Man on run despite sex attack conviction

AN ACUPUNCTURIST was missing last night despite being jailed for five years after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a female patient during a private therapy session.

AN ACUPUNCTURIST was missing last night despite being jailed for five years after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a female patient during a private therapy session.

Hong Tao Yu, 47, from Braintree, known as "The Doctor", was not at Swindon Crown Court to hear the jury return its verdict yesterday.

He failed to turn up after the first day of his three-day trial and it is thought he may to have fled Britain, possibly bound for his native China.

Judge John McNaught proceeded in Yu's absence.


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He jailed Yu for five years and imposed an order banning him from carrying out one-on-one medical treatment on female patients.

The court was told by Yu's victim, a 46-year-old mother, how he removed her knickers during a massage on May 4 last year and touched her intimately.

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She had been going to Yu, who worked at a Chinese medicine centre in Swindon, Wiltshire, for an hour-long acupuncture session once a week since last February in the hope it would help with her psoriasis.

The woman told the court how Yu would conduct the sessions with her undressed to her underwear and lying on a couch.

Yu's treatment would involve sticking needles in her body and holding heated jars against her skin.

Each appointment ended with a massage, she said.

But after inserting the needles in various parts of her body during her 14th session, Yu, who cannot speak English, tried to kiss his patient.

"He came close to me. He was pulling at my lips and I could feel his tongue against my teeth," the woman told the court.

She said she grunted "no" through clenched teeth, worried that if she opened her mouth to speak, it would let Yu's tongue in.

After taking the needles out, Yu asked the woman to turn on to her front. He then pulled down her knickers and assaulted her, she said.

"After that, he just stopped and said, 'Acupuncture finished'. Then he said, 'Are you OK ?'', she said.

She told the jury she was "upset and frightened' by the assault and "froze' with fear.

She said she felt Yu had betrayed her trust. Yu, who was aided by a Mandarin-speaking interpreter on the one day he did appear at court, was convicted of one charge of assault by penetration, under the 2003 legislation.

The charge equates to indecent assault.

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