Court told of lawn mower man's unwelcome infatuation
Court told of lawn mower man's unwelcome infatuation Thinkstock

Shades of 'Gray': court told of penis texts and sex assault

JOHN William Gray's "sexual infatuation" with a 63-year-old family friend led him to break into her home and assault her, after two months harassment, which included phone text pictures of his penis, Gympie Magistrates Court has been told.

Gray, an Amamoor lawn mowing contractor, pleaded guilty by video link from jail to charges which also included unlawful use of the woman's car and including sexual assault and more than two months of phone text harassment.

The court was told Gray, 37, had already experienced "bush justice" while in jail on remand, including a bashing which left his arm broken in four places.

According to uncontested police submissions, Gray had "started to develop a sexual infatuation" three years ago with the woman, a friend of his mother.

From February 1, he repeatedly sent her mobile phone texts including images of his penis and offers of sex.

Fearing for her safety, she had shifted from her home to a flat attached to her workplace.

On April 17, she entered her dwelling and unexpectedly found him walking down the hallway.

He grabbed her left breast and right buttock and repeatedly said he wanted sex with her, the court was told.

She sprayed insecticide on his feet, told him he would have to wash it off and ultimately ran 50m to a neighbour's place to phone to seek help.

He took her key and drove off in her car, telling her she could find out from his mother where it was.

Gray's solicitor said Gray had already served 66 days in custody on remand.

Gray had suffered the effects of having been severely injured in a work accident in which an excavator he was operating burst a water main, the water hitting him with enough pressure to blast him from the machine, causing impact with the machine's bucket.

He had been on prescription morphine and had developed a drug problem, which he had since beaten.

Gray pleaded guilty to unlawful entry to commit an offence, sexual assault, unlawful use of a vehicle and disqualified driving on April 17 and misusing a phone service between February 1 and April 17.

Magistrate Ross Woodford described the offences as serious and requiring a general deterrent.

"It may be out of character, but you persisted in advances towards her and she continued to reject you.

He sentenced Gray to six months jail for the indecent assault, with immediate parole, allowing for his 66 days already spent in jail.

He also extended by six months the operational period of Gray's existing suspended sentence and jailed him for three months concurrent, also with immediate parole, for entering the woman's home and taking her car keys and unlawful use of her car.

He added a fine of $800 for misusing a carriage service and $1500 for disqualified driving, with two years disqualification, possibly cumulative with the current one, due to expire in 2020.

And he ordered that Gray have no contact with his victim for at least two years - "no texting, no letters, no phone calls, nothing whatsoever."