Skip to main content

1. On an overcrowded MTR train, another person’s private parts touch my body. Is that an indecent assault?

It depends on whether the touching is intentional or accidental. If it is intentional and without your consent, it is an assault, and a right thinking member of the society would have regarded a touching of another’s body by one’s private parts indecent. If the touching is accidental and the contact is the inevitable result of the overcrowding, no assault is committed. We are all treated as consenting to the inevitable personal contact arising from daily life. If however the overcrowding is used as an opportunity to commit an assault, indecent assault is committed.


The court will examine all the evidence, including any explanation given by the defendant, whether at the time or subsequently, and the circumstances in which the contact occurred. It will then decide whether the contact was accidental or deliberate.