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Generic shopping image Renee Albrecht

CCTV captures sex assault of woman at shopping centre

A ROCKHAMPTON man has been sentenced to a prison term after sexually assaulting a stranger at Stocklands Rockhampton.

Terry Ian Whitton, 49, pleaded guilty on Friday in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of sexual assault.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Ellysha Geddes said the victim was at Stockland Rockhampton about 7pm on January 31 talking to a stallholder when she was approached by Whitton.

She said Whitton lent in "very close, almost touching her" and mumbled something before the victim walked off.

Sen Constable Geddes said Whitton then cupped the victim's bottom and touched her between her legs.

She said the victim told Whitton "don't f---ing touch" to which he responded by snickering.

Sen Constable Geddes said the victim found police doing foot patrols in the centre and complained.

She said the police received complaints a male matching Whitton's description was harassing teenage girls in the Kmart carpark.

Whitton was located across the road from Stockland and he became belligerent.

Sen Constable Geddes said CCTV captured the sexual assault which left the victim feeling violated and gross.

She said Whitton had a five- page criminal record which included public nuisance convictions.

Defence lawyer Casparus Schoeman said Whitton worked in construction for 25 years but was unable to work right now due to mental health issues.

He said Whitton did not have stable accommodation at the time of offending but was now in a rental property.

"He feels very remorseful about this offence," Mr Schoeman said.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale said Whitton needed to think about what he was doing to other people.

"Keep your hands to yourself," she said.

"It's what you tell a nine-year-old."

Ms Beckinsale ordered Whitton to a six-month prison term with immediate parole.