A WORKER has been banned from drinking alcohol after he was convicted of sexually touching a female colleague at a Christmas party function.
Barry James Marshall had denied the five allegations against him, but ultimately pleaded guilty in Armidale Local Court to one offence after hearing the victim give evidence.
The 58-year-old has been convicted, and is now on a court order which has seen him also banned from visiting any licensed venue in NSW.
Magistrate Michael Holmes was scathing in his sentencing remarks and said the case was an example of this sort of behaviour being swept under the carpet.
Some of the details in the case cannot be reported for legal reasons, but Marshall and the woman - who had worked together at an Armidale business - were part of a staff group attending a Christmas party function that was held at the Armidale Golf Course on December 6 last year.
It had been the police case that Marshall had accosted the woman in the bathroom and touched intimate areas without her consent.
The court heard the victim only reported the matter to police in March, after she felt the business where they had previously worked together did not take action.
Armidale detectives took charge of the investigation, and Marshall was then charged on March 14, and has been on conditional bail since.
The then 58-year-old had denied the five allegations against him, and the case was part-way through a hearing when Marshall changed his plea.
He pleaded guilty to one allegation, and the remaining were withdrawn and dismissed in court.
The new offence encompassed multiple incidents of unwanted kissing and touching of the victim's body without consent in the toilet block.
Mr Holmes imposed a conviction for the offence and placed Marshall on a Community Correction Order (CCO), or good behaviour bond, for two years.
As part of the order, Mr Holmes banned Marshall from drinking alcohol or taking drugs for the duration, and went a step further and banned him from "frequenting or visiting any licensed premises within NSW".
Marshall will be supervised for the duration and must undergo any rehabilitation or treatment programs as directed by Community Corrections officers in Armidale. He was also fined $2000.