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‘Bizarre’ assault claim from emergency room

TWO incidents described as bizarre and despicable led to the arrest of a middle-aged father, and serious questions about his mental health when he appeared in court.

In a bail application made on behalf of defendant Stephen Tahata, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard there were no issues with his mental health that might explain his alleged behaviour.

Tahata, 56, from Spring Mountain, is charged with committing robbery at Booval on February 21; and sexual assault at Ipswich on February 22.

Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said the alleged incidents were bizarre and the sexual assault despicable as it occurred in the waiting room of the emergency department at Ipswich Hospital.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess asked if there were any underlying mental health problems that could explain the alleged incidents.

Sgt Dick said a mental health report found there were none that would suggest an explanation.

He said Tahata was treated at Ipswich Hospital for a possible head injury, adding that further investigation would be required to see if there had been a blow to the head.

Defence lawyer Kelsea Read said that while the charges were unusual Tahata was not an unacceptable risk to the public.

Ms Sturgess said there was very little information in the report and the court had to be satisfied he would not pose a risk to other people in light of the allegations.

"I understand he had fallen from a veranda," Ms Read said.

"He later presented to the hospital where the second charge followed."

"He apparently attempted to throw himself off a veranda." Ms Sturgess suggested.

"That's one version. He did suffer a fall," Ms Read said.

Ms Sturgess said the robbery charge related to a shop assistant being punched at Booval.

She said Tahata had no criminal history and had been assessed by the mental health unit at Ipswich Hospital with no mental health issues.

Bail was granted and his matters will return to court on March 18.