A court in the U.K. has cleared a college rugby player who was accused of breaking another student’s eye socket after the student called him a “chink,” Court News UK reported this week.
Sidney Chan, a 20-year-old student athlete at London’s Imperial College who is of Chinese and Welsh heritage, allegedly kicked Kingston University student Stephen Kent twice outside a bar, breaking Kent’s nose and eye socket, according to Mirror.co.uk.
Chan claimed that he only pushed Kent in self-defense after Kent had called him a “chink.”
Prosecutor Paul Fairley argued that Chan provoked Kent by making fun of his mullet hairstyle, but Chan denied saying anything about Kent’s hair and claimed Kent was injured when he fell.
“He quickly got back up and he charged at my group and started throwing punches at me,” Chan said, according to the Mirror.
Security camera footage shows Chan’s friends trying to hold him back during the altercation, but Chan breaks free and runs back to Kent. The footage also shows Kent falling, but a parked car blocks the camera’s view of Kent and Chan.
When asked why he ran back to Kent, Chan told Fairley that Kent was taunting him.
“He was persisting to get back up and continue the fight,” Chan said, according to the Mirror. “I guess at that point I was pretty angry and I wanted to make sure that he stops fighting me.”
Kent sustained a heavy concussion during the altercation, according to the Mirror. He said at the trial that he had no memory of the attack but admitted he racially harassed Chan, Court News UK reported.
The lack of clear video footage of the fight led the court to clear Chan of the charge of wounding with intent, Court News UK said.