Lawyer groped, assaulted woman
A TWEED Heads lawyer who forced a woman back into his office before groping her will be sentenced next month.
Mullumbimby man Mark Phillip Boys, 57, was found guilty in Tweed Heads Local Court yesterday of assault with an act of indecency and common assault of Carla Neal.
Mrs Neal, a Tweed Heads business owner and sales person, went into Boys' Tweed Heads office on October 7 to pitch her product.
After a short conversation, during which Mrs Neal, 45, said Boys “looked me up and down in a sleazy manner” she attempted to leave.
“I went outside the door and Mark followed me,” Mrs Neal's statement to police said.
“Suddenly he grabbed me around the waist; we were facing each other, he lifted me off the ground and carried me about two metres inside his office.”
While still holding her, Boys closed the office door with one hand.
“As my feet touched the ground he was still holding me around the waist and he leant over to pash me,” the statement read.
“I was in shock; I moved my face away from him.”
After letting her go, Mrs Neal turned to leave the office again.
“I felt Mark grab me around the waist from behind.
"He ran both his hands along the side of my body, over my breasts back down my waist and over my bum.”
Mrs Neal left immediately and drove straight home, unable to continue working.
She went to Tweed Heads Police Station the next day to report the incident.
Boys initially denied Mrs Neal's visit when questioned by police, however CCTV footage from neighbouring businesses proved she was in the area.
Boys was arrested and charged on October 14, and during a subpoena served on October 18 he said to police “people walk in and then make a complaint they were pinched on the bum”.
Magistrate Michael Dakin yesterday questioned Boys on this statement before finding him guilty.
“The specific allegation of pinching on the bum was never explained and it (Boys' comment) is in my view not coincidental,” Mr Dakin said.
Mr Dakin described Boys' manner as dismissive, defensive and indignant when questioned in court.
“His behaviour bordered on hostility.
“She (Mrs Neal) impressed me as a forthright witness and as a person who gave her evidence in a spontaneous way without exaggeration.”
Mrs Neal was relieved with the conviction and warned other women of Boys.
“I do believe it's a danger for any woman to be entering his office,” Mrs Neal said.
“They need to be aware.”
Boys' sentencing was adjourned to May 9 in Tweed Heads Local Court.