Asylum seeker spared jail, may get ticket home

A PAKISTANI asylum seeker is facing deportation after being sentenced for inappropriately touching a boy at Ipswich Library.

Ipswich District Court heard Wajid Ali, 23, had only recently arrived by boat and was on a bridging Visa when he obtained work as a cleaner in Ipswich.

On the afternoon of June 26, 2013, he approached a 14-year-old boy - whom he'd never met before - in a secluded section of the library, initially shaking the victim's hand.

Prosecutor Noel Needham said the victim noted that after shaking hands, Ali then touched his right hand on his crotch area.

"The defendant then invited the complainant to his car, offering to drive him to and from hockey practice," Mr Needham told the court.

The complainant left that area of the library, but came across Ali again when he returned a short time later.

This time Ali approached from behind, putting his hand around the boy's waist and pressing himself against his back.

Ali also motioned his head towards the complainant's neck area.

The boy's response was to free himself and alert his parents.

Ali was ultimately found guilty when he faced trial in Ipswich earlier this month.

He appeared via video link from Villawood Detention Centre for yesterday's sentencing.

Judge Sarah Bradley heard Ali's Visa was cancelled after he was charged with the offence and that he had spent the last 13 months in detention.

As a result, Judge Bradley took the unusual action of placing Ali on a two-year good behaviour bond, in the knowledge that he will likely face deportation for the offence once he is released from custody.


Topics:  asylum seeker editors picks ipswich district court

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