Melbourne Footballer Avoids Jail For Dragging Nurse Into Alleyway And Assaulting Her
Jackson Williams was found not guilty of intending to sexually assault his victim, but guilty of common assault.
CCTV cameras captured the moment the the Essendon District footballer grabbed the nurse by the neck while she was on her way to work.
The 21-year-old admitted to placing the woman into a headlock and dragging her into the laneway on Lonsdale Street in October 2018. He then pinned the nurse to the ground, with the whole assault lasting around 37 seconds.
It wasn't until Adrian Woodgate, an off-duty New Zealand detective, intervened when he saw what was happening when Williams ran from the scene.
In sentencing, Judge Mandy Fox told the court: "What you did shattered her sense of confidence, security and safety.
"She screamed and did her best to resist you but you were much bigger and stronger than she was. You had a hand over her mouth in an attempt to silence her."
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Williams has been sentenced to a community corrections order for two years and six months and has been ordered to undertake alcohol and drug treatment. He will have to undertake 200 hours of unpaid community work.
In addition to his corrections order, he was also handed a six-month ban from attending licensed venues.
9News reports the victim has since moved interstate and has been unable to return to work.
The not guilty verdict on intent to sexually assault caused a massive backlash and a petition was started to get the ruling overturned. Since being established, the online campaign has attracted more than 60,000 signatures.
Judge Mandy Fox said: "You have expressed shame and remorse. You've been the recipient of punishments well beyond those required or permitted by law.
"You have been disowned by your football club. Friends have abandoned or shunned you."
Judge Fox added that the home where he lives, which is owned by his grandparents, has been a target of people angry at the crime he committed. A group of people wielding baseball bats descended on the place however thankfully no one was badly injured.
Featured Image Credit: 9News
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