This man had his leg broken in four places because he is gay. Chris Ver-Haest suffered a brutal attack in London in July. As the trial of his attacker concludes, Ver-Haest tells BuzzFeed News how this hate crime has devastated his life.

When he left a friend’s house in north London on 16 July 2017 he was going to buy water and cigarettes from the local store. It was 10.45am on a Sunday. He would never return.

He had stayed at the house the previous night after an impromptu farewell party – a last hurrah before moving to Madrid. He was beaming. The possibilities of what lay ahead stretched out like a childhood summer holiday.

There was another reason to beam: Amid the evening’s wine and laughter he had met a young man. They kissed. They planned to meet up again.

But 15 minutes after leaving the house, he would be lying in the road in a foetal position. His right leg would be broken in four places; his ankle smashed. He never made it to Madrid.

Instead, five months later, Ver-Haest would be standing in a nearby court testifying against the man responsible, who would be facing a charge just below attempted murder: grievous bodily harm with intent. His name is Kamil Snios. He had ensured that Ver-Haest paid for Snios’s hatred of gay men with almost everything he has.

Ver-Haest’s leg has not recovered. It never will.

Chris Ver-Haest’s attacker, 29-year-old Kamil Wladyslaw Snios (pictured), was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm on Thursday.

Ver-Haest said he has been “altered” by his experience, cancelling plans to move to Spain, undergoing months of physiotherapy, and being forced to testify against his attacker in court.

“Before this happened I didn’t live in fear that I would be attacked for my sexuality….I felt like I didn’t have to define myself through my sexuality.

“But now I have to think about it…I have to think about how this affects everyone. It’s not just gay people who might be attacked – my friend wasn’t gay and he was attacked.”

Mr Ver-Haest was approached by Snios as he and his friend, Alex, walked to nearby shops on Stamford Road, in Tottenham, to buy cigarettes on July 16.

Snios shouted at them in Polish before slapping and kicking both of them to the ground. He tried to crawl away but Snios continued to kick him, and slapped his friend.

“He looked wired, in a kind of tunnel vision, like he’d been up drinking all night,” Mr Ver-Haest said.

Sinos snatched the cigarettes and “held them up like a trophy” after kicking his victim so hard that his leg broke in four places.

“I didn’t really know what was happening apart from me being on the floor and thinking, ‘I need to get up and get away.’ But when I tried to get up I couldn’t understand why my leg was just buckling.”

Sinos eventually left, enabling Mr Ver-Haest’s friend to call an ambulance. X-rays revealed complete fractures in his tibia and fibula bones leading from his knee to his ankle.

When questioned by police, Sinos openly admitted to having attacked the men because he believed they were gay.

Having given up the lease on his flat to move to Spain – which he was no longer able to do because he couldn’t work – he became destitute, regularly moving from one friend’s sofa to another.

Eventually his brother was able to take him in, giving him a spare room he had previously been renting out.

In the months following the attack, Mr Ver-Haest was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said: “I was having panic attacks – anxiety, hyper-vigilance, flashbacks…

“I am altered by this…I’m living this every day. It affects everything I do. I’m 100 per cent reliant on other people.”

http://sambagblog.com/gallery/2017/12/Chris-Ver-Haest-640x853.jpghttp://sambagblog.com/gallery/2017/12/Chris-Ver-Haest-90x120.jpgsambagGay Issues
This man had his leg broken in four places because he is gay. Chris Ver-Haest suffered a brutal attack in London in July. As the trial of his attacker concludes, Ver-Haest tells BuzzFeed News how this hate crime has devastated his life. When he left a friend’s house in north...