MAKO - Australian News - Leon Graham Smith

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Train rapist behind bars

Caught: an image of Leon Smith from train CCTV.

A man who raped a sleeping woman on a train in a daylight attack will spend at least three years behind bars.
Leon Graham Smith, 54, sat opposite the sleeping woman and waited for an opportunity to assault her, despite the presence of other passengers and security cameras.
The victim, who was returning home after a night of partying, woke to feel Smith's hands under her skirt.
Judge Joe Gullaci said Smith had deliberately attacked a defenceless victim and left her traumatised as a result.
"You behaved as a predator who saw an opportunity to attack a sleeping, vulnerable woman and waited for an opportunity to rape her," Judge Gullaci said.
"Young, vulnerable women or anyone in the community should be able to travel on trains or public transport without fear that people like you are lurking, waiting for the opportunity to rape or sexually assault them."
In a statement tendered to the court, the victim said the attack, on December 29, 2005, had made her scared to use public transport.
Smith, of Williamstown, insisted on his innocence throughout his County Court trial and pleaded not guilty to one count of digital rape.
He told a jury he had been leaning towards the woman because he did not have his glasses and was trying to adjust his mobile phone.
But a jury found him guilty and yesterday Smith was sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail with a non-parole term of three.
Smith has already served a year in custody and will be eligible for release in October 2009.
Judge Gullaci said Smith, who has a conviction of committing an indecent act with a child under 16, posed a threat to the sexual safety of others and placed him on the registered sex offender list.
He said Smith had reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.

www.heraldsun.com.au (25-10-2007)
Kate Jones

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