Vietnam vet jailed for sex assault
A 74-YEAR old man who sexually assaulted an intellectually disabled woman in a Palm Beach park will spend the next three months in prison.
Wayne Clifford Howlett lured the 24-year-old woman into the bushes, undressed and touched her inappropriately despite her saying “no”.
Howlett pleaded guilty last month in the Southport District Court to sexual assault and indecent dealing with an impaired person.
Judge Katherine McGinness yesterday sentenced him to three months in prison.
He will also have to serve two years on probation after release and complete a sexual offenders program.
Howlett, a Vietnam War veteran, quietly said “yes” when asked if he understood his sentence. He hung his head when he was led into the holding cells behind the court.
Howlett lured the woman, who has the intellectual ability of a child aged between three and six, into bushes at a Palm Beach park on June 26, 2016.
“You took off her clothes in a public but screened area and touched her inappropriately,” Ms McGinness said.
“You assisted her to dress before leaving.”
The court was told the woman, who did not have the ability to consent,
“no” to his advances.
“You had a reasonable belief she was not impaired,” Ms McGinness said.
“You are saying you did not hear her say ‘no’.”
The court was told Howlett had taken his hearing aids out to go swimming before the attack and did not hear the woman say “no”.
Howlett suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder related to his war service.
Ms McGinness said Howlett’s wife of 20 years had written to the court expressing her support.
“She is shocked and distressed by your offending,” Ms McGinness said. She said she also took into account Howlett’s plea of guilty in sentencing as it prevented the victim from having to give evidence. still said
SHE IS SHOCKED AND DISTRESSED BY YOUR OFFENDING
JUDGE KATHERINE MCGINNESS