‘Depraved’ predator lures boy, 10, into public toilet
IT is "every parent's nightmare".
Described in court as a predator who manipulated a child to satisfy his own sexual demands, Shane Michael Fitzsimmons sat unemotional in Hervey Bay District Court on Tuesday.
Fitzsimmons lured a child from a Pialba supermarket into a secluded toilet and indecently assaulted him in October last year.
The 31-year-old man pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including indecent treatment of a child and deprivation of liberty.
Hervey Bay District Court heard the Nikenbah man preyed on young boys in the public toilets before eventually locking the 10-year-old in the cubicle, offering him money, asking him to lick his toes and forcing him to touch his penis.
The predator was on parole at the time of the crime.
Crown prosecutor, Rebecca Marks said Fitzsimmons confronted the boy while he was shopping in Woolworths and asked him if he needed the toilet.
"He offered him money to follow him into the disabled bathroom. Once in the bathroom, he locked the door and told the child to be quiet and not to tell anybody," Ms Marks said.
"He made him sit on the toilet and asked him to lick his toes. He then pulled down his pants, put the boy's hands on his penis and offered him $20 and then $200 to lick it."
The boy refused and said "his mum would be looking for him".
It was only then that Fitzsimmons pulled his pants up and unlocked the toilet door.
"When the child's family came looking for him, they found him hiding under a register, shaking and crying," Ms Marks said.
Ms Marks told the court the assault had a "severe impact on the child".
"He has anxiety attacks, he is reserved and quiet and unable to go to public toilets alone," she said.
"What Mr Fitzsimmons did was seriously depraved and predatory.
He manipulated this child to satisfy his own sexual demands with no regard for the his feelings. He preyed on kids and took them into a public toilet in a shopping mall. This is every parent's nightmare and a frightening experience for a child."
This was not Fitzsimmons' first attempt at such depraved crimes.
A month earlier, he had tried to gain sexual favours from a 14-year-old boy in the toilet.
The court heard Fitzsimmons started up a conversation from the cubicle next to the teenager, asking him about masturbation.
He then offered the boy $50 to touch himself and then a further $50 for another sexual favour.
The teenager ran out of the bathroom and told his friend.
Defence prosecutor, Jessica Horn handed the court a psychologist's report, which touched on Fitzsimmons' mental state, including his drug and alcohol history.
Judge Gary Long called for the psychologist to testify before he handed down sentencing.
The trial has been adjourned for Fitzsimmons' lawyers to contact the doctor.