A policeman is standing trail for the alleged sexual assault of a female colleague at a Brisbane police station.
A policeman is standing trail for the alleged sexual assault of a female colleague at a Brisbane police station.

Cop’s behaviour ‘sinister and misogynistic’

THE Brisbane cop found guilty of the "degrading" groping of his colleague's breast has walked from court despite the sentencing judge slamming his conduct as "deplorable", "sinister" and "misogynistic".

District Court judge William Everson today described the 45-year-old constable's claim that he accidentally squeezed the female officer's breast was "ridiculous".

"He has put up what I see as a ridiculous defence," Judge Everson told the hearing, adding the officer is now a "reportable sex offender".

The constable, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted by a jury today of a charge of sexual assault of his female colleague on April 21 last year.

Judge Everson sentenced the officer to a wholly-suspended three month prison term, and ordered he must be of good behaviour for a year.

The jury found he grabbed the officer on her left breast and squeezed it as he walked past her as she stood in an open-plan shift supervisor's area at the station, in Brisbane's south.

Prosecutors argued his actions were a "spur of the moment" decision and that he said to the alleged victim: "Oh sorry (name) I thought you were (Officer X)" and continued walking.

Four police officers gave evidence on Tuesday telling the jury they saw the constable touch the officer's breast and then heard her immediately exclaim.

One officer heard her say "Are you right? You just grabbed my tit".

The constable, who joined the QPS in 2012, told the jury that the grope was a mistake because he intended to grab his male colleague "by surprise" "in the ribs" with a pinching motion, but he got the wrong person.

In cross examination on Tuesday, the constable said he didn't even realise he was squeezing a breast at the time.

Judge Everson told the court he saw the sexual assault as a "pretty serious example" of sexual assault in the workplace, and it was aimed at "degrading" the victim. "I see it as being quite sinister," Judge Everson said.

"I take a very dim view of the conduct … I think its misogynistic and bullying … it's a particularly deplorable attack," Judge Everson said.

"It is a form of workplace bullying of the most deplorable kind," Judge Everson said.

Judge Everson noted the constable had shown "no remorse" for his groping of the woman.

The court earlier heard he has been suspended from the Queensland Police Service without pay since April last year, while he awaited trial, and today the court heard it is likely that his career as a police officer is now over.

He is currently working in real estate, the court heard.

The constable's defence barrister Martin Longhurst said the constable's actions were "spur of the moment" and an isolated incident, and he had tried to apologise to the victim.

Crown prosecutor Clare O'Connor submitted that the victim had been devastated by the incident, and was "constantly embarrassed" and "self conscious" when asked about her sexual assault.

The victim feels the assault "has tarnished" her career in the force, the court heard.

'ARE YOU RIGHT? YOU JUST GRABBED MY T*T'

EARLIER: A Brisbane cop accused of groping his colleague's breast has told a jury that pinching and poking was common at the station, and that a male officer flicked his genitalia in the gun room for fun.

The constable, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty in the District Court in Brisbane yesterday to sexually assaulting a female colleague.

Prosecutor Clare O'Connor told the jury the constable had grabbed the officer on her left breast and squeezed it as he walked past her while she stood in an open-plan shift supervisor's area at the station, in Brisbane's south, on April 21 last year.

Ms O'Connor said his actions were a "spur-of-the-moment" impulse.

She said that the constable then said to the alleged victim: "Oh sorry (name), I thought you were (Officer X)," and continued walking.

Four police officers gave evidence yesterday, telling the jury they saw the constable touch the officer's breast and then heard her immediately exclaim.

One officer heard her say "Are you right? You just grabbed my tit."

The constable told the jury the grope was a mistake, because he had intended to surprise his male colleague by grabbing him in the ribs with a pinching motion, but he had got the wrong person.

In cross-examination, the constable said he had not even realised he was squeezing a breast at the time.

He said the culture at the station was one of joking and mucking around.

"You have jokes, you muck around, you pinch and poke people just to get a reaction," the constable told the jury.

"(Officer X) flicked me in the genital area" in the gun room a "couple of years ago", the constable said, adding it "was just for fun, it was a joke".



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