1 February 2024

Man allegedly indecently assaulted his lawyer when she was helping him with a bail application

| Albert McKnight
Coat of Arms on court building

Jeremy Greentree has been refused bail by the ACT Magistrates Court over an alleged indecent assault. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to an alleged indecent assault.

A man allegedly absconded to the other side of the country and was not arrested for months after he was accused of indecently assaulting his own lawyer in Canberra’s courthouse while she was helping him make a bail application.

Jeremy Greentree, 41, indicated he would plead guilty to his charge of committing an act of indecency without consent when he faced the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (31 January). However, it was not formally entered.

In March 2023, his defence lawyer at the time had gone into the cells beneath the courthouse to speak to him to help him apply to be released from custody on bail, court documents say.

She met him while he was in a cell, separated from her by a clear Perspex screen, and started filling out the paperwork for his bail hearing, but he allegedly began acting erratically.

Greentree then allegedly stood up in front of her, unzipped his pants, pulled out his genitals and “aggressively” shook them at her for about 10 seconds while yelling, the documents say.

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The lawyer looked on in “shock and disgust”, held pieces of paper up in front of her to block him from her view, and then quickly left the room.

“[The lawyer] was shocked by the incident, notified Corrective Service staff and her boss, refusing to engage with the defendant in the future,” the documents claim.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Jane Campbell told the court that the matter was fairly dated, which had a lot to do with the fact that Greentree was granted bail to appear in court in April 2023 but failed to show up. It appeared he left the ACT and went to Western Australia.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, which was not executed until December 2023. He was again granted bail on condition that he report to a police station every day but allegedly failed to do so the very next day. He then wasn’t arrested until 19 January.

Greentree’s new lawyer, Bol Mathiang of Peter Agoth & Associates, fought for his client to be granted bail on Wednesday, saying he now had a stable address to live at in Lyneham.

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Prosecutor Jack Hill, who opposed bail, said the alleged act of indecency was a dated matter because Greentree had absconded from the ACT.

He argued that Greentree had a long history of breaking bail conditions and that the risk of him failing to appear in court if he was granted bail was clearly present.

Magistrate Campbell noted his history of failing to appear in court and refused bail.

“Mr Greentree, I’m talking,” she told him when Greentree was trying to interrupt her while she was delivering her decision.

He will be sentenced on 8 March.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call Triple Zero.

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