GUILTY: A Severnlea man pleaded guilty to common assault after stroking his female relative's leg.
GUILTY: A Severnlea man pleaded guilty to common assault after stroking his female relative's leg. Pixabay

'I want to touch you': Man guilty of 'betrayal of trust'

A MAN who stroked his younger female relative's leg while saying, 'Can I touch you? I want to touch you', has avoided time behind bars.

Wayne Neil Suell's adult relative had gone to his house after having an argument with her husband, it was revealed after Suell pleaded guilty to one count of common assault at Warwick District Court this week.

Crown prosecutor Paul Bannister said the woman, related to Suell by marriage, was walking out of his house in January 2016 when Suell grabbed her arm.

"At the same time he ran his right hand up her left leg, from the calf to top of the thigh,” Mr Bannister said.

"When doing this, Mr Suell said 'Can I touch you, I want to touch you'.

"She responded by telling him to piss off.”

Mr Bannister said a sentence that would deter Suell, 56, and other community members was necessary, such as a period of probation or a fine between $750 and $1000.

"This was a betrayal of trust ...where for all intents and purposes it had been a good relationship before then,” Mr Bannister said.

Defence lawyer David Jones argued that a good behaviour bond was appropriate as the offence was at the lower range of common assault charges, without "any suggestion of indecency”.

Suell, who the court heard is a former foster parent who had cared for about 100 children, offered an apology to the victim immediately.

"It only took a verbal command to stop Mr Suell from persisting,” Mr Jones said.

Judge Nicole Kefford agreed the offence was at the lower end of the scale compared to other common assault charges put through the courts.

But she pressed the emotional impact suffered by the woman was genuine.

The Severnlea man was given a $750 good behaviour bond and no conviction was recorded.