2 May 2024

Man allegedly propositions three girls while chasing them around shopping centre

| Albert McKnight
ACT Court

Christopher Joseph Lichtwark has been refused bail over an alleged incident at the Dickson Shopping Centre. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to alleged child abuse.

Three young girls were allegedly chased around a north Canberra shopping centre by an older man while he propositioned them for sex.

Christopher Joseph Lichtwark, a 39-year-old from Downer, has been charged with three counts of committing an act of indecency on or in the presence of a person under 16 over the allegations from May 2024.

He was taken to hospital for a mental health assessment before returning to the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (2 May) and applying for bail, which was opposed by the prosecution based on his alleged likelihood of reoffending.

His lawyer argued the risks of the Centrelink recipient being released could be ameliorated by proposed bail conditions, including living under a curfew.

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She argued that given how he may suffer from mental health issues, it would be best if he was dealt with by a referral to Access Mental Health in the community.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said Lichtwark was accused of chasing three 14-year-old girls around the Dickson Shopping Centre while propositioning them for sex.

She was concerned about his previous criminal history. She noted there appeared to be a strong case in the current allegations and they had occurred in a public place.

The magistrate said she was not satisfied that bail was appropriate and she did have concerns about his mental health and alcohol use.

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Bail was refused, a mental health report was ordered and the matter was adjourned to 13 May.

Lichtwark interrupted the magistrate at times, including to remark: “It’s made up”.

“It’s made up, bulls-t, it’s all made up,” he said before being led away by corrections officers. No pleas were entered.

Anyone impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Full Stop Australia on 1800 385 578. Local support services include the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) on 6280 0900, and Victim Support ACT on 1800 822 272 or 6205 2022.

If this reporting has raised mental health concerns for you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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