Generic image of children at a skate park.
Generic image of children at a skate park. Matt Taylor GLA160319SKATE

Retiree's bizarre behaviour at Central Queensland skate park

A MAGISTRATE has told a retiree to not approach 14-year-old boys at skate parks and talk about homophobia or make any sexual remarks or touch them without their permission.

Lawrence Patrick O'Rourke, 69, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Friday to two counts of common assault.

Police prosecutor Shayne Studdert said the first victim, 14, was at a skate park in Biloela at 9.30am on December 26 with his 12-year-old cousin when O'Rourke drove up an unsealed road to the park and stared at the victim.

He said O'Rourke walked up to the victim who was sitting at a bench and asked if he knew any homosexual or bisexual boys in town.

Mr Studdert said the defendant tapped the boy and told him he was "looking for someone" before leaving.

He said O'Rourke returned the next day at 10.30am and sat across from the second victim, 14.

Mr Studdert said the defendant told the boy he had just broken up with his wife of 40 years and started asking questions about the park and if the victim had a girlfriend.

He said O'Rourke then stood up and scratched his groin in direct view of the victim, saying he had shaved that area and it was itchy.

Mr Studdert said he then placed one arm around the victim and placed his other hand on the boy's forearm of the other arm.

He said when police spoke with O'Rourke, he told them it was the anniversary of his wife's death on December 27, which was confirmed, and he had gone to the park to clear his mind.

O'Rourke told the court he was from Gayndah and had gone to the park to look for his grandson.

Magistrate Cameron Press said it was concerning that O'Rourke's comments to the boys were of a sexual nature.

"I don't know what you are doing approaching 14-year-old boys," he said.

Mr Press sentenced O'Rourke to 15 months' probation and told him not to go near boys he didn't know and have any sexual conversations.



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