Accused considers any girl over 12 'fair game', court told

A 50-YEAR-old Iluka man is out on bail despite facing two charges of indecently assaulting a girl aged 11 at Yamba.

Magistrate Robyn Denes granted bail to Anthony James Abbott during a hearing in Grafton Local Court yesterday.

The prosecution strenuously opposed bail based on the strength of the case against Abbott and the danger he posed to the public.

The prosecutor said Abbott had made some disturbing comments to investigating officers.

"He's made comments to investigation officers that he considers any child over the age of 12 as fair game," the prosecutor said.

"I would also have strong concerns about the protection of the community based on comments he made to child protection officers that he was sexually attracted to children."

The prosecutor said CCTV footage of the incident also supported the girl's account of the alleged assault.

Abbott's defence noted he was a 50-year-old male who had never been in trouble with the police.

He said Abbott was willing to comply with the strictest bail conditions and his mother was in the court to support him.

Magistrate Denes said deciding bail in this matter was a balancing act.

"Even if Mr Abbott is convicted of these charges, there's a good chance there would not be a custodial sentence involved," she said.

"And because the DPP is involved, there could be some delay in bringing this matter to court."

She said there was a risk Abbott could spend a lengthy time in jail without a court sentencing him to prison.

The court imposed strict bail conditions on Abbott.

Further, he must not go to the Yamba shopping centre or enter or be within 100m of school yards, playgrounds or where children were present.

The case has been adjourned until December 5.



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