‘Sorry, we can’t help you’
Police told the victim of a brutal homophobic assault and robbery they had already spent too much time on his case to check CCTV footage or trace threatening phone calls made from his stolen mobile phone.
Part of Craig Gee’s skull was reduced to powder and his leg broken during the late-night attack last month, which his boyfriend Shane Brennen initially thought had killed him.
A spokeswoman for NSW Police said the matter was being investigated and officers were following a number of leads.
Gee and Brennen had been holding hands on Crown St at 1.30am on 3 December when Brennen said they were attacked by two men who yelled, Give us your money you fucking faggot.
Gee, who has undergone facial reconstruction surgery, cannot remember the attack. Brennen remembers it clearly, but said the responding officer rebuffed his attempts to give a statement.
He told us they get 15-20 cases of this a night and don’t usually get a result. -˜We don’t have the resources’, Brennen said.
The couple claim they were repeatedly turned away from Surry Hills police station because the reporting officer was not available.
Their trauma was exacerbated when Gee’s mother received a call from his stolen mobile four days after the attack saying, We killed your faggot son.
The couple’s friends and colleagues also received homophobic calls and text messages threatening rape and violence.
Police told the couple to cancel the mobile service to prevent additional charges, but could not say if they could be used to locate the assailants. Gee’s credit cards were used to pay for two taxis shortly after the attack.
We had to push for police to seek the CCTV tapes before they were overwritten. We were told over the phone -˜I’ve already spent too much time on this’. Brennen said.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has written to NSW Police Minister David Campbell calling for a review of the police handling of the case and questioning why there were no Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers available on the night.
She said the abusive calls and text messages clearly identify this was partially motivated by homophobia.
A CCTV image of the suspected assailant was then found, but local stations have not had any success in recognising the man.
I thought Surry Hills police station was a bit more gay friendly to be honest, Brennen said after giving a statement.
The GLLO told us we should just be happy we have each other.
The injuries aren’t little, it’s not like we were just pushed around. [Craig] could have lost his life on that road. It’s not acceptable without them looking into it.
We got some bad news, they can’t fix up Craig’s cheek, so he’ll have to put up with having his face looking different.
Gee, who wasn’t able to speak for some time due to the inserted plates, said he hoped that by letting people know what happened, it could stop it happening to others.
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