A quick outfit change wasn’t enough to throw waiting media off the trail of a 25-year-old man who fronted court on child abuse charges this morning.
A quick outfit change wasn’t enough to throw waiting media off the trail of a 25-year-old man who fronted court on child abuse charges this morning. Barry Leddicoat

'Upskirter' walks after magistrate deems enough time served

A SEX offender once jailed indefinitely because of the likelihood he would commit further crimes is back on the
streets after admitting to similar offences.

David James Tilbrook was sentenced to periods of between six and 15 months in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court this afternoon for photographing up women's skirts at Caloundra, filming a woman in a shower at Kings Beach, and twice masturbating on a train.

But the 27-year-old was immediately released upon parole after Magistrate Tom Hodgins took into account time 139 days he had already served in pre-sentence custody.

Mr Hodgins described Tilbrook's conduct as reprehensible and disgusting but said it was also at the  "lower level" of the scale for sexual offences.

He said he had no reason to demand Tilbrook serve more than the usual one-third of his sentence behind bars.

Mr Hodgins noted the opinions of experts who suggested there was a risk of Tilbrook re-offending but said he could only sentence him "for what he's done, not what he might do."

Tilbrook was dubbed "the Southside Groper" after two incidents in Brisbane in 2009 where he lifted women's skirts, grabbing his victim's buttock on one occasion.

He had convictions for three other offences against women.

In 2012, lawyers for the Attorney General successfully argued that Tilbrook be held in prison indefinitely under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act but the decision was overturned on appeal.

Tilbrook committed the offences which brought him before court this week in April this year and October and November last year.


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