John Gerard Greenalsh

Posted: November 5, 2012 by Serendipity in Photo, Queensland
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Sex assault ‘tore family apart’

Vanessa Marsh | 8th September 2010

A COUPLE whose teenage son was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a Bundaberg businessman has told how the crime tore their lives apart and turned the boy into a different person.

The shattered parents said they were dumbstruck yesterday when John Gerard Greenalsh, 52, of Thabeban, was given what they called “a slap on the wrist” by a magistrate after he pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault against their son.

Greenalsh was given 10 months’ probation and a two-month suspended prison sentence in Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

Greenalsh kept his head bowed as Magistrate Jennifer Batts handed down her sentence and told him his crimes amounted to a “significant breach of trust”.

The court had previously heard Greenalsh put his hand down the teenager’s pants up to 16 times in one night, and did the same thing twice on a later occasion.

“Your actions demonstrably lacked insight and judgement,” she said.

Ms Batts ordered Greenalsh pay $500 compensation to his teenage victim, whose parents said no amount of money could ever repair the damage done to the once happy family.

“No amount of money will take away what he (Greenalsh) has done to our son,” the boy’s mum told the NewsMail.

“We have been 100% completely failed by the justice system.”

The victim’s mother described the terrible effect Greenalsh’s attacks had on her son, saying he went through stages of embarrassment, anger and disgust.

“He became very withdrawn and would shut himself in his room,” she said.

“He couldn’t even look himself in the mirror. Then he went through anger and punched holes in his bedroom walls. He scrubbed himself raw in the shower.”

The woman said her son was a boy of whom any parent would be proud.

“He changed,” she said. “(Greenalsh) changed him.”

The mother of three said Greenalsh had shattered the entire family.

“This has torn us apart,” she said.

“Our marriage is suffering and our daughter has had to suffer my anger and guilt.”

Magistrate Jennifer Batts did not put Greenalsh on the sex offender register, saying his therapeutic treatment indicated he did not seem to be at further risk of offending.

But the victim’s parents said they felt this ruling had let them and other families down.

“As parents, we need to protect our children,” the mum said.

“This is no deterrent for people out there who do wrong.”

The victim’s father said the family would now try to pick up the pieces of their life.

“It has torn us apart but we will just take it one day at a time and be there for our son,” he said.

“We will be there and support him the best way we can.”

Boy assaulted 16 times in one night

Vanessa Marsh | 2nd September 2010

A BUNDABERG businessman yesterday pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage boy up to 16 times on one night.

John Gerard Greenalsh, 52, of Thabeban, was charged with two counts of sexual assault after he put his hands down the teenage boy’s pants and touched his genitals.

Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard Greenalsh first assaulted the boy, who was known to him, on October 9.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said Greenalsh approached the boy from behind, pulled his shirt out and put his hands down the teenager’s pants and fondled him.

The boy told police in a statement on October 18 that, when he tried to walk away, Greenalsh held him.

“The defendant put his hands down the victim’s pants up to 15 more times during the night,” Sgt Stevens said.

Seven days later, Greenalsh saw the boy for the first time since the initial attacks.

“The defendant hugged the complainant and tried to kiss him but the boy turned his head so the kiss landed on his cheek,” Sgt Stevens said.

“The complainant said the defendant tried to kiss him again but he turned away.”

He said Greenalsh then tried to pull the boy’s belt away from his pants and asked: “Have you done your belt tighter so I can’t get in?”

The teenager replied “yes”. Greenalsh then laughed at him before putting his hands down the boy’s pants and touching his genitals.

He repeated this once more that evening.

Sgt Stevens said Greenalsh had no criminal history, but said he should receive a term of imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Jack Pappas said his client had been sexually abused when he was younger.

He also indicated Greenalsh was confused about his sexuality and had previously cheated on his wife of 31 years with another man.

The defendant’s psychologist appeared via phone and said Greenalsh first believed the boy was “leading him on”, but later admitted he knew his actions were wrong.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts has reserved her sentence until Tuesday.


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