9 of the biggest local court dramas from 2018
HISTORICAL sex offences and serious violence have been among Northern Rivers matters to go before the courts in the past year.
Local courts have also seen a former Olympian's wife charged over the theft of a $2500 pair of pants.
See the Northern Rivers' eight homicide cases that were in court in 2018 here.
Nine of the region's other significant cases are:
1. Priest jailed over sexual abuse
LONG serving Lismore Diocese priest Father John Patrick Casey was jailed for child sexual abuse offences in October.
Judge Sarah Huggett sentenced the 70-year-old to four years and 10 months' prison for the historical charges before Sydney Downing Centre District Court.
This followed three years of court proceedings including two lengthy trials in which he was found guilty of two historical charges.
This included one count of sexual assault of a person under 16, and one count of an indecent act upon a person under 16.
His prison term will expire on March 29, 2023.
Casey was found not guilty of homosexual intercourse with a male under 18, and not guilty of inciting an indecent act with a person under 16.
2. Gynaecologist set to face trial
FORMER Lismore gynaecologist Glenn Allan Taylor remains before the courts on charges
The 62-year-old is alleged to have sexually assaulted more than three dozen female patients between 1992 and 2015.
His 69 charges include aggravated indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault.
Dr Taylor's case is scheduled for a brief mention before Sydney's Downing Centre District Court next Thursday.
A trial is scheduled to begin in April.
3. Woman accused of syringe attack
LISMORE woman Amber Daldy-Rowe, 39, is accused of stabbing a Lismore Base Hospital wardsman with a syringe.
Police have alleged Ms Daldy-Rowe said: "I have HIV and I'm going to kill you all" during the November 10 incident.
She has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of common assault, using offensive weapon with intent to commit indictable offence, and resisting arrest.
Ms Daldy-Rowe has not formally lodged a plea.
Her matter will return to court on Monday.
4. Cancer fraudster locked up
CASINO cancer fraudster Melissa Irene Quinn launched an appeal against her sentence as soon as it was handed down.
But the 35-year-old mother of four had her sentence upheld in Lismore District Court in November.
She had pleaded guilty to four counts of dishonestly obtaining an advantage by deception after fraudulently gaining more than $45,000 when she faked multiple bouts of cancer.
Quinn is due to be released on parole on August 29 this year and was ordered to repay the funds.
5. Man faces 214 charges
BESTIALITY, child porn and other charges make up the 214 offences this Bangalow man has been charged with.
Dean Anthony Sellenthin, 42, is accused of 19 counts of bestiality against dogs at his home.
He has lodged no pleas to any of his charges.
He's also facing a large number of charges of producing child abuse material, stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical or other harm, break-ins at homes and aggravated indecent assault on a person with a disability along with larceny and thefts from homes.
The allegations include thefts of a large amount of underwear from homes in the Byron Bay area.
He's due to return to Tweed Heads Local Court on January 23.
6. Highway fatality
A BABYSITTER accused of causing the crash with led to the death of a four-year-old girl on the Bruxner Hwy is facing trial.
Courteney Pearl Matthews, 20, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and causing bodily harm over the December 18, 2015 crash on the Bruxner Highway between Lismore and Casino.
Her matter will be mentioned before Sydney's Downing Centre District Court next Monday.
Her trial it set to run in Broken Hill.
7. Kidnapping attack
THREE men accused of being involved in a kidnapping an attempted murder are due to face a trial this year.
Aydin Christopher Brown, 30, of Commissioners Creek, and Mark Gary Brown, 29, of Nobbys Creek, were last year arraigned before Lismore District Court and pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Burringbar man Benn Peterson and kidnapping of Phillip Green.
Nathan John Stack, 26, has meanwhile pleaded not guilty to taking or detaining a person to obtain advantage in relation to the same incident.
Police have alleged the Browns kidnapped Mr Peterson and set him alight on July 23 last year.
Mr Peterson was later found by a member of the public lying next to a fire on the side of Kyogle Rd at Kunghur, near Uki.
Their matter will go before a readiness hearing on May 31 before the trial, scheduled for September 2 in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court.
8. In court 'slut-shaming' criticised
LISMORE Local Court Magistrate David Heilpern spoke out against domestic violence offenders who wage fresh abuse against their victims in court.
While handing down his sentencing decision on a Casino man's offences in November, Mr Heilpern said Magistrates should be able to take into account those who contest their charges in a trial, only to plead guilty.
"The law ought to recognise such abuse, and in extreme cases add to the penalty that would otherwise apply," he said at the time.
"However, I am bound by the High Court and thus, despite my views to the contrary here expressed, will not be increasing the sentence to take into account the matters raised above."
The man, who the court heard had made threats to kill his former partner, was sentenced to 12 months prison with a seven month non-parole period for assault and apprehended violence order breaches.
9. Fancy pants theft
THEN-wife of former Olympian Geoff Huegill faced Byron Bay Local Court last year charged with stealing a $2500 pair of leather pants.
But the charges were dropped on mental health grounds, after the pants were returned to the store.
The former publicist and mother-of-two Sara Huegill had taken the Bassike brand pants from Byron Bay's Island Luxe boutique on Mother's Day.
Mr Huegill announced in December the pair had separated under "amicable" circumstances.
He'd previously defended his wife on social media, saying: "At times, good people make poor choices."