Tele/ Central Coast Express Advocate: 20 Crimes that shocked the Central Coast part 1

From ghastly murders and manslaughters to rape and torture, this three part series delves behind the headlines into 20 of the most heinous crimes to have shocked the Central Coast.

Over a three-part series the Central Coast Express Advocate revisits 20 of the most notorious crimes as a reminder that beneath the shimmering surface of our beautiful community, a dark heart can sometimes beat.

JESSE THOMPSON MURDER

The brazen shooting of young father-of-two Jesse Thompson following a wild pursuit through suburban streets on a winter’s afternoon sealed Wyong’s reputation as a modern day wild west.

Mr Thompson, 19, was collateral damage in a quickly escalating feud sparked by a secret tryst.

Gunman Keith Evans, now 27, had ambushed his girlfriend’s lover Jayke Rodgers two days earlier, bludgeoning him with a brick, or similar object, concealed in a pillow.

When Mr Rodgers got out of hospital Evans, along with his father John Paul Evans, 53, and another woman went looking for further retribution.

Shots were fired near Baker St before a pursuit ensued with Mr Thompson shot in the neck as he sat in the rear of a Toyota Kluger.

Keith Evans, his father and a woman were found guilty of Mr Thompson’s murder after a Supreme Court trial and will be sentenced in March.

KIERAN PRIESTLAND MURDER

A jealous row between two 18-year-old former lovers ended in bloodshed at the hands of another couple.

Kieran Priestland, 18, had dropped his ex-girlfriend Ashleigh Cornish at her friend’s house at Niagara Park on February 12, 2014, when they later became involved in a shouting match outside.

Hours later, after drinking a bottle of vodka, 2L of cask wine and smoking a bong with Andrew Jerome Perkins, then 18, and his girlfriend Rachel Manevski, then 20, Ms Cornish rang Mr Priestland to come and pick her up.

But when Mr Priestland arrived, Perkins had armed himself with a kitchen knife and proceeded to stab Mr Priestland six times in the chest shortly before 2am.

Such was the force of the blows the blade of the knife almost exited his back as he sat in his Nissan 300ZX with his seat belt still on and the engine running.

Perkins pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to a non-parole period of 15 years.

His girlfriend Manevski was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder following a three-week trial.

The court heard she washed the bloodied murder weapon and put it back in a knife block before spinning a series of lies, which left a Supreme Court Justice disregarding her credibility as “worthless”.

She was sentenced to a maximum of four years and six months, with a non-parole period of three years.

NORAH HEAD CAMPING MOLESTER

A vile Northern Beaches predator was given the equivalent of a murder sentence after he took his daughter and her friend on a camping trip to Norah Head and drugged them so he could sexually abuse them.

The 42-year-old from Dee Why was sentenced to 20 years jail with a non-parole period of 15 years in Gosford District Court after a judge found he had no genuine remorse for his heinous offending.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to 11 charges including aggravated indecent assault, sexual intercourse of his 13-year-old daughter’s friend, drugging girls to commit an indictable offence and producing and possessing child abuse material.

The man convinced his daughter to invite her friend camping at Norah Head Holiday Park on January 12, 2017, where he gave them funny tasting “cordial” before bed.

The drink was spiked with valium and his daughter’s friend woke at 1.30am to find her underwear around her ankles and him sexually abusing her before screaming.

Police arrived and a search of his bag found two sealed condoms, two satchels of `wet for longer’ lubricant, an open packet of Diazepam (valium) and a roll of duct tape.

His phone’s internet history showed searches the previous day for terms including “how long does valium take to kick in”, “how much valium to take” and “how much valium for 50kg female”.

PENIS BITER

Many crimes in this list will bring a tear to the eye but the following scrap over an box trailer is eye-watering for another reason altogether.

Daniel Arthur Hatton skyrocketed to internet infamy when he was convicted and fined for biting another man’s penis so hard it tore a patch of denim out of his shorts.

