Heavy drinking 'no excuse' for sexual assault of girl, 16

AFTER a night of heavy drinking, a teenager woke to find a man laying on top of her in the dark bedroom.

Her underwear had been pulled down around her legs. The man left the bedroom when the 16-year-old told him to get off her, but yesterday pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court to one count of sexual assault.

Lathanuel James Mack was 23 at the time of the offence, on May 17, 2014.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker said both Mack  and the victim had been drinking, but intoxication should not be considered a mitigating factor for Mack's offending.

"The defendant has taken advantage of a vulnerable complainant in her own home," she said.

The court heard Mack had a long history of offences, but none of a similar sexual nature, and had committed the assault while serving a suspended sentence.

Defence barrister Ross LoMonaco said Mack had "very little memory of what happened that night" after a "fairly heavy and robust drinking session".

Mr LoMonaco said Mack was "disbelieving" that he could have committed an offence so out of his character. He said the offence was "not an out and out home invasion" in that Mack had been staying at the property, but was "very opportunistic".

Judge Michael Burnett told Mack he had "a history of making a nuisance" of himself and would continue to face harsher punishments if he returned to court again.

However, Judge Burnett told Mack the fact he left the room when told to by the victim was in his favour.

Mack was sentenced to 115 days imprisonment with probation for two years on release.

Having taken into account Mack's 115 days served in pre-sentence custody, Judge Burnett released him on probation immediately.

Judge Burnett warned it was "not the end of the track" and Mack would be back before court if he breached probation.



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