Navy man pleads guilty over grop­ing

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - CRAIG DUN­LOP

A SELF-de­scribed “id­iot” navy sailor grabbed two women on the crotch and one on the but­tocks at a pub on the Ho­bart water­front, beg­ging them both to “come home with me” when his ship vis­ited the city last year.

Lead­ing Sea­man Ro­han Hitch, then on Syd­ney-based HMAS New­cas­tle, pleaded guilty yes­ter­day to com­mit­ting three acts of in­de­cency with­out con­sent at the Tele­graph Ho­tel.

The mar­ried sailor agreed he groped the women “willy nilly, not car­ing whether the (women) con­sented or not” in Au­gust.

He also agreed his con­duct was of­fen­sive to “stan­dards of mod­esty or de­cency”.

The sailor was set to con­test the charges at a trial this week, but en­tered eleventh-hour guilty pleas yes­ter­day morn­ing.

De­fence Force Mag­is­trate Bri­gadier Michael Cowen QC is ex­pected to sen­tence Lead­ing Sea­man Hitch to­day.

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