Court told pubic contact ‘accidental’

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Mark James Allen, 48, of Perth, is standing trial in Bunbury Magistrates Court over the alleged indecent assault from 2017.
Camera IconMark James Allen, 48, of Perth, is standing trial in Bunbury Magistrates Court over the alleged indecent assault from 2017. Credit: South Western Times

The lawyer defending a man who allegedly touched a 16-year-old girl on her pubic area outside a Bunbury restaurant has described the incident as “accidental”.

Mark James Allen, 48, of Perth, is standing trial in Bunbury Magistrates Court over the alleged indecent assault on the girl on May 20, 2017.

Police prosecutors are arguing that Mr Allen was loitering outside the restaurant before he crossed paths with the girl as she made her way to work, before he allegedly touched her on the outside of her pants.

The court was told on Friday, that the young girl was sobbing and shaking like “a frightened child” and had to be comforted by staff at the restaurant after the alleged incident.

The girl gave evidence in a pre-recorded interview in which she said she was walking to the staff entrance when she noticed Mr Allen walking towards her before they tried to dodge each other.

She said Mr Allen “followed” her movements, forcing her against a wall before he “put his hand out and touched” her.

The girl then says that as staff comforted her in a private function room, she told a waitress the man that allegedly touched her was at the counter of the restaurant.

Then, as she telephoned her parents, Mr Allen allegedly entered the function room where the girl says he said something along the lines of “hey, how you going” before she screamed “get away from me” and ran out.

Mr Allen was allegedly ushered out of the restaurant by a manager.

In cross examining the girl, defence lawyer Bernard Standish asked why police did not include details that she saw Mr Allen at the counter of the restaurant in her statement.

The girl responded that she told police but believed they had left it out.

Mr Standish argued that the girl did not see the man at the counter.

He also argued that the incident was accidental after the girl was not looking where she was going and it was a “coincidental meeting” between two people.

Closed-circuit TV footage was played in court and also showed Mr Allen leaving the restaurant on several occasions to go to public toilets

A witness told the court that Mr Allen was allegedly acting “in a strange way” in the restaurant. He would not leave the counter and that Mr Allen allegedly touched him on the arm and hip as he said “hey baby”.

The witness said he thought Mr Allen was under the influence of something but he did not know if it was drugs or alcohol “or both”.

The trial continues.

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