A child abuser is due to be sentenced after he targeted two young boys for his own sexual gratification.
A child abuser is due to be sentenced after he targeted two young boys for his own sexual gratification.

Sick foot fetish predator lures boy from shopping centre

A PREDATOR who lured a 10-year-old boy from a shopping centre into a toilet cubicle for sick sexual gratification targeted young victims because they were "available and more likely to comply", a court has heard.

A month earlier, Shane Michael Fitzsimmons had struck up a conversation about masturbation with a 14-year-old boy while they were both in a public toilet, but the victim fled when Fitzsimmons offered him money for sexual favours.

Fitzsimmons, 31, appeared from custody before Maroochydore District Court to be sentenced for 10 child sex offences, but his matter was adjourned to Thursday after forensic psychiatrist Elnike Brand gave evidence on Fitzsimmons risk of reoffending.

Fitzsimmons has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Dr Brand told the court Fitzsimmons was not a paedophile, rather his "main interest" was a relationship with a "mature young adult man".

Dr Brand said Fitzsimmons was "socially inept and approached the victims as they were available and more likely to comply".

Dr Brand had assessed Fitzsimmons twice before today's appearance, and classified him as a child sexual predator with "paraphilia" - specifically a foot fetish - given disclosures he had made about feeling sexually aroused by male feet.

The court heard Fitzsimmons had lured the 10-year-old boy from his mother in "broad daylight" while they shopped at a Woolworths in Pialba in the Wide Bay district on October 14 last year.

Fitzsimmons locked the boy in the cubicle for about 20 minutes, where he offered the boy money to lick his feet, made the boy touch his penis and asked him to lick it before the boy fled.

A court previously heard the boy was found hiding under a register, shaking and crying.

Fitzsimmons is charged with a number of attempts and actual indecent treatment of children aged under 16 and under 12, carnal knowledge of children, deprivation of liberty, grooming, and taking a child under 12 for immoral purposes.

Dr Brand submitted Fitzsimmons' sexual fetish was not the catalyst for his offences, rather it was alcohol, and she categorised him as a "low risk" of reoffending if he adhered to drug, alcohol and psychiatric intervention.

Dr Brand said if he did not abide, Fitzsimmons posed a "high risk" to the community.

Defence barrister Jessica Horne submitted an eight-year jail term with release before the full-time discharge date would appropriately reflect there was more than one incident involving a child and that her client was on parole for grievous bodily harm at the time of the offences on September 19 then October 14 last year.

Crown prosecutor Rebecca Marks submitted Judge Gary Long should not give too much weight to Dr Brand's analysis as it did not adequately consider objective facts.

Ms Marks said Dr Brand had focused too heavily on Fitzsimmons's self-analysis, which he gave more than a year after his arrest, while awaiting sentence and after he initially denied his behaviour to police.

Ms Marks submitted Mr Fitzsimmons had the support of his family, a drug and alcohol psychologist and parole services at the time he offended. She said given his criminal history and history of alcohol abuse, Fitzsimmons was at least a moderate risk of reoffending.

Fitzsimmons will appear on video when Judge Long hands down his sentence on Thursday morning.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

 


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