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A major NSW government agency has refused to explain how a repeat drink-driver convicted of assaulting a woman obtained a “relatively senior position” in its workforce before he molested a heavily intoxicated woman in the toilets of a Sydney bar.
William Nhan - a man who then went on to wound his partner in an episode of domestic violence - has been jailed over the sexual assault, which happened in the toilet cubicle of a Surry Hills bar at a Sydney Trains/Transport NSW work function.
Nhan was imprisoned for at least two years and 10 months, with a maximum term of five years and four months, on December 15 last year. The incident on June 10, 2016, began with him attending to help the sick woman.
In sentencing Nhan, NSW District Court judge Stephen Norrish QC described how that once in the cubicle, the intoxicated man then removed the woman’s underwear and tried to have sex with her while she was vomiting.
The victim gave evidence saying that she lost consciousness repeatedly as he attempted to have sex with her, forcing her legs down to meet his height.
“I was blacking out a bit,” the woman said.
Before the incident Nhan’s rap sheet included convictions for driving with a mid-range of prescribed concentration of alcohol in 2003, 2008 and 2012.
He also has a conviction for driving while disqualified in 2012.
In January 2008, he was convicted of common assault and property damage and received two apprehended domestic violence orders to protect his victim, believed to be a woman.
A jury convicted Nhan on October 30 of attempted sexual intercourse without consent, and of indecent assault.
Judge Norrish said Nhan “had a relatively senior position with Transport New South Wales at the time of the offending.”
He was a “person of some authority and importance” who worked between the City and Burwood offices of Sydney Trains.
While Nhan admitted to being in the women’s toilets, he denied any sexual contact with the victim.
The Herald put a number of questions to Transport NSW about Nhan’s employment, including how he was able to attain such a position with his criminal history, and whether or not the department knew about that history at the time of the sexual assault.
“If so, how was it dealt with?” and “If not, were standard criminal checks not completed in this case?” were two of the questions put to the department via email.
But in a delayed response handled by Sydney Trains, a spokesperson declined to provide details “due to privacy issues.”
“Sydney Trains holds its staff to the highest standards and expects them to adhere to our code of conduct at all times. Breaches of the code can lead to disciplinary action,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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