Motel owner cops fine after assault incident

THE owner of Tannum on the Beach Motel admits he is used to witnessing acts of drunken behaviour, but never expected to be on the receiving end of the law himself.

Nigel Walker's worst fears became reality on Tuesday as he owned up to inappropriate behaviour, in Gladstone Magistrates Court.

The self-proclaimed "good citizen" faced one count of common assault after it was alleged he placed his hand on a patron's thigh on June 8.

As the statement of facts were read to the court, magistrate Penelope Hay claimed she was unwilling to proceed on the basis of the sexual nature of the offence.

Police prosecutor Tyler Roberts then altered the statement of facts to omit claims the defendant had moved his hands up the victim's thigh to her crotch area.

Walker claimed the victim had been a tenant at the motel, along with her partner, for a number of weeks.

He claimed the pair's rent was in arrears when he asked to speak with them on the night of the offence.

While he did not deny placing his hands on the victim, he claimed he "felt as though he had been set up".

Walker also told the court that following the evening in question, he never heard from the patrons again - despite being owed $900.

"It's very embarrassing," he said. "I'm a good citizen. I work with police all the time and I just can't believe this has happened."

Magistrate Penelope Hay fined him $1500 and urged him to consider how his actions were open to interpretation.



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