Police are not treating the alleged assault of a GLBTI activist as a prejudice-motivated crime, despite the victim telling them otherwise.
Simon Margan, an Australian representative of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, was one of four alleged victims of a string of assaults committed on Oxford St around 10pm on August 9.
Margan was hospitalised for 19 hours as a result of his injuries and will need plastic surgery to repair a seriously fractured eye socket.
Before reaching Margan, the man allegedly kicked another man and smashed the side mirror of a taxi when another person entered it to flee him.
After leaving Margan the man allegedly struck another man with his arm before punching and kicking him, then crossed the road and changed directions to allegedly attack another man.
Margan told police the man had tried to kick him in the head from behind but missed, and then landed a kick when Margan turned away to shout for help.
A 34-year-old man was later apprehended and charged with breach of bail and multiple counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, malicious damage and affray to appear at Central Local Court on August 16.
Margan was unable to provide a statement to police on the night because of his injuries. When Sydney Star Observer contacted Police Media we were told that a prejudice motive had been ruled out and alcohol was being looked at as a factor.
Margan told police last Thursday he believed he recognised the man when Margan had been putting up GLBTI rights posters the week before and the man had yelled that he wanted to “eradicate all the gays on Oxford St”.
Margan told police that this was why he had feared for his life when confronted by the man again.
Margan told Sydney Star Observer he was concerned that police were not looking at the possibility that the attack was motivated by homophobic hatred.
“I think that when an assault happens on Oxford St, police shouldn’t be ruling out homophobia as a motive until they have a reason to do that,” Margan said. “It concerns me that police aren’t making this connection. It’s unfathomable, to be honest.
“It seems like the police need to get proof before they even start asking that question.”
When Sydney Star Observer spoke to police on Friday, they reiterated that the possibility of a prejudice motive in the assault was not being looked at and that no further information would be made available as the matter was going to court.