The then 53-year-old went around to confront Peter Peterson, of Wyoming, about a stolen box trailer when the pair ended up wrestling on the driveway on September 22, 2015.

Hatton maintained Mr Peterson was the aggressor who instigated the fight by throwing the first punch and that he only tried to bite him on the upper thigh in self-defence because the younger, stronger man was raining punches down on his head.

“No man is putting his mouth near another man’s penis unless his life is in danger,” Hatton told Gosford District Court where he unsuccessfully appealed his conviction.

The court heard Mr Peterson’s pecker sustained a “de-gloving injury” including a 5cm laceration to the underside of his shaft, which surgeons had to trim back and pull the skin across to stitch back together­.

A Judge found while the bite was intentional “the injury to Mr Peterson’s penis was not”. However he dismissed the appeal and upheld the conviction, which included a $900 fine and an 18-month good behaviour bond.

The silver lining was following surgery Mr Peterson went on to father a child.

BLAIR DALTON MURDER SUICIDE

The choking murder of Blair Dalton, 35, by her estranged partner LP, 34, at her Ettalong Beach home touched a very raw nerve for all victims of domestic violence.

The couple met online in 2012 and despite falling pregnant in 2015 Ms Dalton ended the relationship in October of that year because of his illicit drug use.

Ms Dalton gave birth in February 2016 and LP was there but by July he blew up at Ms Dalton and she attended Brisbane Water police to inquire about an apprehended violence order.

LP was evicted from his St Clair home in western Sydney but after being convicted for assaulting his stepfather and another ex-partner during separate incidents he quit the drugs and his family noticed an improvement in his life in January 2017.

LP’s sister booked a unit at the Mantra Hotel in the September school holidays so she, her kids and her mother could spend time with Ms Dalton and her baby.

Ms Dalton invited LP along and after spending a lovely weekend he caught the train back to Woy Woy on September 26.

Ms Dalton met him at a supermarket and they argued about their respective living arrangements.

LP did not want to leave Sydney where he had three children from a previous relationship and Ms Dalton did not want to leave the coast.

Later that evening after putting their child to bed they started arguing again while Ms Dalton did the dishes.

According to LP’s unverified account Ms Dalton approached him while holding a knife and he grabbed her by the throat with both hands and squeezed until she became unconscious.

At 7.10pm LP called triple-0 from his mobile phone, telling the operator “I just killed my girlfriend”.

When the emergency operator asked what had happened LP replied, “she pulled a knife on me and I strangled her”.

When police arrived they found LP “ranting and waving his arms around” before he knelt down next to Ms Dalton and said “I’ve killed her, I’ve killed her”.

Ms Dalton suffered an hypoxic brain injury and her family made the heartbreaking decision to switch her life support off two days later at 5.12pm on September 28.

The following morning LP was found unresponsive in his cell at Silverwater at 10.52am.

A subsequent post-mortem revealed he had choked himself to death on wadded toilet paper, sweetener sachets and plastic wrapping from a breakfast tray he was provided earlier.

He had been on suicide watch but after stuffing the objects deep into his mouth, LP lay under a blanket and appeared by all accounts, simply, to be sleeping.

(If you or anyone you know needs help contact Lifeline: 13 11 14)

JAYDEN MASON MANSLAUGHTER

After getting turfed out of Wyong Leagues Club shortly after 10pm on June 24, 2017, Jayden Mason, 21, mouthed off to a group of men getting off a courtesy bus.

Drunk and upset about a troubled on-off relationship, little did Mason realise two of the men were ex-criminals who proceeded to chase him down the street and jump on his head “like a soccer ball”.

Ryan Vincent Paterson, then 37, of Erina, was on parole for inflicting grievous bodily harm for stomping on a motorist’s head following a road rage incident while and Benjamin Keith O’Brien, then 31, of Norah Head, was on parole for commercial drugs supply.

