Child sex offender to appeal sentence
A BRISBANE man who stripped naked, removed a young girl's underpants and straddled her while she laid in her mother's bed will appeal his sentence.
The now 32-year-old was sentenced in Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday after previously being found guilty of indecent assault of a person under 16.
Court documents revealed it was the middle of the night on Boxing Day, 2015, when the then 27-year-old offender entered the bedroom of an acquaintance on the Tweed Coast and stripped naked.
The court was told he then removed the underpants of the six-year-old victim and straddled her.
Court documents revealed the girl was so terrified she later told police she calculated an escape plan from the house.
Police spoke with the man eight months after the offence, but it was more than three years later, on May 2, 2018, before he was served a notice to attend court.
He failed to appear and was arrested by Capalaba police on June 25, 2018, and extradited to NSW.
The man applied for bail after spending two months in custody, but was refused.
He remained in Mid North Coast Correctional Centre for seven months and 19 days until bail was granted on March 29, 2019.
He fronted court on Wednesday with his wife and newborn baby.
He sat quietly behind the bar table as his defence lawyer, Ramesh Rajalingham, told the court via videolink that his client's actions were "thoughtless" and "clumsy".
Mr Rajalingham said his client, who was severely intoxicated, did not plan the incident and there was limited interference by way of skin-to-skin.
"He has changed since this offence … he is no longer a disorderly man," Mr Rajalingham said.
"It was a grave mistake and it does appear to be an isolated offence. He has now also demonstrated the ability to lead a productive lifestyle."
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said despite the offence being "unplanned" and "spontaneous", it was aggravated because it happened in the victim's home and her fear was "very relevant".
"While ultimately there was no skin-to-skin or physical contact with the genitals of the victim, you removed her underpants and she was only a very young child.
"It is simply unacceptable for a child her age to be indecently assaulted in her own home and be so scared she formulated an escape plan to get away."
The man was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail with a non-parole period of nine months, which was backdated to expire at midnight, on the day of his sentence.
His appeal has been listed before Lismore District Court at 10am on August 4, 2020.