A New Zealander has pleaded guilty to assault, after telling police that he had every intention of ‘trying to rape’ his victim.

Greyson Murphy, 26, from Christchurch, was waiting to board a plane at Melbourne Airport when he set his sights on a Jetstar hostess.

The woman had been working the customer service desk and decided to take a trip to the toilets at around 5.15am, last April.

Murphy, who had not long been released from a mental facility in Perth at the time, then followed her into the facilities and went into a cubicle, where the woman saw his shoes under the door.

He then pounced once she came out to wash her hands and tried to drag her back into a cubicle.

When another woman who had been in the toilets came to the woman’s aid, Murphy told her that he knew her and continued his attack.

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But luckily the air-hostess was able to eventually break free and flee the scene.

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‘I grabbed a girl and I was trying to rape her but she broke free,’ Murphy told Australian Federal Police on his arrest.

The Mail Online reports that he pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria to one charge of assault with attempt to commit sexual assault.

Judge John Carmody said Murphy chose his victim because he found her attractive.

‘So you wanted to have sex with her. You said, you defined rape to the police as having sex with someone without them wanting it,’ he told the defendant.

‘You acknowledged that she was probably scared, did not know what was going on and was threatened.’

The court heard how the attack had devastated the woman, who remained scared and unable to go about her work, socialise and participate in her fitness competitions.

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‘She has lost her sport, her confidence in a social setting and trusting people generally,’ Judge Carmody said.

Defending, Dermot Dann, QC, argued that his client should get a discount because of his mental illness.

Judge Carmody stated that he accepted Murphy suffered from an underlying mental disorder.

Murphy was sentenced to three years in jail, with a non-parole period of two years.