‘You had no right’: Woman’s scathing message for sex creep
IT SHOULD have been a special time in her life but a British woman was left feeling "violated" after her working holiday took a traumatic turn in Byron Bay, a court has heard.
South Golden Beach man Nicholas Shane Byrnes, 37, pleaded guilty to sexually touching another person without consent when he fronted Byron Bay Local Court on Wednesday.
Byrnes was heavily intoxicated when he entered a Byron Bay hostel in the early hours of August 24 last year.
His victim, who was working there, was asleep in one of the rooms which he entered before proceeding to sexually touch her.
Another woman tried to remove him but went to get help from security when the yacht captain wouldn't stop.
When he was interviewed by police, Byrnes said he'd consumed eight beers that night at a Byron Bay venue and was "well intoxicated".
He claimed to have been trying to find a bed to sleep in.
In court, solicitor John Weller said his client was "unlikely to reoffend" and asked Magistrate Karen Stafford to consider not recording a conviction.
Mr Weller said Byrnes' life was "wholly stead" until a relationship breakdown last year.
He acknowledged his client's behaviour on the night was "disoriented, drunk and inexcusable" but stressed he co-operated with police, consented to a buccal swab and that the incident was something he "regrets deeply".
The police prosecutor said he was in "complete disagreement" with Mr Weller, arguing a prison term would be warranted for Byrnes' actions.
He said subjective circumstances raised by the defence "doesn't take away that the court must denounce his conduct".
He read to the court a statement from the victim, who said she was "absolutely disgusted" by the experience.
"What was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime solo trip was completely tarnished by his actions," she said.
"Sober or not, it should never have happened."
She said no woman should be "violated" in the manner she was.
"You had absolutely no right to touch me," she said.
"I will never let what you did to me define me but it was traumatising.
"I think it's important that you understand what you did had a huge negative impact n my wellbeing."