Drunk man accused of ‘random’ break-in, sex assault

A man accused of the terrifying break-in at Goonellabah where a woman was sexually assaulted while asleep has faced Lismore Local Court.

Barry Jarrett, 19, was refused bail on Thursday due to the seriousness of allegations against him.

The 33-year-old woman was asleep beside her two daughters, aged four and five, in their home on Wednesday morning, when she was woken by Mr Jarrett who was allegedly touching her sexually at the time.

She screamed, and he ran from the premises.

The court heard the attack was not premeditated.

"He doesn't know the victim, it was not targeted, it was simply opportunistic and unplanned," Mr Jarrett's defence lawyer said.

"He attended a party with his girlfriend, and arrived at the party in daylight hours to give you an indication of how long he had been drinking, and he was drinking spirits mostly.

"He has a very vague recollection of walking home with his girlfriend, and losing her, and his memory is foggy after that."

These details worked against Mr Jarrett's application for bail, as he had hoped to reside with his mother at Toomelah Station.

"Alcohol abuse is a significant factor at Toomelah," magistrate Jeff Linden said.

"The nature of his offending is serious, in the home of a stranger, in the presence of children.

"Given the alleged offence was committed at random, his release would pose a great risk to the community.

"There are a number of houses there in close proximity."

The court was told the prosecution case is "very strong" with fingerprints taken on scene matching the accused.

The case has been adjourned to May 4, where Mr Jarrett will face Lismore District Court, as he has been charged with an indictable offence.

Mr Jarrett put his palm on his face in apparent frustration when the magistrate set the next court date.

The two children were not harmed during the incident.



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