Joondalup: ‘alcoholic social pest’ receives suspended prison sentence for sexual assault

Joondalup Magistrates Court.
Joondalup Magistrates Court.

AN alcoholic, described as a “social pest”, had no recollection of sexually assaulting a woman on a train – in the middle of the morning – near Currambine in February, Joondalup Magistrates Court has heard.

Graham Charles Heath, aged in his late 40s, was sentenced to a nine-month jail term suspended for nine months on March 23 after he pleaded guilty to indecent assault and a long list of theft charges.

The court heard Heath was sitting next to a woman on a train on the Joondalup line about 11am when he began touching her leg and breasts.

Using explicit language, he told the woman he wanted to have sex with her and asked her to come home with him.

His lawyer said Heath, who had experienced two decades of alcoholism, was “extremely inebriated” at the time of the offence and did not remember it.

She said he was “extremely shocked at his behaviour”.

The lawyer said her client had been “in and out of homelessness” and experienced difficulties after a serious injury left him with a metal plate in his head.

Magistrate Deen Potter said it would have been a frightening experience for the victim and would likely have left her apprehensive to take public transport again.

He said passengers needed to feel safe and “not be harangued, harassed and in this case indecently assaulted”.

The police prosecutor accused Heath of being a “social pest”, whose criminal record was “constant since 1997”.

She did not believe he was taking responsibility for his actions.

“He’s blaming alcohol and traumatic experiences for his offending,” she said.

He was also fined $1500 and put on a community based order in relation to his theft charges.

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