UPDATED: FEB 2015
Busker a ‘sick, selfish monster’ for indecently assaulting five-year-old girl in South Australia
By Loukas Founten
Updated about 2 hours ago
A travelling busker who indecently assaulted a five-year-old girl on a school playground while affected by drugs has been described as a “sick, selfish monster” by the child’s mother.
Michael John Molloy, 26, was travelling to Adelaide from Warrnambool in November 2013 when he met three children on the playground in South Australia’s south-east and assaulted one of them.
The District Court heard he had drawn child pornography on paper and on his guitar and searched for child pornography using his mobile phone before the assault.
In a victim impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor, the victim’s mother said her daughter was now “non-social, sad and untrusting”.
She said because of one “sick, selfish monster” her daughter was frightened by adult men and was constantly by her side.
“Because of one adult’s vile, disgusting and selfish behaviour, our little girl has changed. Our family has changed,” the mother said.
“As a mother it breaks my heart. How dare he do this to our beautiful, precious little baby?”
Molloy is awaiting sentencing for indecent assault and producing and possessing child pornography.
He had faced a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse but Judge Wayne Chivell found that his touching had not involved penetration and found him guilty of indecent assault instead.
The event took place on a Saturday when the children’s parents were watching a sporting event at the school.
Case draws on children’s evidence
The case relied mainly on the evidence of the victim, her eight-year-old brother and six-year-old cousin.
During the trial, the children were permitted to give unsworn evidence after the judge ruled that they understood the difference between telling the truth and a lie.
The court heard Molloy had talked with the children and played them songs on his guitar.
The girl also told the court Molloy said she was pretty and would have asked to marry her if he were younger.
The court heard the girl’s mother was concerned when she found him still at the playground with the children later and contacted police.
He was found with crude hand-drawn child pornography on bank documents and maps with captions which included “sex with preteen girl 6 y.o.”, “rape” and “child rape”.
Molloy’s guitar also featured similar images and he had searched for child pornography using his mobile phone before the incident.
Among the search terms found on his phone, he had entered “i will rape a preteen girl today” earlier that morning.
Molloy blames methylamphetamine use
Defence lawyer Nick Healy told the court the offending was “bizarre”.
He said his client was in a “drug-induced state” having consumed methylamphetamine the night before and his “state of mind was altered by the drug”.
“Mr Molloy doesn’t try and blame anyone but himself. He blames the drug abuse,” Mr Healy said.
“He doesn’t admit paedophilic tendencies. In fact, he’s revolted by it because he has a child of his own.
“Mr Molloy is contrite. He doesn’t seek to shy away now. He doesn’t seek to maintain now that he is innocent.”
Mr Healy said Molloy had shown a “refreshing insight” into his behaviour and had planned to abstain from drug use.
He said Molloy told a psychiatrist, “it’s destroyed my life, not to mention that of the victim and her family”.
“He’s a young man with a troubled past, a young man who is capable of rehabilitation,” Mr Healy said.
He said Molloy would be monitored upon his release as a sex offender and would have great difficulty getting access to his son.
He was having a difficult time in prison due to the nature of his offending and because some prison guards knew the victim and her family.
Prosecutor Vanessa Burrows said it was a serious crime that warranted immediate imprisonment.
“The insight is limited in the way the defendant blames drugs,” she said.
“The drugs might explain the offending but it doesn’t mitigate it.
“The offending was brazen, given the presence of other children nearby and the presence of the children’s’ parents nearby.”
Molloy has been in custody since the day of the offending, and will be sentenced next month.
Molester’s hearing delayed
November 20, 2014, 12:42 pm
Lawyers can’t obtain a psychiatric report on a busker who molested a girl in a school playground because he is being housed in police cells, a judge has been told.
“He has been in this facility for nearly three weeks, being fed God-knows what and with no ability for exercise or sunlight,” lawyer Nick Healy said in the South Australian District Court.
Michael John Molloy, 26, was due to face a sentence hearing on Thursday, but Mr Healy said the matter could not proceed as the defence required him to be psychiatrically assessed.
In August, Judge Wayne Chivell found Molloy guilty of aggravated indecent assault in November 2013 at a Mount Gambier primary school playground.
At the judge-alone trial, Molloy admitted that on the previous night he had searched the internet for child pornography, using terms, including ‘I will rape a pre-teen girl today’ and ‘little nude girls’.
He said he drew pornography and wrote pornographic captions on his guitar and other items on the same night while under the influence of methamphetamine.
Mr Healy said his client, who has been in custody since his arrest in November 2013, was currently being housed in Adelaide’s Holden Hill watchhouse.
He said people should only be held there for up to two days and there were no rooms where an assessment could take place.
The lawyers had previously tried to arrange psychiatric appointments at other facilities where Molloy was being housed, but he was twice moved before this could take place.
Describing the situation as “very unsatisfactory”, Judge Molloy adjourned the case to December 4 to enable the defence to pursue the matter.
Busker indecently assaulted 5yo girl at SA school playground, court finds
By court reporter Loukas Founten
Mon 25 Aug 2014, 6:04pm
A travelling busker has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a five-year-old girl at a school playground in South Australia after playing guitar to a group of kids.
Michael John Molloy, 26, had been on his way to Adelaide from Warrnambool in Victoria last November when he performed songs for three children at a playground in the south-east of SA.
The District Court was told the children’s parents had been nearby watching sport at the school.
Molloy was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse, but Judge Wayne Chivell ruled the touching had not involved penetration so found the man guilty of indecent assault instead.
The case had relied on the young victim’s evidence and that of her eight-year-old brother and a six-year-old cousin.
The children were allowed to give unsworn evidence after the judge ruled they understood the difference between truth and lies.
The prosecution said Molloy had spoken with the children, then played his guitar for them.
The trial heard he told the five-year-old he liked seeing her do cartwheels and hang upside down on the play equipment because he could see her belly.
Molloy asked the children where the toilet was, and it was alleged he then took the girl toward the building while having an inappropriate conversation with her.
Mum rang police after seeing man in playground
The court heard the girl’s mother became concerned about seeing a man at the playground with the children and contacted police.
Officers found Molloy with hand-drawn child pornography on paper, similar images on the guitar itself, and a search using the words child pornography had been made on his mobile phone.
Molloy denied he went to the school intending to find children, saying it was a Saturday and he had not expected anyone would be there.
He admitted using drugs the previous night and said thoughts of child pornography had arisen then, so he drew images as a form of therapy.
“Under the influence of drugs, I’ve heard everyone gets the thoughts,” he told the trial.
“It’s what you do with them, and that’s what I chose to do with them.”
Judge impressed with girl’s evidence
Judge Chivell said he had weighed up the children’s evidence carefully in reaching his verdict.
“I formed a very favourable impression of (the girl’s) credibility and reliability when she gave evidence,” he said.
“She is a very bright and articulate child. She gave a clear description of the relevant events.”
Judge Chivell said he was less impressed with Molloy’s evidence, which he described as “unsatisfactory and implausible in many important respects”.
“Mr Molloy was completely unable to explain why he asked the children where the toilets were when he well knew where they were; his phone was charging outside them,” he said.
“As it turned out, he did not need to go to the toilet anyway. I found Mr Molloy to be a most unsatisfactory witness, one whose evidence could not be relied upon.”
Judge Chivell said Molloy’s trial evidence had provided “strong support for (the girl’s) evidence that Mr Molloy sexually assaulted her that day”.
Molloy is in custody and will be sentenced later.
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