NAMED: The Coast community pillar turned child predator
A RETIRED nurse and respected community volunteer had a "significant fall from grace" when he sexually assaulted a teenage boy.
Maryborough District Court heard Stanley William Pidgeon, 67, was regarded as a grandfather figure by his teenage victim.
That was until March this year, when he looked after the children while their father went to work.
The court heard the boy fell asleep on the lounge but awoke shortly after to find Pidgeon on top of him.
He was rubbing the boy's groin area through his pants.
Pidgeon then removed the boy's pants and fondled his penis before performing oral sex on the teenager.
The boy had his phone in his hand and was able to send a text, pleading for help to his sister, who was upstairs.
Such was her trust in the older man, she thought it was a prank until she went downstairs and saw Pidgeon with his head in the boy's lap.
The boy was able to break free from Pidgeon's hold and sought help from a neighbour.
A short time later Pidgeon was taken into custody.
During a police interview, he confessed to sexually assaulting the boy.
The court heard Pidgeon's attack left the boy unable to trust people and struggling with anger issues.
Pidgeon had been a nurse for 40 years and was a well-regarded member of the community, the court heard.
He had been vice president of the Fraser Coast Show Society at one point, volunteered with the Salvation Army and assisted with Maryborough's flood recovery efforts.
He had been married to his wife for 35 years and she supported him in court, along with other family members.
Pidgeon had a dated criminal history, including minor stealing offences and a drink-driving charge, the court heard.
Judge Douglas McGill said the defendant had been caring for the children in their home and it was a considerable breach of trust.
"It is a significant fall from grace on your part," Judge McGill said.
Pidgeon was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended after serving five months.