Allan Thomas Atkinson, 70, leaving court after being sentenced for groping a teenage girl at the beach.
Allan Thomas Atkinson, 70, leaving court after being sentenced for groping a teenage girl at the beach. Chloe Lyons

Elderly beach groper's appeal thrown out

AN ELDERLY man who groped a teenage girl on a Sunshine Coast beach has had his appeal thrown out.

On 20 June 2015, Allan Thomas Atkinson was at the Alexandra Headland beach when he noticed and approached a 14-year-old girl.

The girl had been swimming with her sisters but felt unwell and got out of the water where she waited alone.

Atkinson sat down next to her and told her he was "looking at you surfing before” and asked her questions. The girl did not respond to him.

The girl told police Atkinson had touched her shoulder then reached his hand down and grabbed her breast and offered to drive her home.

She told police she began crying and told the men to "get away from me. I don't feel comfortable with this. I don't know you. Leave me alone”.

Atkinson told her he was "just trying to be nice” and walked away.

The girl then ran to the water and got her sisters. The girls told a lifeguard who took a description of Atkinson and contacted police.

Atkinson told the Queensland Court of Appeal he had not touched the girl, but if he had it was on the shoulder.

His lawyers argued in court the jury's verdict at his trial was unreasonable. He argued there was not sufficient evidence to conclude he had touched the girl's breast due to inconsistencies between witnesses.

But Justice Elizabeth Wilson said Atkinson's arguments were put to the jury at the trial and the jury had rejected them.

"The jury accepted the (girl's) evidence and they were entitled to do so,” she said.

"She was cross-examined and was emphatic that the appellant touched her breast. 

"Evidence of the other preliminary complaint witnesses was also consistent with the evidence of the (girl).” 

At the trial, Atkinson was sentenced to a serve an intensive corrections order.

The appeal was dismissed.

- NewsRegional