Booze behind indecent assaults

By HELEN JACK helen.jack@northernstar.com.au

IMAGINE waking up in a police cell and not knowing how you got there.

That is what happened to a Lismore man earlier this month, but think of his horror when he was informed his memory lapse included assaulting two women and acting indecently towards them.

Michael Dean Watson, 34, had spent the day drinking with friends and by nightfall was so intoxicated that any memory of his actions was obliterated.

Watson appeared in Lismore Local Court last week and pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with acts of indecency.

In his defence, Watson's solicitor said Watson had not drunk alcohol for eight days, was receiving counselling and was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Magistrate Annette Sinclair said Watson's actions to reform were in their early stages.

As such, she said she was unable to judge if his attempts would be long term.

She said his behaviour while drunk revealed another side of his personality.

She said she was reluctant to return him to society. Watson's solicitor said his client was remorseful and had written letters of apology to the women.

He said Watson was a victim of a workplace accident and as a result suffered chronic back pain.

"He may never work again and now receives compensation payments," he said.

Magistrate Sinclair said the offences were a serious matter.

"It seems you just drink and then who can say what your character is like," she said.

"It seems you think you can get this matter dealt with as fast as you like and forget about it."

Magistrate Sinclair sentenced Watson to two concurrent one-month good behaviour bonds with supervision by the Probation and Parole Service.

"If you are in breach of these bonds and you come back to court a custodial sentence will be considered," she said.



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