An Illawarra man who groped a female cafe worker on the breasts has failed to get his conviction overturned on appeal, with the judge citing the work of former Australian of the Year and sexual assault survivor Grace Tame in his decision to throw the case out of court.
Chady Georges, who works for NSW Health in patient transport and is a hairdresser by trade, admitted grabbing the young woman on the breasts then slapping her on the bum in two separate incidents on consecutive days in July last year.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of sexually touching a person without consent, to which he pleaded guilty last October.
Magistrate Susan McGowan recorded criminal convictions against Georges in both matters and sentenced him to a 12-month community correction order and a $1,000 fine.
However, Georges launched an appeal against the sentence, seeking to have the conviction wiped from his criminal record.
In Wollongong District Court on Friday, defence lawyer Sam Karnib said Georges had lost his job and had his "working with children" check revoked as a result of his offending.
He also said Georges had been subject to "derision and ridicule" in the community after a report about his crimes and his intention to appeal his conviction was published in the Mercury earlier this month.
"If they'd known his name was going to be plastered all over the paper ... they would have worn the conviction, because at the moment now, their friends, their family, the local community, all think so poorly of Mr Chady Georges and that's at no fault of his own," he said.
Mr Karnib also referenced a letter written to the court by Georges' wife, Isobel, in support of her husband.
She said she had worked with "paedophiles and sex offenders" in her role as a social worker and did not believe her husband's actions were sexually motivated, but rather the result of his "poor judgement".
Mr Karnib urged Judge Andrew Haesler to overturn the conviction and place Georges on a bond.
However, Judge Haesler threw out the appeal, finding it had no merit.
"What he's admitted to, it's criminal sexualised behaviour," he said. "Yes, he thought it was a joke, but it was directed at a young woman's breasts in public while she was doing her job. This is what Ms [Grace] Tame has been saying this past year."
Judge Haesler said he accepted Georges was a person of good character "other than the commission of these offences", had lost his job and the chance to ever work with kids again, but said he only had himself to blame.
"You have by your gross actions brought these matters down on your own head," he said.
"But they weren't just gross, they were seriously criminal."
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