Teen jailed for lewd behaviour

A 19-YEAR-OLD who committed indecent acts in front of two female Hervey Bay shop attendants has been jailed.

Michael Leslie Hodges entered two shops and followed female staff members while rubbing his genital area, the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court heard.

On December 4, he entered Frangipani Footwear in Pialba and walked around the store for a couple of minutes asking a female staff member the prices of shoes.

He was “constantly rubbing his genital area”, prosecutor Senior Constable Janice Thompson said, and kept asking: “Don’t you mean 69? I’m sure it’s 69.”

The woman fled the store to get help when she noticed Hodges’s velcro fly split open.

There was another customer and a child nearby at the time, the court was told.

Soon after, Hodges entered nearby furniture store Sadi Design and walked around the store for about 10 minutes.

When he was approached by a female attendant, he asked her questions while “vigorously rubbing his genital area,” Snr Const. Thompson said.

The frightened woman screamed and ran off to seek help from male staff members.

Hodges told both women “I’ll be back” before leaving the stores.

The court was told that Hodges was drunk at the time.

The teenager has been convicted of exposing himself in 2009 and assault occasioning bodily harm in 2008, when he was given a six-month suspended jail term.

Defence lawyer Michael Riedel said his client had a “very rough childhood” and had later abused drugs, alcohol, petrol and paint.

He said Hodges was remorseful and planned to go to church with his girlfriend on his release.

Magistrate Tom Killeen ordered Hodges serve the six months jail, plus a further four months. Hodges, who spent 61 days in custody, is eligible for parole on April 4.

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