ACT News

Canberra man who groped women sentenced to time behind bars

A man who groped and indecently assaulted three women in  Canberra at night has been sentenced to more than two years behind bars. 

Daniel Van Eyle, 23, of Gordon, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a woman at the Davey Lodge in Acton and another at the McDonald's outlet in Braddon.

A third woman was indecently assaulted at the entrance to the Adina Apartment Hotel in Northbourne Avenue in Braddon.

The acts occurred in the early hours of the morning in May.

Van Eyle also pleaded guilty to several other crimes, including drug possession and possessing a knife in a public place, which also took place earlier this year.

He was sentenced for the string of offences in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

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The court was told Van Eyle held down his female victim during the Acton assault and told her: "Why don't I hold you down and rape you while others watch and do nothing?"

Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the incident must have been "highly concerning" for the woman. 

Van Eyle also assaulted a female bus driver and two teenage girls after, whilst under the influence of methamphetamine, at a bus stop in May. 

Ms Walker said the assault on the "vulnerable" woman was unprovoked, and the two young girls were "simply caught in the crossfire of your violent and erratic behaviour".

She described the McDonald's assault, where Van Eyle unzipped a woman's skirt while she stood in the queue and touched her inappropriately, as brazen and said it was "hardly surprising" the woman was intimidated.

In handing down the sentence, Ms Walker said Van Eyle had started using cannabis and methamphetamine since his early teens and his ongoing drug use contributed to his offending. 

Ms Walker said there was a high risk he would reoffend and he hadn't shown any remorse for his victims.

She said there was a need to protect the community from him. 

"Your actions had a real and significant impact on the people who were subjected to them," she said.

Ms Walker said Van Eyle suffered from a substance abuse disorder and sexual sadism disorder, but was ammenable to treatment. 

She said any prison term shouldn't be "crushing", but needed to be structured in a way that would support Van Eyle's rehabilitation. 

He was sentenced to 29 months in jail with a non-parole period of 18 months.

He will be eligible for release in November 2015.

Ms Walker said any parole granted should include careful monitoring and psychiatric support.