A man was sentenced to 40 months in jail at Hong Kong’s District Court on Thursday after he earlier pleaded guilty to pushing a woman onto a railway line.

The 57-year-old defendant Qazi Jamshed asked for leniency claiming he was affected by alcohol when he committed the crime, Sing Pao reported.

His defense lawyer said the defendant, who was a legal clerk and translator for judicial institutions, has been unemployed since 2009 due to having a criminal record.

The defendant sustained a back injury during military training when he was a young man, and this left him in considerable pain. He used alcohol to ease the pain, resulting in him becoming an alcoholic, which led to him being thrown out of the family home and prevented from seeing his son.

The defendant was admitted to hospital due to mental illness a few weeks before the assault took place; he testified that he took sleeping pills and alcohol just before the assault as he was depressed and wanted to vent his anger on somebody.

Judge David Dufton said that the crime committed was a serious one, and that alcohol should not be used as an excuse.

The victim of the assault, who now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, also suffered hand injuries which make her unable to work. She now depends on her older sister to support her.

The assault happened on 21 October 2017. The victim, a 59-year-old cleaning lady surnamed Leung, was standing on the edge of the Light Rail Yuen Long platform when the defendant came up from behind and pushed her onto the track.

No train was passing at the time, and Leung was rescued by two passengers. The whole process was captured by surveillance camera.

Read: Pakistani held after cleaning lady pushed on to rail line