FOLLOWING a violent assault in June at the hands of two young men, Stephanie McCarthy has lost the hearing in her left ear, has damaged eye sight in one eye and has lost feeling in the top part of her face.
The emotional toll of the assault has also been significant as the once outgoing punk rocker and trans woman feels her life will never be the same again.
[showads ad=MREC] “My life is totally different,” she told the Star Observer.
“I’m pretty much lost my privacy and security.”
McCarthy’s assault by 22-year-old Alexis Ozanne and his friend Nicholas Wells at the Town Hall Hotel in Newtown, Sydney, garnered national media attention and she has been recognised in public ever since.
“I’m well known in [Sydney’s] inner-west and most people are very nice,” she said.
“But I’ve been spat on, bottles thrown at me and had bottles thrown at me from passing cars.
“My life will never be the same.”
Despite the two men pleading guilty to the violent assault, Ozanne was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and an 18-month good behaviour bond on one count of assault and one count of affray.
McCarthy said she was not made aware of Ozanne’s sentencing date and as a result, could not provide a Victim Impact Statement.
“I asked the leading investigator (Detective Nick Kenny) when the sentencing date would be and he told me sometime early next year,” she said.
“I waited five months for that day in court and giving the Victim Impact Statement would’ve been important for me.
“And I think it would’ve made a difference in the sentence.”
McCarthy learned of the sentencing through media reports and was devastated Ozanne wasn’t jailed for his actions.
“It was incredibly violent, I would’ve received 15-plus punches to the head… he only stopped when he was dragged off me,” she said.
“The doctors at the RPA (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital) said he hit me in the same place Phil Hughes (cricketer) was hit with the cricket ball that killed him.
“They said if I wasn’t wearing a beanie I would be dead or brain damaged.”
The musician took to Twitter to express her frustration at yesterday’s result:
Hey bigots! Move to @mikebairdMP ‘s NSW and you can brutally king hit and bash LGBTI folks and not do one day in jail!No justice for queers.
— Stephanie McCarthy (@tallpunksteph) December 1, 2015
I woke up today realising that yesterday the legal system told me my life isn’t worth what a “normal” person’s is worth. How do I move on?
— Stephanie McCarthy (@tallpunksteph) December 2, 2015
Along with the physical and emotional injuries she sustained, McCarthy believes Ozanne’s sentence sends a message to the LGBTI community that their lives aren’t valued by the justice system in NSW.
“For this outcome to happen, it’s spitting on the trans community,” she said.
“It’s saying that in NSW, LGBTI and queer lives don’t matter.
“I could’ve died that night… it’s a dangerous message to send to the community.”
McCarthy will now ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence. Nicholas Wells is due to be sentenced on February 9.
Despite feeling distraught at the news, McCarthy said she has friends staying with her and both the LGBTI and Newtown music communities have been supportive.
“On the whole everyone has been wonderful and everyone’s been really supportive and outraged,” she said.
“But this could happen to any queer person in Sydney.”
Star Observer called Detective Kenny, but he was not in his office at the time this story went to print.