Soldier avoids jail time for sexual assault
A MAN who pinned down his former lover and sexually assaulted her as she kicked and told him "stop" has been spared actual jail time.
The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, yesterday pleaded guilty to telling his victim "you know you want this" as he grabbed her breast and put his hand down her shorts and moved her underwear to the side.
The court heard the victim had dropped the man, 25, to his Bushland Beach property after he arrived drunk at her house on February 22.
When they arrived, the man grabbed the keys out of the ignition and walked into the house as she repeatedly asked for them back.
The court heard the man forced the victim onto the couch, where he laid on top of her as she kicked and struggled and told him to stop.
"This arrogance that you must have thought at the time you could engage in this sort of behaviour is breathtaking," Magistrate Ross Mack said.
"The thing that is so confronting for me is that complete devaluation of this woman.
"The complete and utter devaluation of what she wanted, what was she was saying, what she was doing by you."
The defendant was sentenced in Townsville Magistrates Court where he faced one count of sexual assault.
He was initially charged with attempted rape, deprivation of liberty, enter premises and commit indictable offence, but these were all dropped by the prosecution.
Police prosecutor Codie Rowe said the man told officers he "misread the signals" and believed the victim wanted to be intimate with him.
"The defendant believed the complainant was playing hard to get when she was saying no to him," he said.
The court heard the pair had known each other since March 2018 and there had previously been intimacy between them.
Barrister Jeff Hunter QC told the court the former rifleman, who was suspended from the Australian Defence Force after being charged over the incident, deeply regretted his actions immediately.
He said his client had been depressed after the loss of his career and from the shame he caused.
The man has since relocated back to Muswellbrook, New South Wales, where he worked as a qualified boilermaker.
Mr Mack said the defendant had no criminal history, was remorseful and accepted he was of good character.
The man was sentenced to 12 months prison wholly suspended for two years and convictions were recorded.