By Wei Chen
The mainstream media outlets who reported on this case should be condemned because it painted an inaccurate and biased picture of what really happened that night. Despite being found innocent, if you search for Sidney Chan’s name on the internet, you will see only one side of the story which is largely untrue, and could hugely damage his reputation.
In order to find out what really happened that night, Nee Hao tracked down Sidney Chan’s friend, Matthias Lee-Hifler, who is also a student at Imperial College, and was present when the incident happened back in March 2016.
Matthias Lee-Hifler’s testimony on what really happened, speaking exclusively to Nee Hao
Earlier this year, Sidney and a group of friends (all of South East Asian descent, including me) decided to go celebrate sports night at the Imperial College Union bar. We had a great night seeing all our friends and had fun.
On the way home, we passed by the Royal Albert Hall. A stranger who we now know as “Mr Stephen Kent” (a white caucasian male ) then started racially abusing all of us stating “You fucking chinks !”, “You communist cunt”, “I’ll do your fucking head in !” “Fuck off back to China”.
Stephen Kent repeatedly insulted us and seemed to have a particular grudge against Sidney Chan. With most of his insults being directed against him. We obviously shouted back at him but Mr Kent kept insulting us. We had never seen or met Mr Kent ever before in our lives and had no idea what his intentions were at this point. However, we all then agreed that this fight “was not worth it” and we proceeded away from the altercation.
Mr Kent then proceeded to follow Sidney and our group down the road we were walking to go home. During walking that whole length of the road, he kept on shouting racial slurs and asking for a fight. At the end of the road, Mr Kent rushed towards us and we tried to calm the situation down and asked Mr Kent to leave. At this point, he pushed me away and grabbed our female friend and started to make sexually aggressive remarks about her. Sidney than pushed Mr Kent away from his lady friend. Mr Kent got very frustrated and started racially abusing us again and threw a punch at Sidney. Sidney then decided to take the necessary steps to defend himself and his friends.
The brawl was very short and only lasted 30-60 seconds. It was at this point that a lorry driver stopped at the scene. Sidney then went home, whilst myself and the other Eurasian looked over Mr Kent (despite him being a white supremacist). Having done first aid courses, I positioned Mr Kent in the lateral security position to prevent him from chocking or so and checked his pulse and consciousness.
The lorry driver got out of the truck cab and me and the other Eurasian friend asked him to call an ambulance, so that Mr Kent could receive the care he needed (despite him being so aggressive to us). The ambulance and the police came shortly. We each had to give a testimony on what happened when the police came.
Sidney was then taken to court in late November this year, and was found not guilty, unanimously by the votes of the jury. This experience of court has really stressed out Sidney and he is anxious for his future job/life prospects.
Sidney does not feel comfortable to speak of it himself. However, as his close friends/witnesses, we find the need to tell the truth and stop the biased article given by the Daily Mail. Never did Sidney kick Mr Kent’s head twice as he was laying unconscious and defenceless as this would not have been in his character to do so. The Daily Mail has completely twisted the story suggesting we might have made fun of Mr Kent’s hairstyle (which never happened), additionally the lorry driver didn’t “come out to check” as I was the one doing first aid on him.