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UK man jailed for homophobic bus attack on gay teenager

UK man jailed for homophobic bus attack on gay teenager

A British man is now in prison for seriously injuring an 18 year old man in an unprovoked homophobic attack.

Kydis Zellinger was riding on a bus in the UK city of Bristol when Paul Austin, 27, started attacking him.

Austin repeatedly punched Zellinger in the face, mouth, neck and head, during the attack, because of the way he looked.

The teenager said the incident, which occurred on 15 October 2018, has left him ‘scared for his life’.

Hate crime: Zellinger suffered injuries to his face, mouth, neck and head. Picture: Kydis Zellinger

Victim suffering emotional effects of homophobic attack

In addition to his physical injuries Zellinger must now also bear the emotional trauma of such an attack. He told the court he felt ‘emotionally drained and vulnerable’ and ‘frightened to go out’.

Internal injuries: Assailant left Zellinger with severe damage to his mouth and lips. Picture: Kydis Zellinger

Zellinger expressed his shock that Austin would likely only serve nine weeks of his 18 week sentence: ‘It’s such a shame, because Bristol is a really diverse and accepting city. A sentence this weak really doesn’t send a fair message to our community as a whole, let alone the LGBTQ+ community’, he told Gay Star News.

Head wounds: The attack left Zellinger was bruises on his neck, face and head. Picture: Kydis Zellinger

Zellinger broke down as he recounted details the sustained attack in court.

Magistrates condemn gay hate crime attack

Magistrates condemned the ‘sustained and repeated and unprovoked assault, motivated by hostility to the victim’s sexuality’, the BBC reported.

‘I don’t understand what I’d done to upset him – the only thing I can think of is he has a problem with my sexuality,’ Zellinger said in his victim personal statement.

‘I have trouble sleeping as I have nightmares reliving the incident.

‘I’m now frightened to go out as I’m frightened of strangers and that I may be attacked.’

Austin was already on bail for a previous assault in August this year. He was handed an eight-week sentence for this attack, to run concurrent.

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