Man jailed for touching four girls at Ipswich public pool

A man who groped four girls in "brazen" offending as they swam at the Orion Lagoon at Springfield was jailed in Ipswich District Court yesterday.

Arol Tong Lual, 21, was charged after four girls aged 19, 15, 11 and 14 were indecently touched at the public swimming pool in January this year.

Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said Lual touched the girls, the two eldest of which were sisters, through their togs.

"There was also an impact on the family in making them mistrusting and fearful to use these public places they should otherwise be able to use without fearing being sexually and indecently assaulted," she said.

"This was quite brazen and persistent conduct engaged in by a stranger."

The court heard Lual was drunk and made admissions to drinking a large quantity of wine.

Defence lawyer Timothy Ryan said the offending "fell at the lower end of the scale" and "occurred quite briefly and momentarily".

"He made no attempt to persist with the contact once the complainants resisted his advancements," he said.

Mr Ryan said Lual came to Australia as a refugee from Sudan when he was eight and drank to reduce flash-backs of gun fire and other trauma.

Lual spent a "large portion" of the last four years in custody and short periods in the community for breaching previous court orders.

He pleaded guilty to four offences including sexual assault and indecent treatment of a child.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said the offending was akin with breaching the trust of the community in attending public swimming pools.

"Regrettably at your young age you are no stranger to prison," he said.

"You have spent much of your adult life incarcerated."

Lual was sentenced to a head sentence of 12 months imprisonment with parole eligibility in March next year.



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