A man who allegedly “wrestled” a teenager into sand dunes and sexually assaulted her in a “forceful way” had taken a photo of the victim during the attack, a court has been told.
Bilal Jdid is accused of carrying out a random attack on an 18-year-old woman as she was on her way to watch the Matildas play England in Port Macquarie on August 16.
He was arrested by strike force detectives a week later and charged with sexual intercourse without consent and sexually touch another person without consent.
The 25-year-old was refused bail with an application in the Local Court later denied by a magistrate.
Mr Jdid appeared via audiovisual link from Goulburn Correctional Centre in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday where Justice Ian Harrison told the court he stands accused of approaching the young woman as she walked along Alban Pl and forcing her into sand dunes.
The court was told Mr Jdid was at Port Macquarie with his employer at the time.
“It’s alleged that on the day in question he (Mr Jdid) confronted the victim, an 18-year-old woman, and following some conversation with her, including taking a photograph of her on his phone, he sexually assaulted her,” Justice Harrison told the court.
“The allegation is the applicant attempted to have sexual intercourse with a stranger on a public beach, having wrestled her to the ground … in what will be alleged to be a forceful way.”
A crown prosecutor told the court Mr Jdid was captured on CCTV both before and after the alleged offence, while he was also identified in reference to the photo of the woman on his phone during the alleged assault.
The court was told his DNA was also found on the alleged victim’s clothes.
Mr Jdid’s barrister Aj Karim applied for his client to be released on bail and told the court he would live with his father-in-law and work as a panel beater in Sydney if released.
“Effectively it is asked he is put on house arrest and can only leave the house with two people,” Mr Karim told the court.
He said his client would be willing to surrender his passport and not travel further north than the suburb of Berowra.
But a Crown prosecutor told the court Mr Jdid had only been living in Australia since 2022 and had limited community ties, with just one sister living in Sydney.
The rest of his family resides in Lebanon.
The court was told he had no prior criminal history, but had breached his visa with the alleged offending.
Justice Harrison found the victim was not likely to be the subject of further offending, but said the “spontaneous and somewhat enigmatic nature” of the allegations meant there was a “theoretical risk of reoffending of a serious type on another community victim”.
However, he found the strict bail conditions would be enough to satisfy any potential risk.
When he told the court Mr Jdid would be released on bail, five supporters sitting in the public gallery burst into tears.
“It does seem to me that the Crown’s concerns are capable of satisfactory amelioration if they were granted by an imposition of a suite of strict bail conditions,” the judge said.
Mr Jdid will be released on the condition he reports to police daily, complies with a home detention condition and only leaves in the company of the couple who live in the home, and must not approach or attempt to contact the victim.
He is not allowed to go within 500m of any international departure, must surrender his passport and cannot travel further north than Berowra.
A surety of $520,000 has also been deposited to the court.
Mr Jdid will return to court in December.