AN acupuncturist who molested a 46-year-old mum on the treatment table is still on the run – 16 years after he was found guilty of sexual assault.

Hong Yu, then 47, was sentenced in his absence to five years in jail in 2005. He’d skipped his bail after the first day of his trial.

At Swindon Crown Court on Monday, July 26, Judge Peter Crabtree heard that Yu’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Officers had been unable to find the case and there had been no update since January 2020.

Prosecutor Sadie Rizzo, of the Crown Prosecution Service, asked for a further six months to make enquiries with the police.

Granting the six month adjournment, Judge Crabtree said: “Agreed, given the nature of this offence the public would he particularly concerned if it was dropped.” He said the ball ‘seemed to have been dropped by the police’ since 2020.

Yu was known as ‘The Doctor’ at the Herbs and Health Chinese Health Centre in the Brunel Centre, where he worked when he indecently assaulted a 46-year-old mum.

She had gone to see him for a course of acupuncture after conventional medicine had failed to rid her of the skin condition psoriasis.

The victim broke down in tears in the witness box during the trial as she recounted the terrifying incident which happened a year earlier.

She had gone to see Yu for a 10-week course of treatment, and was given herbs and pills to take between her weekly visits.

Sessions started with her showing him her patches of psoriasis on her face, elbows and lower legs with the receptionist acting as an interpreter.

She then stripped to her underwear and he inserted acupuncture needles into the patches, before massaging her to complete the treatment.

In the weeks leading up to the assault she said he started behaving differently towards her, asking on one occasion if he could kiss her.

On the day of the offence she turned up for an 11.30am appointment and instead of looking at her psoriasis, he just asked her to undress.

While the needles were inserted in her face she said she kept her eyes closed but felt him raise her upper lip and lick her teeth.

Thinking he wanted to kiss her she said she told him ‘No’ through clenched teeth and shook her head so he stopped and carried on with the treatment.

Minutes later she was lying on her stomach when he lowered her knickers and touched her.

She said: “I felt completely vulnerable, he had taken the trust away. He was a doctor."

He then turned her over and again touched her indecently as she lay on her back, she said.

“I was just emotionless,” she said. “I was just so upset and scared and frightened; all types of fear really.”

She said she was ‘frozen’ by fear and went into auto-pilot, paying for some medicines and leaving before telling a friend on the phone what had happened.

When he was questioned, Yu told police that he had done nothing wrong saying that the woman had manoeuvred herself on the bed so that he touched her private parts.

Yu said he had been working at the establishment for a couple of years having come to the country with his wife and teenage son. While the family lived in Essex he said he had been staying at a house in Clifton Street while he worked in Swindon.

After a jury convicted him of sexual assault Judge John McNaught jailed him for five years and ordered he must have a female chaperone if he ever treats women again.