A Wollongong judge has overturned a jail sentence given to an Illawarra man who inappropriately touched his 13-year-old step-granddaughter.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced in Wollongong Local Court in September to 18 months’ jail, with a non-parole period of 12 months.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to a single count of indecently assaulting a child under 16 years, admitting to twice putting his hand down the girl’s pants during a sleepover at her stepmother’s house in February.
However, Wollongong District Court judge Paul Conlon yesterday agreed to suspend the man’s prison term, on the condition he enter into an 18-month good behaviour bond that included accepting Probation and Parole supervision.
Judge Conlon acknowledged the offence was a serious one, saying it involved a breach of trust towards the teen.
However, he also noted the man’s conduct fell towards the lower end of the scale of objective seriousness, he had no similar prior matters on his criminal record and was extremely remorseful for his actions.