A MAN who held two teenage girls in a headlock while he indecently assaulted them near a Warnbro beach has been sent to prison.
Antony Lyall Cottam was convicted of two charges of aggravated indecent assault, threat to harm and two charges of unlawful detention after being found guilty by a jury after a six-day trial.
He was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.
The prosecutor said the offending was persistent.
He first tried to talk with the two teens who showed they were not keen to talk with him and they walked off.
Cottam followed the girls and tried to talk with them again before following them to a beach lookout.
He approached them and commented that ‘girls always blow him off’ before sitting down between the pair.
He put his arms around both their necks using force to pull them close towards him.
The girls tried to escape and Cottam threatened to stab one of them if she did not listen to him.
He then kissed one of the girls, put his hand on her thigh and touched her breast.
The girls asked him to stop but he persisted and shortly after asked one of the teens for oral sex.
She refused and he tightened his grip on her.
She then said she would do it and Cottam loosened his grip on her, but the teen punched him hard in his groin.
One teen managed to get away while Cottam swung punches at the other girl but she managed to move away.
Cottam left the area and the teens rejoined and called police and their parents.
The prosecutor said Cottam showed no remorse and he did not believe Cottam’s story that he could not remember the incident as he was affected by alcohol at the time.
He said because he had ridden a bike for several kilometres before approaching the girls and that he told police it could not have been him as he was somewhere else at time.
Police found his story of not remembering the incident implausible.
Earlier that same day, Cottam had attempted to talk to two women in a carpark at Rockingham Centre.
CCTV of these incidents helped identify Cottam, whom police arrested on October 23, 2015.
Judge Anthony Samuel Derrick SC said he had read victim impact statements and both teens had been, and still were, significantly affected by their ordeal.
“You subjected two vulnerable teenage girls to what must have been a very frightening ordeal,” he said.
“It would seem that it was only due to the presence of mind and bravery that you did not manage to fulfil your intention to perpetrate even more serious sexual misconduct than you had already engaged in.”
Cottam will be eligible for parole.