City News

Transphobia victim denied day in court

BY ALEXANDER LEWIS
A transgender woman who was bashed outside a Newtown pub missed her day in court because police told her that her attacker’s sentencing was next year.

Stephanie McCarthy, 43, found out one of her attackers, Alexis Ozanne, had escaped gaol time on Tuesday through the media.

She told City Hub she asked a police officer last week when his sentencing hearing would be held, to which the officer apparently replied “early next year”.

She said she’d been robbed of her day in court and a sense of closure.

“I’d been waiting for that day all year, and I’m convinced the victim’s impact statement would’ve made a considerable difference in the sentencing.”

Ozanne, 22, was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and a good behaviour bond, after pleading guilty to the June assault which left Ms McCarthy with a broken eye socket.

Ms McCarthy described the sentence as a joke.

“It’s hard to put into words how gutted and offended I am by it. I’ve had friends who’ve received bigger sentences than that for vandalism.”

“It was a hate crime, pure and simple. What kind of message does that send to the community? It’s just open season on anyone you think’s different.”

Ozanne and his friend, Nicholas Wells, were charged with assaulting Ms McCarthy at the Town Hall Hotel on June 6. CCTV footage showed one of the men pulling her ponytail as they walked past her in the smoking area at around 12.30am.

After confronting them, she was punched in the face by Ozanne, court documents reveal.Wells then put her in a headlock and unleashed a tirade of trans phobic abuse.

“We’re going to stab you, you faggot,” Wells yelled at Ms McCarthy, according to court documents.

Ozanne then fled the scene but was arrested six days later at his Balmain home.

Mr Wells is due to front Newtown Local Court again in February.

Ms McCarthy said her bashing was not unexpected as Newtown had felt more dangerous for the last 18 months.

“The lockouts simply don’t work. They move the problem from one area to another.”

“By the time the damage is done, the suburb’s destroyed. You only have to look at Kings Cross: 12 venues out of 26 have closed in two years.”

She said the government seemed to have double standards when it came to addressing alcohol related violence.

“Mike Baird has commented on every single king hit case since he came into power, whereas on this one, he hasn’t said a word,” she said.

“150 hours for brutally beating someone. It’s a joke.”

A NSW Police Media spokesperson said police were aware of these concerns and had reviewed the communication between police and the victim.

“Police are satisfied that all appropriate communication occurred.”

“As one of these matters is subject to an appeal period and the other matter is still before the courts, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”

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