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Tim Mathieson has been convicted and fined $7000 after admitting he sucked the nipple of a sleeping female friend.
The ex-partner of former prime minister Julia Gillard pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to sexual assault.
Tim Mathieson outside court on Thursday.Credit: Jason South
The court heard Mathieson, now 66, had watched a Whitney Houston documentary with the woman in March last year before she fell asleep, waking up to find him assaulting her.
She told him “don’t do that,” before pushing him away. A police summary said after being pushed away, he kept trying to return to the woman’s breast.
She then told him to get out, and he left.
Mathieson met the woman, who lived in the same apartment complex, while walking his dog and struck up a friendship.
They had become close over the lockdown period and would sometimes share a bed but did not have a sexual relationship, which the woman wasn’t interested in.
Brad Penno, for Mathieson, said his client appreciated the seriousness of the crime, was sorry and had apologised the day after.
But a police summary read in court said Mathieson claimed he did not remember the incident happening, and when confronted with the accusation laughed at the woman before apologising.
“Nothing like that would happen again,” Penno said he told the woman.
After his arrest in May last year, Mathieson denied the allegations and told police the pair were engaged in some consensual sexual activity before they both fell asleep.
There is no suggestion the matter relates to Gillard.
Penno argued that Mathieson should not be convicted over the matter, a submission magistrate Belinda Franjic rejected.
“What I’m sentencing for is a woman sleeping in her own home who wakes up with a person who she trusted sucking on her breast,” she told Penno.
“It sounds like he might need some form of structured rehabilitation for what is a concerning episode.”
Mathieson had tried to have his case dealt with through the court’s diversion program for first time offenders, which would have allowed him to avoid a court record, but his application was rejected.
More to come.
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