High-end real estate agents in the market for a good lawyer
They are used to the glitz and glamour of the Harbour City's high-end property market but Sydney's real estate agents have found themselves more at home in the courtroom this year.
The Daily Telegraph was in court as agents were sentenced to jail time for a wide array of offences in 2019 with many subjected to courtroom lashings by exasperated magistrates and judges fed up with their behaviour.
He had been lauded as an "up and coming agent" but Century 21 Eastern Beaches employee Clay Chigwidden, pleaded guilty to reckless wounding after glassing a man in the face on the dance floor at Coogee Pavilion on June 9. The 26-year-old, who is not averse to posing with his shirt off, appeared in Waverley Local Court last month for sentencing with the support of his family.
"Today is a day you've probably been sweating over and rightly so," Magistrate Greg Grogin said.
"You can't hide behind a glass of beer, either in court or on a dance floor."
Magistrate Grogin continued to say his sentence would be served in the community by way of a two-year intensive corrections order - much to the relief of his family.
He was banned from using alcohol and drugs for six months.
Ferrari-driving developer George Karageorge allegedly offered police cocaine when he was pulled over in Sydney's east, a court heard in February. He is now appealing against a Local Court ruling that he refused to be breath tested during the incident.
Karageorge, who heads up development firm Stasia, lost his licence for six months in September after a magistrate found the charge of refusing or failing to submit to a breath analysis was proved.
The Local Court was previously told Karageorge - whose barrister rejected the police version of events - appeared "intoxicated" at Double Bay's Cosmopolitan cafe when he got into his black Ferrari in March 2018.
Constable Ashley Rodwell told the court he offered her and other officers cocaine.
"Mr Karageorge has attempted to get out of the vehicle, we've all sort of collectively said 'stay in the vehicle'," she said.
"At that time he's kind of given himself a little bit more oomph to stand up straight, he's then put his hand into his right pocket, he's said something to the effect of 'you're gonna want this - do you want some cocaine?'."
NICOLETTE VAN WIJNGAARDEN
Nicolette Van Wijngaarden was jailed last month after misusing $3.6m of customers' money to try and keep her business afloat.
Van Wijngaarden, who founded the national boutique estate agency Unique Estates, was behind some of the biggest deals in the real estate industry before the firm came crashing down.
She pleaded guilty to two fraud charges in June after misusing, in some cases, the life savings of clients.
Judge John Pickering was scathing when he sentenced her to three years and six months jail.
"You can't just take people's money without their authority.
In October, real estate agent Matthew Ramsay, 43, pleaded guilty to high-range drink drinking and intimidation after a road rage incident in Sydney's CBD.
He was convicted and lost his licence over the incident.
Police facts stated Ramsay got out of his Audi A5 and yelled "let's have a go" to a man before he banged on his car windows and tried to jump on the bonnet.
Ramsay later blew 0.213.
ISAAC NELSON TEU
Isaac Teu - who worked at Doyle Spillane - pleaded guilty to spying on a 13-year-old girl in her northern beaches home and was sentenced to a two-year community corrections order.