Northern Rivers Dads caught doing bad things in 2020
Dads are normally the ones who dish out the punishment, but these Northern Rivers fathers who went before the courts this year have now been at the receiving end of the stick.
Between firearm possession, drink driving and domestic violence, some dads haven't been setting a good example.
We take a look back at some of the dads who went before court in 2020:
•A Tuntable Falls man has been sentenced for possessing unregistered firearms in his shed, which is located only metres away from where his children sleep.
Nathan Bradley was convicted in Lismore District Court earlier in September for possessing an unregistered pistol, possessing unauthorised firearms and possessing ammunition without a permit.
When police attended the 45-year-old man's property in 2019 for a separate matter they discovered seven firearms, a taser and a crossbow were not stored safely in his shed.
The court heard the firearms had been strewn across benchtops and the floor in the shed, which is where he lived in order to care for his children who lived in the house metres away.
Judge Jeffery McLennan said Bradley, who had a criminal history of firearm possession, should have known what he was doing was illegal.
"The risk to the community or to those individuals themselves were they to stumble into the shed and obtain the guns or play with the guns I would have thought self-evident," Judge McLennan said.
"There were … a number of other people present who had access to the guns … and knowledge to the existence of the guns.
"Mr Bradley was well aware of the rules around gun safety and … he was well aware (his guns weren't stored safely)."
Bradley was given an aggregated sentence of four years, with a two-year non-parole period.
Tyger Jack Titmarsh
A new father will remain behind bars until next year after he led police on a high-speed car chase through the Tweed.
Tyger Jack Titmarsh, 21, appeared by video link from Clarence Correctional Centre to Tweed Heads Local Court on November 4.
The Banora Point man pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, police pursuit, resisting police and entering enclosed lands.
Court documents reveal Titmarsh was arrested on August 30 after he led police on a pursuit from through Banora Point, Tweed Heads South and Chinderah from about 11.30pm.
Police say he reached speeds in excess of 160km/h at the peak of the pursuit.
The pursuit circled back to Banora Point before Titmarsh ran out of fuel, with the VW hatchback coming to a sudden stop on Winders Place.
Titmarsh tried to flee on foot before being arrested.
At the time, he told police he was only the passenger of the car and not the driver.
Titmarsh was already serving an intensive corrections order for a similar pursuit offence and was on parole at the time for an assault charge.
Defence solicitor Riley Owens said his client acknowledged the significant public safety concern and expressed his remorse evident by changing his pleas.
"It was a snap decision by a 21-year-old man and the thought of jail came to him as soon as the chase began," he said.
Mr Owens said Titmarsh became a father for the first time two weeks before he entered custody.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy convicted Titmarsh and gave him an aggregate sentence of 15 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months backdated to his arrest for the police pursuit and driving while disqualified charges.
Mr Dunlevy convicted Titmarsh but did not further punish him for the charges of entering enclosed lands and resisting police.
He will be eligible for parole on May 28 next year.
Stuart James Amos
•A Northern Rivers paralegal who faked a reference letter to get a lighter penalty in court has been sent to prison.
Stuart James Amos, a father-of-five, had pleaded guilty to making a false document to influence exercise of public duty and perverting the course of justice on December 2.
The Skennars Head 50-year-old made up a fake reference from a person who did not exist in the Rural Fire Service to get a lighter penalty for driving offences.
Court papers revealed Amos was charged on four separate occasions between March and April 2019 for drink driving, two counts of driving while suspended and not mentioning his suspension in a licence application.
Character references for Amos were given to the Byron Bay Local Court magistrate on July 24 this year when he was being sentenced for the four charges.
During his sentencing, the Byron Bay residing magistrate said the references were "outstanding", which contributed to a lighter penalty.
As a result, Amos was convicted, lost his licence for three months, received a 12-month community release order and a 12-month interlock order with a $300 fine.
One of the references was by the name of 'Greg Burns' who claimed to be the president of the Byron Bay Rural Fire Station and the reference was written on an official RFS letterhead.
Inquiries found Greg Burns was not the president of the Byron Bay RFS and there was no record of any Greg Burns ever being affiliated with any NSW RFS station.
The faked reference said Amos was a RFS volunteer member between 2000 and 2016 but police found Amos actually began with Byron RFS in January 2002 and his service was terminated in May 2012.
He was booted from the station after an internal investigation found Amos 'not to be a fit and proper person' to be a member of the RFS.
A search warrant was executed in May 2020 on Amos's house and his laptops, mobiles and a USB was seized for being suspected of being used in manufacturing false documents.
Mr Dunlevy slammed the fraud, explaining firefighters drew from a "deep well" of moral character because they continually put their life on the line for the benefit of the community.
Mr Dunlevy said Amos's criminal history, including time served in prison, highlighted he was "aware of the consequences of dishonest conduct".
Amos was convicted and sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of 18 months with a non-parole period of six month.
Amos will be eligible for parole after midnight on June 7, 2021.
David Bruce Schurte
•A man, who has been jailed before for assault, has walked away from court after he punched his daughter in the face.
David Bruce Schurte, 66, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court by video link from Tweed Heads Police Station on October 26.
The Upper Duroby man pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm after an argument began over cooking dinner about 5.30pm on October 25.
Schurte, who was intoxicated at the time, got up and approached his adult daughter, who asked him to go away and leave her alone.
He continued towards her until he was about 1m away and she raised her hand in a stop motion towards him.
After Schurte walked into her hand, he punched her in the nose with a closed fist, causing her head to jolt backwards and her nose to bleed.
She pushed him away from her for fear of being hit again, and as Schurte took a step backwards he tripped and hit his head on a timber post on the veranda.
While the disability pensioner was knocked out for about 30 seconds, police were called.
In hospital he said he had no recollection of the incident at all.
Defence lawyer Phil Mulherin tendered photos of Schurte's head injuries.
He acknowledged his client had "not dissimilar matters" in his criminal history and had been in prison for those offences in the past.
Mr Mulherin said Shurte had a problem with drinking so much so that be had chosen not to apply for a driver's licence and had engaged in Alcoholics Anonymous in the past.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy took into account it had been some years since Shurte's last offence of any relevance.
"In recent years you appear to have mended your ways and are remorseful," he said.
Mr Dunlevy convicted and sentenced Shurte to a three-year community corrections order.