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'Creepy' man's groping spree

Duncan McLean sexually assaulted four women in one day.
Duncan McLean sexually assaulted four women in one day.

A 14-YEAR-OLD shop assistant at a Mackay shopping centre thought Duncan McLean looked "creepy".

Within minutes he "touched" her.

He sexually assaulted four women in one day in what Crown prosecutor Melanie Franklin said was a "spree of sexual assaults".

The 41-year-old cane haulout operator from Walkerston has an unidentified mental illness, which gives him no capacity to understand that it is wrong to molest people.

McLean pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay to four charges of sexual assault on January 20 last year.

He went to an employment office in the City Heart and he grabbed a 26-year-old woman on the right breast because she smiled at him, Ms Franklin said.

Then, in the same office, he pressed his right hand into the buttock of another woman and made a comment to her.

He left and went to the shopping centre where he went into a store and a 14-year-old attendant told others he looked creepy.

He was standing behind her and he grabbed her on the right buttock and asked for help with some shoes. She served him and he touched her on the breast.

At another store he grabbed a female attendant on the left buttock when she was showing him a shirt. McLean saw her later in the food court and approached her, so police were notified.

Ms Franklin said the final "touching" of women by McLean that day could be described as "violent".

Questioned by police, McLean seemed to have no insight into the fact that what he was doing was wrong, Ms Franklin said.

"He gave long and insensible reasons why he was doing it," she said.

McLean maintained that he didn't do any sort of touching out of predatory behaviour, however, the Crown says he did it for sexual gratification, Mr Franklin said.

Barrister Bronwyn Hartigan said McLean had a history of mental illness but he refused to accept that and refused any treatment.

He has limited social skills and "clearly doesn't know sexual boundaries or sexual behaviour", Ms Hartigan said.

Judge John Baulch SC said the offences were serious but a punishment had to include rehabilitation.

McLean was jailed for six months, suspended immediately, and he was placed on probation for three years with a special condition he does a sexual offenders' rehabilitation course.

Topics:  district court mental illness rehabilitation sexual assault


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