Articles by Sonia Hickey

Aussie Mum May Appeal Sentence for Killing Balinese Policeman


In case you missed the headlines: Sara Connor has been sentenced to four years in prison, while her boyfriend, David Taylor, was handed a six year sentence for killing Balinese police officer Wayan Sudarsa. The Byron Bay mother of two was found guilty of fatal assault in company. She has already been behind bars for ...

Mystery drug kills two men by cooking them from the inside


The horrendous accounts of how two men died after overdosing on a mystery drug that ‘cooked’ their bodies from the inside has NSW concerned that a new breed of deadly synthetic drug may be circulating throughout the state. Mystery drug in Newcastle The two men died in separate incidents, although they are believed to have ...

Wannabe Bieber Law Lecturer Charged with Child Sex Offences


A Queensland law lecturer who allegedly posed online as Justin Bieber has been charged with more than 900 child sex offences. Gordon Douglas Chalmers, a lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, is accused of using multiple social media platforms including Facebook and Skype to impersonate the pop star and convince fans to send him ...

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire


Police are investigating a bizarre incident in Miami involving criminal defence lawyer whose pants caught on fire during closing submissions in an arson case. Stephen Gutierrez was representing Claudy Charles, who was accused of intentionally setting his car on fire. Courtroom drama The lawyer had just started his closing address to the jury, arguing that ...

Would You Mentor a Female Prisoner?


We have a problem in New South Wales – our female prison population has doubled over the past decade. Overcrowding in our correctional facilities is a major problem, along with the constant strain on our legal system. The latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) suggest there are 1,014 women in ...

Say FU2 Racism – Attitudes Towards Race in Australia


Today marks the start of ‘Face Up to Racism week’, which seems like the perfect time to look at our attitudes towards race in Australia. Since the end of the Second World War in 1945, Australia has welcomed more than 7 million immigrants. Collectively, we come from more than 300 different ancestries. The 2016 Census ...

Using Technology to Get Around Court Orders


Tracking devices placed in cars, in baby strollers and even in walking sticks. Electronic “gifts” with spyware or location apps enabled. The use of sophisticated technology to listen to telephone calls and hack into email and social media accounts. The list goes on… These contraptions may sound like they’ve come straight out in a James ...

The Real Cost of our Love Affair with Alcohol


Almost half of all homicides in Australia are alcohol-related, and more than a quarter of Australians report being affected by alcohol-fuelled violence. These statistics and a wealth of research leaves little doubt that our love affair with alcohol is a particularly toxic one – both in terms of health and social costs. Drug of choice ...

Neighbour Takes Drastic Action to Protect Privacy


Social media went into over-drive this week, with the emergence of a story about a ‘Big Hairy Greek Guy’ who cleaned his entire house while naked because his neighbours refused to install frosted windows, which would give them both some privacy. James Penlidis, who documented his personal saga on his Facebook page decided to go ...

Is there a link between the heat and violent crime?


Many of us will admit to getting a little irritable and short-tempered in the sweltering heat. But is there evidence to support a correlation between hot weather and violent crime? With temperatures soaring in Sydney, we thought we’d explore this idea. In short, the answer is yes – but it’s not as straightforward as that. ...