Rockingham: man fined after indecently assaulting woman on bus

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN who indecently assaulted a woman on a Rockingham bus has been fined $2000.

Kurtis Robert Plecas pled guilty to unlawful indecent assault and was sentenced at Rockingham Magistrates Court on December 21.

On January 26 at 8.30pm the victim was travelling on a bus to the foreshore for Australia Day Celebrations there.

Plecas was also on the bus, sitting alone before he went and sat behind the victim.

He tried to engage her in conversation by asking her to guess his age for a kiss.

He then touched her arm, touched her breast and ran his hand up her leg, up her skirt and up her inner thigh.

The victim froze.

Plecas got off the bus shortly after.

The victim then became upset and started crying.

Plecas was recorded by CCTV on the bus and stills from that vision were handed up to the Magistrate.

The duty lawyer said his client wished to take responsibility.

“He does not remember the event but he does accept there is CCTV footage,” he said.

“There is some evidence but not much showing a brush to the breast.

“He has a girlfriend and the offending was out of character the risk of re-offending is below normal.”

The lawyer asked for a fine.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards disagreed with the assessment that Plecas was unlikely to re-offend.

She read from a psychological and psychiatric report prepared for Plecas for the court.

“In one part that is the opinion of the author but in chapter 20 the author states he is most likely to re-offend with unwelcome touching of a female he finds attractive when he is sexually frustrated, lonely or feeling spurned,” she said.

“His girlfriend was pregnant at the time and there had been arguments and perhaps issues from that at the time.

“There could be a possibility of him re-offending.”

The lawyer then asked for an order instead.

Magistrate Edwards said a fine was appropriate as the author deemed him not suitable for any orders.

The police prosecutor said young women should be protected.

“It is our responsibility that young women travelling alone on a bus should be protected,” he said.

“This sort of illegal and inappropriate behaviour won’t be tolerated and that message needs to be sent to other late night-like minded travellers.”

Magistrate Edwards agreed, and said “the fine must reflect the community abhorrence to this type of behaviour”.

“As the prosecutor said women on public transport particularly when travelling at night need to be defended,” she said.