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Man admits harassing women

A 29-year-old who admitted intruding on the privacy of several women is set to be sentenced next week.

Gregory Scott, from Warwick, admitted that he grabbed a woman by the buttocks last year after making lewd comments to her.

He also admitted following a separate woman through Hamilton for 20 minutes in 2018 and exposing himself to another woman just over a week later.

None of the victims in the cases can be identified for legal reasons.

Maria Sofianos said the first of the incidents took place on October 19, 2018.

The complainant said at around 4pm that day she was approached by Scott as she walked along Church Street.

He then followed her and attempted to start a conversation with her.

The complainant said she sped up and slowed down to try to get away from Scott, but he matched her pace.

She finally broke away from him when she reached her office, where she shut him out.

The victim told her mother about the incident, who went outside the building and saw Scott pacing back and forth outside.

When confronted, Scott told the mother: “It's all part of the greater plan.”

The second incident happened outside the Hustle Truck office in Paget on October 27, 2018.

The court heard the second complainant was in the area when she heard Scott shout: “Do you want some, because it's ready.”

When she looked at Scott, she saw that he had exposed himself to her.

A manager at the site saw the incident and immediately told Scott to leave the site.

The manager called police, who found Scott near the Ice Queen restaurant.

Scott initially resisted arrest and jumped over a wall into Paget Marsh to avoid police, but he eventually turned himself in to the officers.

The third incident happened on March 6, 2019, when Scott followed a woman to her workplace making lewd comments to her.

The behaviour continued when she arrived at her job, where she repeatedly told him to leave before he eventually complied.

But Scott returned that afternoon as she was leaving her work, approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks.

The woman immediately turned around and punched Scott in the arm before she called the police.

The court also heard that Scott had previously been convicted of intruding on the privacy of a 15-year-old girl on a bus in 2016.

In that incident, Scott touched the schoolgirl's arm while making lewd remarks to her.

The court heard that as part of his sentence for that offence Scott was ordered to take part in the Mental Health Court programme, but failed out.

Maria Sofianos, Crown counsel, called for an immediate custodial sentence for the new offences and raised concerns that his behaviour had escalated.

She told the court that Scott had not accepted full responsibility for his action and engaged in “a degree of victim blaming” in conversations with report writers.

Ms Sofianos suggested a sentence of between three and six months for the earliest offence and between six and nine months for the second incident, with both sentences to run concurrently.

But she called for a sentence of between a year and 15 months for the 2019 incident, and for that sentence to run consecutive to the earlier matters.

Paul Wilson and Bruce Swan, the defence lawyers who represented Scott, however argued that the defendant needed treatment, not prison.

Mr Wilson said the prosecution's sentencing recommendation was “far too high” and Scott was willing to go back into Mental Health Court or Drug Treatment Court to make sure he can get help.

He added: “What he needs is treatment. He doesn't need to be locked away.

“He is ready to face whatever punishment the court doles out, but we don't need to start out with a custodial sentence.

“If we do, it shouldn't be in the range of six months to nine months. It should be a period of weeks.”

He also told the court that Scott had already spent more than four months behind bars since he was remanded on January 22.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe adjourned the matter until Monday afternoon for sentencing and remanded Scott until then.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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Published May 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm (Updated May 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm)

Man admits harassing women

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