An Alfredton man who sexually assaulted an Uber driver after drunkenly urging her to take him to the McDonald's drive-thru has been fined.
Nathan Hall, 43, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday.
Police prosecutor Senior constable Steve Repac told the court on January 28 this year, after attending the Red Hot Summer Tour music event, the man ordered an Uber vehicle from the Blue Bell Hotel in Wendouree at 12.53am.
Hall got into the car driven by the female victim, and asked to go through the McDonald's drive-thru, which she agreed to do. Going first to the Wendouree then the Lucas McDonalds, which were closed, the pair drove to the Sturt Street outlet.
Senior Constable Repac said the man's proximity to the driver made her uncomfortable, and he "stroked the victim on the neck". Hall then asked the woman about her earrings, before putting one of her earrings on and asking her if he could put it through his penis.
The man then asked the women to have sex, and when the victim refused, the man offered to pay her. When he touched the left side of her breast, she elbowed him away and asked him not to touch her again.
The man was dropped at his home, with the victim driving to the Ballarat Police Station. When he was interviewed on May 4, he admitted to taking the Uber but denied the assault.
The man's defence lawyer, Grant Baars, said the offending was "related to intoxication" and he "wouldn't do it in his general state of mind". He argued Hall should be fined for the offending, with the man working part time as a handyman, and recently had a new baby.
"He has written a letter of apology, and is extremely remorseful for his actions," Mr Baars said.
Magistrate Ron Saines told the court the man would not be imprisoned or put on the Sex Offenders Register, as it was his first offence of this type but called his apparent search for "companionship ... wholly misplaced".
"Your plea of guilty, plus the remarks you penned yourself constitute not only an expression of your remorse, but a complete acknowledgement of your wrongdoing," the Magistrate said.
The man was convicted and fined $2500.