Violent sex offender sentenced to indefinite custody

A MAN with a history of rape, wilful exposure and assaults occasioning bodily harm in Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Maryborough, has been deemed a danger to the community and given an indefinite custodial sentence.

The decision and reasons against 60-year-old Colin James Cooper were handed down in the Brisbane Supreme Court on November 9.

Prior to the order being made, Cooper was in custody for offences including rape, attempted rape, and multiple counts of sexual assault.

Cooper's first offence of sexual assault was in 2003 against a 14-year-old girl in a public place in Hervey Bay.

Sentencing Judge Brian Boulton described the circumstances of Cooper making a crude sexual remark towards the girl and sexual propositions while he masturbated himself a short distance away from where she was seated, facing the girl so she could see what he was doing.

The second set of offending occurred in Gladstone in 2009, this time against a 36-year-old deaf woman.

The offences involved two rapes, one attempt to commit rape, one sexual assault by contact, and five sexual assaults.

A court document outlines the circumstances as "distressing".

At the time Cooper was subject to a suspended sentence imposed two months earlier for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while affected by an intoxicating substance.

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Two years later in 2011 Cooper offended again at Hervey Bay, this time at a petrol station. He arrived to borrow fuel and became argumentative when refused.

Cooper subsequently pulled his shorts down to his ankles and made hand gestures towards his genitalia resulting in the wilful exposure charge.

Cooper was before the District Court again in Maryborough in 2015 for two assaults occasioning bodily harm.

Judge David Reid noted he was sure Cooper had hoped to take advantage of the first woman he assaulted due to her consumption of liquor.

Judge Reid said Cooper struck her a significant blow to the chest, fracturing her sternum and there was some evidence she bit him on the face and was acting provocatively.

"That gave you absolutely no right whatsoever to strike her in the way that you did," Judge Reid said upon sentence.

"I hope you feel absolutely ashamed that you behaved in that way towards a woman who was quite clearly vulnerable, as could be seen, in my view, when she gave evidence before me."

The second offence was against a 31-year-old woman in Bundaberg.

Cooper pushed the woman into her unit and punched her on the left side of the face, dragged her to the ground and continued to punch her face and body, kneeing her and yelling obscenities at her.

READ THE CASE:

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Cooper pleaded guilty to another sexual assault in Hervey Bay in April 2016.

The offence, committed shortly after Cooper was released on parole, was against a 23-year-old woman with her young daughter in a public car park in the early evening.

Cooper stared at his victim which made her uncomfortable so she decided to leave.

As she walked away Cooper grabbed her buttock and made a remark to her.

The woman, holding her daughter, told him "if you touch me again I will punch you" to which Cooper replied "Go on. Punch me" before the victim left and called police.

Three psychiatrists submitted reports to the Brisbane Supreme Court revealing Cooper had a type of psychopathy.

One report showed substance abuse and anti-social behaviour, while another described him to have a mixed personality disorder with anti-social and narcissistic traits.

It was recommended Cooper undertake the High-Intensity Sexual Offender Program, which so far Cooper had refused to engage in, or any other sexual offender programs.

Upon hearing the evidence, Justice Thomas Bradley said Cooper was an unacceptable risk of committing a serious sexual offence unless he was detained.

He ordered Cooper be detained in custody for an indefinite term for control, care or treatment.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.   


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