Chilling footage of a nurse being grabbed from behind, dragged into a Melbourne laneway and thrown to the ground has been played in court.
Jackson Williams is standing trial for the attempted sexual assault of the 39-year-old as she walked to work through the CBD early on October 28, 2018.
CCTV played to Victoria's County Court on Tuesday showed Williams grabbing the woman from behind in a headlock, putting his hand over her mouth, dragging her into Healeys Lane and throwing her to the ground.
The woman could be seen fighting back before an off-duty police officer intervened and Williams, then aged 19, ran off.
He'd been out all night clubbing, and later told police he was drunk and didn't remember the assault.
Williams handed himself in to police the following day after seeing the CCTV footage in the news.
"I was just really intoxicated. I just wasn't really thinking straight," the man, now 21, said after his arrest.
It's not disputed Williams was the man in the CCTV and he grabbed the nurse, who had been on her way to work at an inner-city hospital.
But the man's lawyer, Rosalind Avis, said there wasn't enough evidence to conclude the assault was sexually motivated.
"The fact that it's a male-on-female assault does not make it proven that a sexual assault was the intention," Ms Avis said.
She said Williams hadn't tried to undress the victim or himself and it would be wrong to rule out any other intention, such as stealing.
"(Prosecutors) are relying on an assumption in an emotional response to the footage," Mr Avis said.
Given the footage, prosecutor Stephanie Clancy said it "strained credulity" to argue Williams was not trying to sexually assault the woman.
"It cannot be denied he's trying to force her into submission ... into a sexual act," Ms Clancy said.
The nurse told Judge Mandy Fox she was frightened and scared throughout the incident.
New Zealand police officer Adrian Woodgate, who intervened while holidaying in Melbourne, could been seen on CCTV comforting the distressed woman after Williams ran off.
He said he'd been walking when he heard her scream and saw a man lying on top of her.
"I didn't know what was occurring but I wasn't happy with it," the police officer said.
"It was just after 6am and there was no one around ... I could hear screaming coming from one person."
Judge Fox is overseeing the trial alone because juries are suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She will hand down her verdict on one charge of applying force with the intention to engage in a sexual act, and an alternative charge of assault, at a later date.