A 19-year-old mainland Chinese student who had sex in public outside a university residence hall in Hong Kong five months ago was on Tuesday given a more lenient sentence than a probation officer suggested after citing his need to study. Yang Hao was originally recommended a community service order ranging from 81 hours to 160 hours, a probation report at Kowloon City Court revealed on Tuesday. But Yang was ordered by Magistrate Dr Eric Cheung Kwan-ming to perform 60 hours of community work instead, after his counsel David Iu said the student did not want the sentence to affect his school work. “Not only [does the sentence] lessen the impact it has on the defendant’s school work, he can also serve the community,” the magistrate said. In court on Tuesday, Yang asked via his counsel if he could be given a probation order instead. But the request was withdrawn after Cheung, noting that a probation order had not been recommended, suggested Yang sought another report. Yang admitted one count of committing an act outraging public decency, two months after his co-defendant Wu Xinyi’s plea of guilty. Wu was sentenced to a one-year probation order. The court heard earlier that the pair had sex outside the student residential hall of Polytechnic University on Fat Kwong Street in Hung Hom on April 1. At about 4am on the day of the offence, Yang was seen by a security guard taking off his and Wu’s pants before engaging in the sex act, the court heard. Although the security guard had yelled, and with other passers-by in the area, the pair failed to take notice and committed the act for about three minutes. They hugged each other afterwards and were not aware police had arrived at the scene until one officer tapped Yang’s shoulder. Yang, who was not apprehended that night with Wu, handed himself in to police a few hours later.