THE most terrifying incident in Nambour police officer Joan Lane's 23-year career has given her first-hand understanding of being a victim of crime.
It also contributed to the jailing of 40-year-old Geoffrey Bruce Tobler for threatening to kill the Senior Constable's family as well as other crimes in Maleny in 2013 and 2014.
Snr Const Lane moved to the residence attached to Maleny Police Station with her daughters, now aged 19 and 12, the day after her husband Brett's funeral in October 2012.
They had been living at Tanawha when Mr Lane, a painter, was diagnosed with liver cancer.
His health battle took its toll on financial resources so Snr Const Lane applied to live at the Maleny police house while continuing her role as Nambour General Hospital police liaison officer.
Her family had been enjoying their new place for a little more than a year when she was awoken by loud crashing sounds about 2am on November 24, 2013.
She heard yelling and looked out to see a man she did not recognise in the carport clenching his fists. The automatic gate at the entrance had been ripped from its hinges.
"It's Geoff. Get out here," the man yelled.
She called out, asking who he was and he replied: "I'm a local. Get your f***ing husband out of bed.
"Come out here and I'll rip your f***ing head off."
He then hit a carport railing and said: "I'll kill you and your f***ing family."
Snr Const Lane's daughters had awoken by this time and came out of their rooms. They were shaking.
"He was very aggressive and when I saw that the electric gate was gone, that is when I though 'this isn't good'," the veteran officer told the Daily.
"I thought 'this bloke has ripped the gate off and he is going to try to get in'."
Her emotion was one of terror.
"My first thought was the kids and I ran through to the police station and rang 000."
She heard Tobler yelling and saw him kicking the station's door.
She was on the telephone to police communications when she realised the house was silent.
"I thought he had got in, I ran back to the girls and they said he had gone down the street but it was too quiet," Snr Const Lane said. They waited until a knock on the door came from police.
When she went outside, she found three of the station's windows had been broken.
Officers went to Tobler's Macadamia Dr home and after some resistance, he was arrested.
What Snr Const Lane didn't know was that officers from the Maleny station had been to Tobler's property earlier that night to speak with him about an unrelated matter.
A marijuana plant was found at the back of the house and a further search found a plot containing 114 marijuana plants.
The crop was pulled from the ground and Tobler did not return to the property while police were there.
Snr Const Lane said she and her daughters were nervous about being in the house after the incident.
"Being a small town, I worried I would see him somewhere," she said.
The family moved after about nine months and Snr Const Lane continued in her role at Nambour General Hospital.
"I think we have pretty much moved on," she said.
Snr Const Lane said it had given her insight into being a victim of crime.
"It is very different and you never really think about what people go through in these circumstances," she said.
"To be the subject of that sort of incident, it is an eye-opener and definitely makes you more vulnerable and more self-aware."
She said support from her colleagues was a big help.
"It is important to know you have that support network," she said. "Without it, it is difficult to carry on in such a hard job."