Prominent businessman found guilty of indecent assault

A prominent businessman has been found guilty of indecent assault. 

The man, who has name suppression, was on trial at the High Court for indecently assaulting three men on separate occasions in the early 2000s, 2008 and 2016, and making two attempts to dissuade a witness by offering bribes of money and future work opportunities. 

On Tuesday, a jury of nine women and three men found him guilty on all counts.

During the trial, one of the men who was indecently assaulted described a "strange", "uncomfortable" and "creepy" evening at the man's house.

The man, who has name suppression, said the businessman made him two gin and tonics before telling him he was to stay for dinner. 

"I didn't particularly want to stay for dinner," the witness told the court.

After a meal and "one to one-and-a-half" glasses of wine, he recalled how the man took him on a tour of the house. The pair ended up in the man's bedroom. 

"At this point I was beginning to feel dizzy; I was beginning to feel nauseous; I felt like I was starting to have less control over my body."

The man alleges he was drugged. 

He told the jury he was feeling uncomfortable and the accused was "creeping me out".

"It was one of those moments you experience in life where every cell in your body is saying it's time to go."

He told the court the man assaulted him as he walked out of the room.

He "came up behind me and put his hand on my backside and squeezed it".

"I just froze."

The witness said the man made a comment about his backside and started to kiss the back of his neck. At this point, he left the room and tried to find a phone to call a taxi. After he'd caught a cab home, he began vomiting. 

"I believed that I had been drugged," he told the court.

The pair never had contact again and the man didn't go to police until almost a decade later, after he'd learned similar charges had been laid against the businessman.