Generic Rockhampton Court.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Generic Rockhampton Court. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK270716ccourt1

Woman 'living in hell' after sex assault by friend

A ROCKHAMPTON woman now lives in fear, even of her own friends, after a male friend sexually assaulted her one night after they had been clubbing.

Lachlan Gilmore Wilson, now 28, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court this week to the charge of sexual assault.

The court heard Wilson, a Gold Coast resident, had been friends with the victim - Amanda Hopkins -for 12 months prior to the assault and was visiting her and other mutual friends in Rockhampton at the time.

The post-trauma impacts on Miss Hopkins, who was 22 at the time of the assault, led to her attempting to take her life and spending time in a mental health facility.

She bravely read out an impact statement in court in front of her attacker.

"Last year, I started to become afraid of everyone, including my friends,” Miss Hopkins said.

"I've never showered so much in my life.

"I don't feel safe in my home town.

"I don't feel safe in my own bedroom.

"I've been living in hell this past year.

"Now I have to rely on medication to stay happy for one day.”

Crown prosecutor Megan Jones said Miss Hopkins and Wilson had been drinking at the victim's house prior to meeting up with friends at the clubs.

She said they caught a taxi home at 3am and as they entered Miss Hopkins' house, Wilson ran to her bedroom yelling "Shotgun your bed”.

The court heard Miss Hopkins was sober but Wilson was not.

Miss Hopkins asked Wilson to leave her bedroom but he ignored her and took his pants off and climbed into her bed.

Miss Hopkins again asked Wilson to leave the room but eventually gave up, changed into her pyjamas and climbed into her bed and went to sleep.

Sometime during the night, Miss Hopkins woke up to Wilson trying to tickle her. After unsuccessfully tickling her, Wilson moved his hand under her pants and touched her uninvited. She told him to remove his hand and he did.

The next day, after he left, Miss Hopkins told a friend what happened.

Defence barrister Maree Willey said the actions of Wilson that night was completely out of character for the father of two.

She said while he was intoxicated and had been diagnosed with high-functioning autism as a child, Wilson does not use either of those factors as an excuse for his behaviour.

Judge Michael Burnett referred to a letter submitted by Ms Willey from a doctor about Wilson's mental health which described his autism as having an impact on his ability to appropriately understand social cues.

Wilson had no prior criminal convictions and Judge Burnett sentenced him to a three-month prison sentence, wholly suspended, operational for six months.

Miss Hopkins was not happy with the sentence.

"I'm upset by the outcome,” she said.

"All they talked about is how it's going to impact him they never cared about how I was struggling. Just because it "wasn't as bad” as some cases he got next to nothing.”