Sex worker Jingai Zhang dies in choking sex game gone wrong

A sex worker died after she asked a German backpacker to choke her with her dress while they were having sex.

Jingai Zhang, 49, died on Boxing Day 2020 during a sex session with 27-year-old Tobias Pick.

After she died, Pick stole $2400 cash from Ms Zhang as well as her phone, which he threw in a river.

He was initially charged with murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Pick had been travelling around Australia with his girlfriend for just over a year before Ms Zhang’s death, Launceston Supreme Court heard.

He paid her for sex one time before she died, the Mercury reported from the court, but that time he declined her request to erotically asphyxiate her.

Pick went to see Ms Zhang again on Boxing Day after a fight with his girlfriend, and this time he did consensually choke her, the court heard.

At first he used his hand to choke her, but then they changed position so Pick was behind Ms Zhang, the court was told.

She then passed him her dress to hold around her throat.

“He didn’t realise she was struggling to breathe,” Pick’s defence lawyer Olivia Jenkins said, adding that her client “deeply regrets” fleeing the scene with his victim’s possessions.

Ms Zhang’s boyfriend later found her body.

Ms Zhang’s husband David Simmons said in a victim impact statement read to the court that he did not know his wife was a sex worker or that she had another boyfriend.

Mr Simmons said she was “kind, caring, always worrying about others”.

Pick will be sentenced on Tuesday.

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