A young chef was jailed for four years on Thursday for attempting to rape a nightclub worker, who managed to escape by praising her attacker’s muscular physique.
The High Court heard that the comment distracted Leung Chun-kit, who was kicked in the crotch by his victim before she fled the dark alley in Yau Ma Tei on August 22, 2015.
Leung, 27, was arrested at home after police combed through CCTV footage and spotted him tailing the 23-year-old woman along Nathan Road.
It also showed Leung forcibly pulling the woman into the alley, where she struggled to resist while he took off his pants and groped her.
The court heard that he was attempting penetration without a condom when the woman asked: “You’re so buff. Did you want to apply to become a police officer or fireman?”
Leung paused and his victim seized the opportunity to run away. But by then the assault had already lasted about six minutes.
Under caution, Leung told police: “I only hugged the girl because I was drunk.”
A psychological assessment of the victim found she was showing signs of trauma from the sexual assault, including anxiety, insecurity and frequent nightmares.
The report concluded that she was self-destructive and avoided intimate contact, even with her boyfriend.
Leung pleaded guilty last month to one count of attempted rape.
Defence counsel Tony Li explained in mitigation that the assault happened after his client drank seven bottles of beer at the nightclub because he had unexpectedly failed an exam that would have helped with a promotion or allowed him to work abroad.
He said Leung was a rule-abiding, hardworking young man who now felt extreme remorse for his actions. Li also noted that his client stopped the assault upon hearing the victim mentioning police.
But Mr Justice Louis Tong Po-sun pointed out that Leung had almost completed the act of rape, if it were not for the victim’s persistent struggle and sharp wit.
“It is not difficult to imagine her pain and fear, or why she remains affected by feelings of unease,” the judge said.
His starting point for the sentence was six-and-a-half years, but he cut it by a third to take account of Leung’s guilty plea and a further four months in recognition that the conduct was “out of character”.
“I hope the defendant will learn from the bitter experience and not repeat those steps. Be a new man after serving sentence,” Tong said. “And hopefully the victim will soon walk out of the shadows.”