Man who beat gay teenager and called him a ‘f***ing queer’ denies being homophobic
A man who attacked a gay teenager on a bus in Bristol and called him a “f***ing gay queer” has denied being homophobic.
Paul Austin, 27, attacked 18-year-old Kydis Zellinger after he boarded the bus with a friend on 15 October.
He approached Zellinger and verbally assaulted him before hitting him in the face, Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard.
Prosecutor Jill MacNamara said the attack was unprovoked and left the victim with severe bruising and cuts.
Reading from Zellinger’s victims’ statement, MacNamara said: “He [Austin] came upstairs, stood in front of where I sat and said ‘you f****** gay queer, who do you think you are mouthing me off?’
“I had not connected that he was the person who had shouted at me downstairs. He hit me hard…and he repeatedly hit me to the head.
“I would say I was hit five to six times. I fell back but I could not get away. A lady was with him and eventually she pulled him away from me and she then apologised.
“The bus driver came upstairs and I was in shock. I was in pain and I was crying. I had blood on my hands but I didn’t know where the blood was coming from.”
Austin pleaded guilty to the single charge of assault by beating.
Speaking to the Bristol post after the attack, Zellinger said: “The attack was completely unprovoked, unnecessary and cruel. To be called a gay queer amongst other homophobic slurs just proves what kind of attack this was.
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“I’m leaving the issue in the hands of the police for now, and I just hope he gets bought to justice so he cannot do this to anybody else.”
Zellinger went on to praise people for their support since the attack.
“I just want to say that I am truly and beyond thankful to every single person for all the support, I will do my best to get back to all of you as soon as I can,” he said.
“You guys truly don’t understand how much this means to me, thank you all for the endless support and love, you’re all incredible and there are no words to describe how much I appreciate it.”