealed a 15-year-old boy had been charged in relation to the incident.
Passing motorists found Mr May critically injured after his vehicle crashed into a power pole on Brewers Rd.
The teen was charged with attempted robbery with violence, as well as enter premises and commit indictable offence and burglary.
The case was heard in Mackay Childrens Court at the time.
Music teachers facing child molestation charges
Two music teachers within the Mackay region have been charged with molesting students.
One man is accused of abusing four boys over a week between November and December last year.
He is charged with eight counts of indecent treatment including alleged offending against children under 12 years of age.
The second man, who was charged earlier in the year, is facing four offences allegedly committed between January 2019 and June 2020 at his home studio.
It is alleged he groomed a child during private lessons.
Both cases remain in Mackay Magistrates Court at this stage.
Father jailed for fatal explosion that decapitated son
Timothy Ian McIntyre was trying to set fire to a former lover's belongings stored inside a shipping container at North Mackay, out of revenge following a break-up, when the fatal blast occurred.
He had enlisted his 30-year-old son Thomas 'Macka' McIntyre to help.
Instead, it resulted in the young man's horrific death on April 1, 2019 at a Malcomson St shipping container.
The pair had poured petrol over the container and throughout McIntyre's former partner's property inside.
When the blast occurred one of the doors flung violently and decapitated the younger man.
McIntyre pleaded guilty to arson in March last year and was jailed for four years.
Big trouble over a Snapchat
A thoughtless joke sent over social media sparked a global police alert resulting in a Glenella man narrowly avoiding jail time.
Zachary Andrew Philp posted a photo on Snapchat of his friend holding a replica gun and captioned "Boutta be a school shooting".
Interpol in Washington DC picked up the social media post and alerted Mackay police about a possible school shooting threat in the area.
Philp had intended it to be an inside joke between friends but had accidentally made the post public.
He pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, was fined $2500 and a conviction was recorded.
Drunk woman groped on-duty cop's crotch
When Rebecca Jane Armitage crossed paths with a Mackay police constable, she said "hey sexy" and ran her hand over his arm, chest before briefly rubbing his crotch.
Seconds later she was arrested.
The fleeting incident had lasting consequences as she was ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid community service and pay $2000 compensation to the officer.
She pleaded guilty to sexual assault and a conviction was not recorded.
Ben Barba back in court
The former Dally M medallist called in the big guns to help avoid a prison sentence and recorded conviction after he assaulted his brother-in-law less than 12 months after facing court.
Queensland Maroons captain and former Mackay son Daly Cherry-Evans vouched for his mate of 20 years Ben Barba in a character reference tendered as part of the drunken assault case.
Barba and Adrian Currie had words following an argument between Barba and his wife at McGuires pub on February 22 last year. He then punched Mr Currie.
Barba pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm. He was fined $2300 and ordered to pay $1000 compensation to Mr Currie. A conviction was not recorded.
Horror animal negligence case
A father of seven left his severely injured and pregnant dog crammed in a small cage - her rotting wound was wrapped with a dirty cloth covered in flies and maggots.
In a cage next to her were two other dogs shoved in the small space only designed for one.
The two enclosures, in South Mackay, were filled with faeces and urine.
As a result, Edward Charles Fewquandie was arrested. He pleaded guilty to three counts of animal negligence, was fined $2000 and ordered to pay just under $3000 in costs. He was banned form owning an animal for three years.
Mine death findings revealed
A coroner found critical failures in record keeping at a Central Queensland underground mine directly contributed to Paul McGuire's death.
The father of two and experienced electrician was completing the routine task of calibrating gas sensors at Anglo's Grasstree mine when he was wrongly directed to a goaf area and died within seconds after inhaling toxic air.
Central Coroner David O'Connell, in releasing his findings into the May 6, 2014 fatality, referred former Grasstree outbye electrical co-ordinator Anthony Johns to the Department of Natural Resources Mining and Energy's chief executive for further investigation and possible action.