A Chinese man who was pistol-whipped by a former NHS boss leading a violent double life says the attack still haunts him nearly two decades on.
Tony Chan was left in a bloody heap after his scalp was lacerated in a vicious 15-minute assault at his flat in 1996.
And he claims he will take the “paranoia and fear” he has suffered since the attack “to the grave”.
The unprovoked assault happened after he answered his door to former NHS senior official Clive Winter and another man, who were pretending to be interested in buying some Star Wars models Mr Chan had advertised in a magazine.
Winter, who had a secret fascination with neo-Nazism, struck him across the head with a replica handgun and kicked and punched him at the Stenhouse flat.
Detectives investigating the case later found a collection of extremely violent videos in Winter’s office – one of which showed graphic scenes of skinheads beating up Chinese men.
Eighteen years after the traumatic incident, Mr Chan is now poised to give talks about the long-term effects of violence and racism.
The father-of-one, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is keen to speak at churches and schools. He says suffering the attack at his flat in Whitson Road made him self-conscious about his race – and he claims that he often falls foul of racial prejudice in the Capital.
“For many years, I have stayed at home, and got very anxious and paranoid,” the 43-year-old says. “There was a period in my life where I wanted to move to London because it was more multi-racial.
“I have been racially abused on the bus and on the street. It still happens. Some people are just very nasty.”
Edinburgh-born Mr Chan, who grew up in Musselburgh, says he believes “poverty and racism go hand in hand”.
And he now wants to use his horrific experience to help people.
Winter, who lived in Comely Bank, was jailed for three years for the assault in 1998, but while he has served his time and moved on with his life, Mr Chan says he is still living with the life-long effects of what happened.
At the time of Mr Chan’s attack, Winter was earning £47,000 a year as the third most senior official at Lothian health board.
His conviction appalled colleagues, who recalled a mild-mannered and efficient board secretary, who was responsible for personnel, legal and health and safety affairs. They were unaware of his taste for violent videos and neo-Nazism.
At his trial in February 1998, Mr Chan, then 26, told Edinburgh High Court that Winter “had the look of murder in his eyes, like he was possessed by something”.
The trial heard how Winter had recruited Paul Davidson and Leslie Malone, two health board junior managers in their early 20s, to help him carry out beatings. Both Davidson and Malone, who said they were afraid to speak out in case they lost their jobs, finally testified against him at his trial.
Winter, who lived with his long-term male partner, claimed unsuccessfully that Malone and Davidson had conspired against him because he was gay.
Winter, who had two other convictions for assault quashed on appeal, was later sacked by the Lothian health board.
Mr Chan, a volunteer with Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, believes his story can help encourage people to be more tolerant of each other.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, he says of the incident: “I thought they were going to kill me. I have flashbacks about the incident that day. One of the most horrible things is that I knocked on my neighbours’ doors, I dragged myself out to the phonebox, and nobody helped me. I was covered in blood, it was a nightmare.” He has had counselling in an attempt to manage his PTSD, and is now considering hypnotherapy.
“I have got a big insecurity about being Chinese. Everywhere I go, I’m unsure. I am very self-conscious. I do voluntary work, but I have just got no confidence,” he says.
Mr Chan, who now lives in the north-west of Edinburgh, says he does not want to be a burden to his family.
He is supported by Mary, his wife of ten years, who is originally from Nigeria and works as a biomedical scientist at Sick Kids hospital. Their daughter Rebecca is nine.
“I think I will take my paranoia and fear to the grave,” he adds. “When I wake up in the morning it’s a big battle. I have been depressed, suicidal,” he adds. “They just destroyed my life, destroyed my confidence. I play the lottery and hope I will win so that I can go to Hong Kong [where my family are from].”