Man who tackled and 'licked' elderly woman facing sentence

A GRAFTON man who tackled an elderly woman to the ground and kissed and licked her face as part of a string of bizarre assaults on three women will be sentenced next month.

Craig Duroux, 40, appeared before Magistrate Robyn Denes in Grafton Local Court this week, where he pleaded guilty to charges of assault with an act of indecency, two counts of common assault and escaping from lawful custody.

The charges stemmed from an incident which took place in Grafton on July 24, just hours after he discharged himself from Grafton Base Hospital after suffering drug/alcohol induced seizures.

About 8am he approached a 70-year-old woman walking her dog along Powell St, tackling her around the legs before jumping on top of her and grabbing her throat. He then kissed her on the lips and licked her face, head and ears, before he said sorry and left the scene.

Shortly after, a 40-year-old seated in the driver's seat of a Toyota Hiace van saw an unknown man walking towards her. He leaned into the car and grabbed her as she kicked out in self-defence.

Duroux began to leave when a witness yelled at him, but then ran towards a 55-year-old woman and grabbed her in a bear hug.

According to police facts, he pushed his head towards her in an attempt to bite her.

Another witness grabbed and held him until police arrived soon after.

In a later police interview, Duroux told officers he had consumed a crystal-like substance - believed to be methylamphetamine - before he was admitted to hospital, and said he only wanted to give the first and second assault victims a "Cinderella kiss".

He also told police he had a medical condition that made him black out.

At Duroux's first court appearance, the defence solicitor requested a Justice Health report for his client, but that was cancelled on Monday as a plea was entered.

The court heard Duroux was an alcoholic who suffered from epilepsy, and that his remorse over the assaults was "palpable".

"He is totally devastated by what has occurred," the solicitor said.

While she emphasised how serious the offences were, Magistrate Denes granted Duroux bail, with conditions.

He is due to be sentenced on October 23.

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