The two women were out enjoying a night with friends when they were assaulted.
The two women were out enjoying a night with friends when they were assaulted.

Drunken father of two preys on two teens in CBD

A YOUNG woman was tying her shoe laces in the Mackay CBD when a drunken man who had earlier groped her on a nightclub floor bailed her up against a bank and sexually assaulted her.

He told her he would "f*** you into next week c**t" before a passerby intervened.

She was 18 years of age out with her friends for the night and he was a 34-year-old father of two, out on the town after a fight with wife.

Joshua David Thomas, now 36, pleaded guilty in Mackay District Court on Friday to sexually assaulting the teenage swimming instructor on December 29, 2018.

He also pleaded guilty to common assault when he slapped another 18-year-old woman on the bottom at the bar of the nightclub.

Crown prosecutor Stephanie Gallagher told the court Thomas had ejected from the nightclub after groping and slapping the two women.

"Over the course of the evening, (Thomas) really proved himself to be a nuisance while at the nightclub," she said.

 

The accused man was being a nuisance on the dance floor of a Mackay nightclub.
The accused man was being a nuisance on the dance floor of a Mackay nightclub.

Ms Gallagher said Thomas saw the teenager he had groped on the dance floor outside once he was kicked out and approached her group. The woman walked away.

"She stopped to tie her shoe and he positioned himself so she was between him and the glass window of the bank," she said.

"He started to say sexually suggestive things to her, including he would f*** her into next week and then put his hand under her dress between her legs and touched her on the vagina on the outside of her clothing for two to three seconds."

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Ms Gallagher said Thomas told police he had tried to help the woman because she was upset but he initially denied sexually assaulting her.

She described the man's behaviour as predatory and general and personal deterrence was needed.

"That would have been quite frightening for a young woman to be followed by a man and then sexually assaulted by him in that way," she said.

"The offending only stopped when someone else intervened.

"All people should be entitled to go out and enjoy themselves with their friends without fear of being sexually assaulted by people they either do or don't know."

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Defence barrister Stephanie Williams said her client was a married father of two and his wife was in the courtroom supporting him.

She said Thomas was a heavy vehicle mechanic with his own business providing services to mining companies.

She tendered six references from family, friends and colleagues.

"(Those references) show a man who is highly regarded by his family, friends and colleagues and they express surprise at the events before your honour today," Ms Williams said.

"The behaviour that is the subject of these offences is so out of character for him, it's really inexplicable, on my instructions."

 

No victim impact statement was tendered about how the woman is feeling since the sexual assault.
No victim impact statement was tendered about how the woman is feeling since the sexual assault.

Ms Williams said her client's bail conditions included a restriction from attending the Mackay Safe Night Precinct between 6pm and 6am since February last year and he had adhered to that.

She said there had been no suggestion of similar behaviour before or since the offence.

"This really is a situation in which he did something incredibly stupid," she said.

"He was a persistent pest and his plea of guilty indicates his regret about what happened that night."

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Chief Judge Brian Devereaux said as out of character as the offence might have been, if the circumstances lined up again, there was no guarantee Thomas would avoid similar behaviour.

He said Thomas made a nuisance of himself and his behaviour was "utterly reprehensible".

"You didn't know her before your paths crossed that night," he said.

"You made a complete disgrace of yourself that night.

"You sexually assaulted a woman much younger than you in public when she, like anyone else, was entitled to just be out with her friends having a nice time."

Judge Devereaux sentenced Thomas to eight months jail, wholly suspended for two years if he is of good behaviour.

He also ordered Thomas to serve six months of probation including counselling and programs as probation officers require.

Convictions were recorded for both offences.



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