News

Charges of touching young girls’ upgraded to indecent assault

A MITTAGONG man accused of twice touching two young girls on the bottom at a Lennox Head youth hostel has had his charges upgraded to indecent assault.

Ian Thornton appeared at Lismore Local Court yesterday before Magistrate David Heilpern via video link from the maximum security section of Cessnock jail.

The 51-year-old faced two counts of committing an act of indecency with a victim under 10 years and two counts of committing an act of indecency on a person under 16 years.

The charges related to two alleged incidents when the man allegedly touched two girls aged nine and 10 on the bottom in the hostel kitchen common area and again in a hostel bedroom on June 5.

In a bizarre courtroom outburst when he last appeared on June 10, Thornton contradicted his not guilty plea, describing his actions as a "minimally offensive sexual gesture".

"Something happened I don't mind admitting to," he said.

Prosecutor Ms Coxon indicated the Director of Public Prosecutions had taken carriage of Thornton's matters and requested a brief of evidence be prepared.

"It's noted that the charges at this stage appear to be incorrect," she said.

Ms Coxon told the court the solicitor with carriage of Thornton's matters would be amending the charges from an act of indecency to indecent assault.

Mr Heilpern ordered the brief of evidence to be prepared by August 15, and adjourned Thornton's matters until a date in August.

Thornton, who did not apply for bail, remains in custody.

Topics:  court, crime, indecent assault, police, sex assault




Death of man, 72, tragic reminder of flood danger

DANGER SIGN: A damaged flood sign at Martin Bridge .

Neighbours say death is a reminder of the dangers of flood waters

Mum holds Lismore art show for homeschooler kids

Zeke Zuill, 5, pictured with his brother Gideon, 3, came up with the idea of an art exhibition for homeschooled kids in Lismore.

It was a mum's 5-year-old son's idea to start an art show

Police discover $9,500 worth of stolen items

Some of the stolen items police recovered following a vehicle stop on Friday.

Police locate $9,500 worth of stolen property

Latest deals and offers

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

New music: The legacy of the thunder

Artwork for Celtic Thunder Legacy Volume 2.

Anticipated follow-up album to the chart-topping Legacy, Volume One

Deborah Conway: A String of Pearls, after 25 years

PARTNERS IN MUSIC: Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier are releasing their latest album, Everybody is Begging (2016).

Deborah Conway celebrates 25th anniversary of release

GANGgajang brings new and old hits

STREETWISE: The band at the opening of GANGgajang Way in Bundaberg, Queensland, last year.

Iconic Aussie band returns to Lismore

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m