Alleged public pool pest Deane Roach investigated over more incidents in ACT and NSW, court hears | The Canberra Times

Alleged public pool pest Deane Roach investigated over more incidents in ACT and NSW, court hears | The Canberra Times


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An alleged public pool pest is being investigated over incidents at three more venues including another aquatic facility and a waxing business, a court has heard. Deane Richard Roach, 43, was refused bail for a second time on Thursday, when a magistrate said she was “left with the irresistible conclusion that [his behaviour] is driven by some sort of personal compulsion”. Mr Roach has been in custody for the past month on a lengthy list of charges, 13 of which relate to alleged incidents at swimming centres across Canberra. That alleged offending is said to have begun in June and spanned more than three months, with Club Lime ANU, Aqua Harmony in Kambah and the Stromlo Leisure Centre all featuring. The Holt man is accused of exposing himself to children as young as 10 through antics including nude swimming, defecating in a pool and urinating in a Coles supermarket. On Thursday morning, prosecutor Hannah Roberts told the ACT Magistrates Court that further charges were “pending”. She said police were now also investigating the 43-year-old over alleged inappropriate behaviour at the Active Leisure Centre in Erindale, Wax Monkey in Civic and “a premises in Batemans Bay”. The court heard that officers expected to take statements on Friday from witnesses in those matters. Ms Roberts urged Magistrate Louise Taylor to refuse bail, describing Mr Roach as having engaged in “the deliberate flouting of community standards” through “bizarre and brazen offending” that kept escalating. She said that whenever members of the public intervened to try and put a stop to Mr Roach’s alleged indecency, “he simply moves on to another pool”. Ms Roberts highlighted a particular comment Mr Roach is said to have made when confronted at the Stromlo Leisure Centre about his “skimpy underwear”. She said Mr Roach had remarked, “I guess the kiddies wouldn’t like that”, in a demonstration of his “contumacious attitude to offending”. The prosecutor described the case against the Holt man as “strong”. But Mr Roach’s lawyer, Helen Hayunga, said the charges were “largely disputed” and that there was “much at issue in the [police allegations]”. She stopped short of entering not guilty pleas, however, saying that she had been instructed to “make representations” to the Director of Public Prosecutions in a bid to resolve the case without a defended hearing. “The defendant here is quite significantly overcharged,” Ms Hayunga told the court. “Many of the charges can be treated as back-ups, alternatives and the like.” Ms Hayunga pressed for Mr Roach to be released, arguing that he had demonstrated an ability to comply with bail conditions in the past and that his activities could be restricted to prevent contact with the alleged victims. She also said he had stable housing, and that his work hours were set to increase throughout December. But Ms Taylor said she was troubled by a number of things, including that the alleged offences fell within a period when Mr Roach was subject to a suspended jail sentence and good behaviour order. The allegations were also of “a protracted period of conduct that can only be described as brazen”, and which Mr Roach appeared to have carried out “in a confident manner”. Ms Taylor said it was particularly worrying that in one instance, Mr Roach was accused of responding to condemnation of his behaviour by stalking a woman who had banned him from a pool. The court has previously heard Mr Roach was not mentally ill, and Ms Taylor said there was nothing to suggest he was affected by drugs or alcohol during the majority of the alleged incidents. “I am left with the irresistible conclusion that the defendant is driven by some sort of personal compulsion,” she said. While remanding Mr Roach in custody, Ms Taylor said the community needed to be protected and she could not come up with adequate conditions to do that. Mr Roach will return to court at a later date.

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