A CIVIL servant indecently assaulted a 16-year-old girl as she stood watching a variety show at a crowded shopping centre, the High Court heard yesterday. Tsoi Tsz-leung, 40, a clerical officer with the Civil EngineeringDepartment, pressed himself against the girl from behind as she peered over railings. Unknown to him, two off-duty police officers were also among the shoppers watching the show. One of them saw what Tsoi was doing and they moved in to arrest him. Tsoi was found guilty by magistrate Richard Day at North Kowloon Court on November 23 last year. He was fined $2,500. His appeal against conviction was dismissed yesterday by Mr Justice Duffy. The judge said the assault took place at the Dragon Centre in Shamshuipo on July 2 last year. Tsoi was standing behind the teenager among a crowd of about 100 people watching the show. There was no one behind him. When the police officers arrested him, Tsoi claimed contact had not taken place, unless it was by accident. Munira Moosdeen, for Tsoi, said the conviction was unsafe. She argued that there had been inconsistencies in the accounts given by the prosecution witnesses. Ms Moosdeen said the girl was mistaken. She was excited by the show and may have been jumping up and down and misidentified the assailant. She told the judge Tsoi suffered anxiety and neurosis. His condition had affected his demeanour in the witnessbox and led the magistratenot to believe him. Mr Justice Duffy said the magistrate had carefully considered the evidence taking all the factors into account. The girl had been 'embarrassed and patently nervous' when giving her evidence but the magistrate believed her account. 'He looked throughout for signs of exaggeration or fantasy,' said the judge.