A former welder was sentenced to seven months in jail on Friday at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for having sex with a dog as well as assaulting a reporter.

Chung Lin-fai, 58, pleaded guilty earlier to one count of bestiality. He also admitted Tuesday to having assaulted a reporter outside the court in February.

West Kowloon Law Courts Building
West Kowloon Law Courts Building. File Photo: Wikicommons.

On Friday, Magistrate Raymond Wong Kwok-fai said the case was of a serious nature as it caused actual harm to the animal. He set the starting point for the sentence at nine months after considering that some convicted of animal abuse have received harsher sentences in recent years, Apple Daily reported.

The magistrate reduced the jail term to six months as Chung pleaded guilty to the bestiality charge. He handed down another one-month prison term for Chung’s assault case. The two jail terms are to be served consecutively, totalling seven months.

The court heard that on February 1, Chung led a 2-year-old stray dog to near a stream on Wong Lung Hang Road, Lantau, where he assaulted the animal.

A witness said she saw the dog – which appeared to be in distress – emerge several hours later with injuries to its lower body. An examination by a vet detected suspected human semen.

Two weeks ago, Chung admitted to having sex with the dog. He said he occasionally fed the canine over the past two years and took her to a nearby stream to give her a shower, but he had never had sex with the animal before that.

An employee of animal welfare group SPCA said the dog is under the care of volunteers, according to HK01.

Wong Lung Hang Road.
Wong Lung Hang Road. Photo: Google Street View.

His lawyer pleaded in mitigation that Chung was “caught in a moment of confusion” and that the dog did not resist at the time. He also said Chung suffered from alcoholism.

In a psychiatric report submitted to the court, Chung said he heard a female voice telling him to have sexual intercourse with the canine. He also said he did not recall much about the details of the incident.

Chung was surround by a number of journalists in February when he appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts. He was seen hitting a reporter at one point.

Chung’s lawyer said his client understood that the reporter was only doing his job, and hoped to make a public apology to the reporter.

There has only been one previous case of bestiality in Hong Kong. In 2000, a 48-year-old man was sentenced to two months behind bars for having sex with a dog in a public washroom in Hung Hom.

It is an offence to have sexual intercourse with any animal under the Crimes Ordinance. The offence carries a maximum penalty of a HK$50,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment.

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.