A lawyer defending a man accused of touching a 16-year-old girl on her pubic area outside a Bunbury restaurant says the evidence against his client is “inconsistent” and his client should be acquitted.
Mark James Allen, 48, of Perth, sat through his second day of a trial in Bunbury Magistrates Court yesterday when in his closing argument, lawyer Bernard Standish, said there had to be “real doubt” over the young girl’s credibility and reliability in giving evidence.
Police prosecutors are arguing that Mr Allen was loitering outside the restaurant on May 20, 2017 when he crossed paths with the apprentice chef as she made her way to work before he allegedly touched her on the outside of her pants.
Mr Allen has maintained his not guilty plea after being charged with unlawful and indecent assault.
Mr Standish yesterday argued that there were three reasons Magistrate David MacLean should find Mr Allen not guilty – the girl’s “internal” inconsistency, the inconsistency of the evidence and witnesses and the inconsistency of the evidence provided compared to what was captured on closed-circuit TV footage.
Police prosecutor Sgt Greg Ward asked for Magistrate MacLean to re-watch the footage – captured outside the restaurant – in “decreased” speed, but Mr Standish successfully argued the footage was tendered “as is” and the evidence should not be manipulated.
Mr Standish then successfully asked for the footage to be re-played in court, arguing that the moment the girl and Mr Allen crossed paths was the “briefest” of moments and that it demonstrated parts of the girl’s evidence did not match the footage.
In his closing statement, Sgt Ward said the footage and Mr Allen’s “strange or odd” behaviour before and after the alleged incident were two major factors in the case.
He said that behaviour included Mr Allen using public toilets outside the restaurant three times for 50 seconds or less in a seven-minute period.
Sgt Ward also said Mr Allen was walking with his left hand in his pocket throughout the CCTV footage and that it came out of his pocket only when he crossed paths with the girl.
He said Mr Allen could also be seen clicking his fingers above his head in what he described as a “distraction technique”.
Mr Standish said there was no doubt there was “some contact” between Mr Allen and the girl, but it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt that any touching was intentional.
Magistrate MacLean adjourned his verdict until next week.