Man grabs teen out­side toi­lets

Marlborough Express - - NEWS -

A sea­sonal worker who drunk­enly groped a teenager in Blen­heim has lost his job and must re­turn home to Van­u­atu.

Amos Hun­gai Tun­gon, 45, was in the coun­try on the Recog­nised Sea­sonal Em­ployer scheme when he got drunk on Au­gust 18.

He ap­proached a 17-year-old girl at Sey­mour Square and sug­gested they ‘‘get to­gether’’, a po­lice sum­mary said.

The teenager went into the pub- lic toi­lets, and when she came out, Tun­gon grabbed her breast as she walked past, about 10.30pm.

The teenager hit Tun­gon and ran away as he mum­bled an apol­ogy, the sum­mary said.

She called po­lice, who found Tun­gon a short dis­tance away. Tun­gon told po­lice he was just jok­ing around.

The in­ci­dent prompted po­lice to warn the public about get­ting home safely at night.

Tun­gon was charged with in­de­cent as­sault, which he ad­mit­ted at the Blen­heim Dis­trict Court last week.

Judge David Ruth said Tun­gon had al­ready lost his job and would be sent home for breach­ing his RSE con­tract by drink­ing al­co­hol.

He would be un­able to reap­ply for a new RSE visa for five years, Judge Ruth said.

Tun­gon had lost the abil­ity to pro­vide for his fam­ily, and had likely brought shame to them, a se­ri­ous so­cial penalty in Van­u­atu, the judge said.

Judge Ruth con­sid­ered the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence and the pos­si­ble ef­fect of a con­vic­tion on Tun­gon be­fore de­cid­ing to dis­charge him with­out con­vic­tion, on the con­di­tion he make an im­me­di­ate emo­tional harm pay­ment of $750 to the teenager.

Tun­gon made the pay­ment on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

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