"There's the faggots, get them"
By Brendan Bolger
A 36-year-old Darlinghurst man who was bashed after the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade received reconstructive surgery at St Vincent's Hospital in a three-hour operation on Tuesday.
James Wilson was bashed by two men who allegedly went on a rampage kicking and punching passers-by.
Unconfirmed reports indicate they assaulted another five people in the same area.
Wilson had left the Mardi Gras parade with his partner and a friend to have coffee in Kings Cross.
"I just heard them scream out, 'there's the faggots, get them'," before two men attacked him at around 11.30pm, Wilson said.
The perpetrators left Wilson with extensive abdominal bruising, a broken and disfigured nose, and a severely bruised jaw.
He described one perpetrator as 6'4", of Islander appearance, and the other, 5'10", of Aboriginal appearance, wearing a blue short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt.
Wilson said yesterday his future in Sydney is uncertain because of the ordeal.
He said he has since suffered nightmares, small incidents trigger flashbacks and he no longer feels safe or confident on the street.
Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project (AVP) acting executive officer Paul Costello appealed for anyone who was the victim of an assault to contact the Project if they were uncomfortable dealing directly with the police.
Meanwhile, following a meeting between the AVP and Surry Hills police, Costello said he was "reassured" the police response to a separate attack on a gay man near Oxford Square was adequate.
David Butler, 30, was set upon by a gang of about 25 men who kicked and punched him to the ground. However, due to conflicting statements, police were unable to do anything other than remove suspects from the area.
Surry Hills police superintendent Gary Hodsdon said major police operations were under way since the parade, cracking down on assaults and drug-related problems.
The AVP will seek further meetings with police in Kings Cross and City Central due to other reports of violence outside the Surry Hills Local Area Command, Costello said.
Sydney Star Observer: March 11 1999
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