SHOWER SEX ATTACK: School janitor’s ‘outrageous’ act
A SCHOOL janitor has avoided jail and a conviction over a horror sex attack on a naked woman in the Northern Beaches.
The victim was about to take a shower during a party at her neighbour's unit when Amine Chabbi, a stranger, grabbed her arm and tried to kiss her in what Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen labelled outrageous, disgraceful and a gross violation of privacy.
The 34 year old had drunk a bottle of whiskey, unhappy over alleged bullying at work, and about 7pm on July 6 this year wandered over to where a social gathering was underway in Blacks Beach.
Prosecutor Joshua Morris said the 21-year-old victim had undressed and was about to step into the shower when she noticed Chabbi in the room.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard he mumbled something and stopped the shower door from closing.
"He's then attempted to pull her towards him. He's then attempted to kiss (her) and (their) lips have brushed together briefly," the barrister said.
Mr Morris told the court Chabbi tried to kiss her again, but she pulled away and yelled at him to leave.
The next morning Chabbi returned to the home. The 23-year-old occupant woke up to her front door slamming and spotted him outside staring at the duplex.
The married father of one pleaded guilty to sexual assault and burglary with intent.
Mr Morris argued the offending was serious and pushed for 18 months jail to be wholly suspended, while defence lawyer for Chabbi, Antoinette Morton, argued for probation and community service.
The Fisher Dore lawyer said her client had been subjected to "targeted" and substantive bullying while working at a Mackay high school and had been on work cover for some time when the offending occurred.
"Prior to these events Mr Chabbi was struggling with major depression," Ms Morton said, adding he had already been seeking treatment.
The court heard Chabbi told police he could not remember what happened because he was drunk and on medication.
"He's extremely remorseful for the events of that day," Ms Morton said.
"(He) had been feeling ongoingly isolated."
Ms Morton told the court he had felt like an outcast in the town and at work.
"He had reached his bottom and he had consumed a bottle of whiskey," she said, arguing his actions had also been at the lower end for that type of offence.
"There was no persistence and it was for an extremely short period of time."
Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen praised the 21 year old victim for her "very courageous and stoic" view of the offence.
In a victim impact statement, she said she had not suffered significantly and was mainly concerned they might bump into each other again.
"Her privacy was grossly invaded as was her person," Mr Aberdeen said.
"It was a terribly thing to do to a young lady who had no idea it was coming and … at a loss to comprehend what was happening to her."
Mr Aberdeen said the most persuasive material was Chabbi's lack of criminal history. He also placed weight on the fact his wife had suffered a miscarriage a few weeks ago.
As such he placed Chabbi on 15 months' probation and 150 hours community service. Convictions were not recorded.