Hong Kong construction worker convicted of bestiality and assault jailed for seven months
Defence lawyers said the man was under the influence of alcohol and remorseful of his crimes
A construction worker who had sex with a female mongrel in February and later punched a photographer after his first court appearance was jailed for seven months on Friday.
Magistrate Raymond Wong Kwok-fai said laws on animal abuse had been amended over the years to impose more serious sentences.
“Both the charge and facts in the present case are serious,” he said.
Chung Lin-fai, 58, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of bestiality and another of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The maximum penalty for bestiality in Hong Kong is 10 years imprisonment and a HK$50,000 fine.
The magistrate began with a nine-month sentence for the bestiality count and a six-week sentence for the assault, before reducing both jail terms by a third to credit his guilty plea.
The case marked the second ever bestiality conviction in the city, after a 48-year-old man was caught in the act by a police officer in 2000. That man was jailed for two months on a guilty plea.
Chung’s defence lawyer explained in mitigation that his client was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence and that he was “deeply remorseful” for both crimes.
Sentencing reports revealed that Chung claimed he heard a female voice at the time. His lawyer said the voice told him to commit the act.
The West Kowloon Court previously heard that he lured the cream-coloured dog with bread and bathed it before engaging in sex at Wong Lung Ravine in Tung Chung on February 1.
The case was reported to police after a woman heard from an eyewitness that the canine had disappeared for two hours after being fed by a man, and was then taken to a private veterinary clinic for treatment.
Upon his arrest, Chung fully admitted he had sex with the dog and explained that he only did it out of impulse. He also revealed that he had known the two-year-old canine for one or two years, during which he had fed and showered the animal.
Government chemists later confirmed that human sperm was found inside the animal, and concluded that Chung “could have been the source”.
The court further heard that Chung had punched photographer, Tse Wing-yiu, 49, in the face as he left his first court hearing on February 10. Tse suffered a laceration to his right nostril and soreness in his back.
Chung’s defence lawyer said his client had only lost control and attacked the photographer because he was not used chaotic situations and being surrounded by reporters.
Zoie Cheng Kam-sham, of 18 Districts Animal Protection Commissioners, said her group would write to the Department of Justice to seek a review of the sentence, and described Friday’s ruling as “far too lenient”.
“Is that at most a court can do after calling it a serious case?” she asked.