Cambridge University student avoids jail after punching woman more than 20 times in the face, fracturing her eye socket, in brutal attack

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A Cambridge University student has avoided an immediate prison sentence after being found guilty of a brutal assault on a woman in which he punched her more than 20 times.

Lin Yuan Xin, 32, formerly of Pembroke Street in Cambridge, was arrested on 18 March after police received reports from a woman that a student had been assaulted.

Crown Court news

Crown Court news

The court heard how the victim, a Chinese student in her 30s, and Xin had met via social media and had struck up a friendship.

They arranged to meet at a wine bar in Cambridge on 16 March and after a couple of hours they made their way to Xin’s home.

The victim told the court how she remembered him punching her ‘extremely hard’ in the face. She told him she wanted to leave and go home but was hit about another 20 times, leaving her with a fractured eye socket.

She tried to make her escape but Xin prevented her from leaving and slammed her foot in the door.

A few hours later he took the victim home in a taxi and the following day called her more than 40 times. The victim answered one of the calls and Xin offered to buy her medication for the pain in her face. He also told her he’d found one of her earrings which had been ripped from her ears during the assault.

After this call the victim reported the assault to a member of staff at the college she was studying at, who then made a report to police.

In court, Xin claimed he acted in self-defence after an argument broke out between them over a disagreement on Chinese politics. He claimed the victim assaulted him first, therefore he acted in self-defence.

Last month (September), Xin was found guilty of one count of causing actual bodily harm (ABH) following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court. He was also cleared of three counts of rape of a woman.

Yesterday (Tuesday 9 October) he was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in court costs and a £115 victim surcharge, as well as carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Detective Constable Keith Evans said: “This was a very complex investigation which involved close partnership working both in the UK with the border agency and overseas with the British Embassy in China.

“I would like to commend the victim for the bravery she has shown in confiding in someone about the assault she experienced, and then cooperating with the criminal investigation, despite being back in China for much of the investigation.”