SUMMER CROWDS: Alexandra Headland Beach.
SUMMER CROWDS: Alexandra Headland Beach. John McCutcheon

Man desperate for wife accused of beach sex assault

A 69-YEAR-OLD man who regularly visits Coast beaches to find himself a wife has been accused of groping a 14-year-old girl's breasts.

Allan Thomas Atkinson faced a jury of seven men and five women and pleaded not guilty to one count of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16 at the Maroochydore District Court yesterday.

Crown prosecutor Aleksandra Nikolic said the offending happened at Alexandra Headland main beach on June 20, 2015.

The victim was at the beach with her two sisters. It was about 11.20am when Atkinson approached, Ms Nikolic said.

The court heard the teen was sitting on the sand rubbing sunscreen on her legs when he walked over and struck up a conversation.

In her police interview the victim said Atkinson asked her whether she came to the beach often.

It's alleged he touched her shoulder and squeezed her breasts for about three seconds.

He backed off when she called out to her sisters in the water for help.

However, the story was told differently by Atkinson when police visited his home to execute a search warrant.

Police were looking for the outfit he wore at the beach and a beach camper chair he was holding.

Police found the clothes matching the description the victim gave to police, and the chair.

During the search warrant Atkinson described his version of events. He said the conversation was amicable but the teen started "whimpering like a dog" when he told her his name.

He said the way she reacted caused him to back off because when a girl cried or shouted it "caused trouble".

He said if he did touch her it was by accident, but was adamant he did not touch her breasts.

Detective Senior Constable Lyndon Hobbs of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit was one of the officers searching the man's house.

Atkinson said to Det Snr Const Hobbs he "saw why it was a problem".

He said: "it's hard when you see a beautiful girl and you go up to talk to her and see she is young".

He questioned the officer whether he should have stayed or backed off, to which Det Snr Const Hobbs replied: "well you would think you would back off".

Atkinson told the officers he went to the beach often to find a wife and said he "spoke to a lot of girls on the beach".

He described the victim as a "pretty young girl" and said he would know if he "snicked her".

The victim gave two interviews to police two years apart. Atkinson's defence barrister David Crews told the jury to notice "inconsistencies" in her evidence.

He suggested that because she was distressed and scared what she thought happened, may not have been reality.

The trial continues.



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