Dentist’s ‘outrageous’ excuse for touching girl, 12


A FORMER Gold Coast dentist worked at Queensland schools after he had inappropriately touched his sister-in-law four times when she was 12 to 14, a court was told.

The dentist blamed the girl for being "flirtatious".

The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named in order to protect the girl, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court yesterday to five counts of indecent treatment of a child between 1991 and 1994.

He sobbed on his wife's shoulder before walking from court yesterday without spending a day behind bars.

He was sentenced to 15 months in prison which was immediately suspended.

Prosecutor Kathleen Christopherson described the offending as "brazen" and a breach of the girl's trust.

"He gets into victim blaming when he describes (to police) the child as flirtatious," she said.

"That is quite outrageous."

Ms Christopherson said the man made admissions to police but "downplayed" the more serious aspects.

"He told police he was an immature and inexperienced young man and had no control over his sexual desires and went for someone he knew and unfortunately she trusted him," she said.

Ms Christopher said the girl met the man in the early 1990s when her older sister started dating him.

During that time, on four separate occasions, the man, aged between 27 and 29 at the time, would touch the girl's breasts and genital area inappropriately on four occasions.

During one incident he tried to kiss her ear and said "You are a little version of your big sister".

The girl confronted him in 2002 and made an informal complaint to police in 2008 but did not make a formal complaint until 2018.

Defence barrister Nick McGhee, instructed by Oden Legal, said after the incidents the man had studied to become a dentist.

He worked for Queensland Health in the school dental van which travelled between primary schools before moving into private practice.

Mr McGhee said during a confession to the family the dentist said: "I crossed a line and it has been a skeleton in my closet for years".

Mr McGhee said the dentist lost his job as a result of the charges and had been unable to pay his mortgage meaning he had to sell the family home.

The court was told the dentist described himself as a "Christian".

Mr McGhee said the offences were "dated" and "out of character".