A magistrate hit rugby fans where it hurts most yesterday by saying beer should be banned from the Hong Kong Sevens. The off-the-cuff comment, by magistrate James Lee Chung-yin, came during the case of a British soldier accused of grabbing the breast of a Lycra-clad Foster's vendor during the final day of this year's spectacular. He acquitted Sergeant Keith Scott, 29, of indecent assault, but remarked that 'they should stop selling beer' at an event which is synonymous with boozing. On March 29, Sergeant Scott was in the Hong Kong Stadium's south stand, Eastern Court heard. When a girl selling Foster's beer walked by, he grabbed her breast, she alleged. The girl reported the incident to the police, but lied about her name, age and address, claiming later she did this because she was filling in for a friend. 'The police officer who took her statement said she was burning with impatience, as she wanted to continue selling her beer,' Paul Connell, defending, said. 'Is that consistent with an indecent assault? I suggest not.' When police arrived to arrest Sergeant Scott, several other fans, including a solicitor and an air force officer, offered to give evidence that he was innocent. The magistrate was critical of the police investigation after hearing Detective Inspector Michael Mason say he wished he had not charged Sergeant Scott when discovering that the RAF corporal was a witness for the defence. He believed the man was to appear for the prosecution. But Mr Lee said: 'That is not the kind of statement an experienced inspector should make.' Sevens organisers were unavailable for comment on the idea of a beer ban.