The pair chased Mr Mason 165m down the road before punching him to the ground where Paterson jumped in the air and stomped on Mr Mason’s head with both feet.

The road side memorial for Jayden Mason

Jayden Mason and his girlfriend. Picture: Facebook.

They left him motionless on the road before a female P-plater ran him over by accident.

Paterson was sentenced to 16 and a half years jail with a non-parole period of 12 years and five months.

O’Brien was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years jail with a minimum term of five years and six months.

FREEWAY KIDNAPPING AND ASSAULT

The destructive and sinister nature of the drug ‘ice’ is now well known but a case 15 years ago exposed a level of “barbaric” depravity a judge described as the worst he had ever seen.

A 22-year-old man was driving home from a shift at Subway on the F3 (now M1) freeway near Ourimbah about 11.20pm on March 25, 2006, when he noticed a Holden Commodore was flashing his high beams at him.

The young man, who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, pulled over.

Three men in the Commodore had set off from Gorokan earlier with the intention of going to Sydney to “steal something”.

The man, 22, pulled over on the F3 (now M1) after he noticed a Commodore flashing his lights at him. (File photo)

Lindsay Michael Hearn, then 30, of Canton Beach, got out of the driver’s seat and approached the young man.

He identified himself as a plainclothes police officer and ordered the young man out of his car on the pretence he was “speeding”.

Hearn demanded he pay a fine for speeding before snatching the young man’s licence from his hand and returning to the Commodore where he told the other two men he would probably have to “kill” the young driver because he had now seen his registration plates.

Hearn went back to the young driver and threatened him again before grabbing his wallet and pushing him over the guardrail of the freeway.

Hearn impersonated a police officer when he pulled the man over.

The young man scrambled to his feet and got in his car and started driving away but Hearn jumped back in his Commodore and cut him off at a 45-degree angle.

As Hearn got out and approached the young man’s car the two other men in the back of the Commodore quickly discussed trying to stop Hearn before one of them yelled out “just give him your money and you can go”.

Hearn opened the young victim’s door and kicked him twice in the face, shattering his teeth which split through his bottom lip and broke one of his fingers.

Hearn then got in the young man’s car and drove him to Peace Park at Gorokan.

One of the men in the Commodore freaked out and ran up the freeway to the Wyong Rd exit and later called his girlfriend to pick him up from Westfield Tuggerah.

The other man followed Hearn to Peace Park where Hearn violently raped the young victim under the bridge.

Hearn drove the victim to Peace Park, Gorokan, where he raped him under the bridge.

For the next few hours Hearn would drive around with the victim cowering in the back of the car, withdrawing money using the victim’s ATM card, stopping for petrol and playing pokie machines at the Grand Hotel Wyong.

The victim remained in the car on the threat Hearn would “kill him and his family” if he tried to escape.

Eventually Hearn wrapped the victim in a sheet and dumped him in long grass on the shores of Tuggerah Lake near Canton Beach.

Eventually when the sun began to rise the young victim crept into the water and waded across the lake to Wilfred Barrett Drive where he was discovered by a passing motorist.

About 11.25am the victim’s car was discovered well alight at Peace Park, near where he was violently raped hours earlier.

The two men who had been with Hearn handed themselves in to police while Hearn fled to the Australian Capital Territory where he was arrested and extradited.

He was sentenced to 15 years jail for the sickening ordeal, which District Court Judge Colin O’Connor said showed “a degree of depravity and callousness … the likes of which I’ve not encountered before”.

Hearn pleaded guilty to 12 offences but the Judge didn’t accept he was “so far off his face” on the drug ice Hearn couldn’t remember anything that happened in the six hours after he kidnapped the man.

Judge O’Connor accepted that Hearn was affected by drugs but said the sexual assaults, his ability to drive significant distances, playing poker machines and filling a car with petrol during the six hours was “behaviour unlikely to be forgotten regardless of the ingestion of drugs”.

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