Tarcutta man Phillip Cock sentenced at Young for indecent assault at Harden

“What the offender did to the complainant was shameful,” Magistrate Peter Dare SC said in Young Local Court this week.

“He was a disgraceful individual.

“He forced himself, sexually, upon [the victim] who before this night was a complete stranger to him.”

Phillip Cock, 45 of Tarcutta, was convicted and handed a two-year suspended prison sentence when he faced three charges of assault with act of indecency.

Mr Dare said in his remarks that the victim had tried on several occasions to stop Cock’s advances during the assaults only achieving success once others intervened. 

“The only things which militate against the imposition of full-time custody are his pleas of guilty, albeit with the benefit of charge bargaining - thus avoiding the need for the complainant to give evidence, his self referral for medical assistance, his abstinence from alcohol and his lack of any prior criminal history,” Mr Dare said.

Mr Dare imposed a jail sentence for the offending conduct as he felt nothing else was appropriate, but suspended it on the condition Cock enter a good behaviour bond.

According to agreed facts, the offence occurred on  August 6, 2016, at Harden while the victim and the offender separately attended an equestrian event.

During the night, several people, including Cock, were celebrating around a campfire.

Cock stayed a short while before indicating he was going into town to have dinner.

The victim consumed four glasses of red wine, a glass of white wine and a rum and coke during the course of the evening.

About 10pm the offender returned and, according to witnesses, was intoxicated and difficult to understand.

Cock, the victim and a friend of the victim stood around the campfire together.

About 12.30 am the victim’s friends went to bed and the victim walked to the toilet block. At this point, Cock began his assault on the victim that continued until another person intervened and told him to leave the victim alone. 

The matter was reported to the police. 

During an interview at Young police station Cock said he drank five beers and five to eight rums. At first, Cock denied the allegations against him in any way but as the interview progressed he said he wasn’t sure, couldn’t remember or had no knowledge of the allegations being put to him. – The Young Witness