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Judge states gay man’s killing was not homophobic, despite abuse

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  1. THE TAUNTS AND VIOLENCE WERE UNRELATED? I cannot believe how stupidly homophobic this judge is!!!!!! Complaints should be made against him!!!!!

  2. I’m with you, Charlene. We should bombard the CJS with emails complaining about this institutionalised homophobia.

  3. Two and a half years for MURDER?! What the hell is this country becoming?

  4. I thought the police considered it homophobic if the victim considered it as such. Pity this poor man is dead. Hard to see that homophobia did not play some part in this crime given that he had been abused earlier in the day as such.

  5. Two and a half years??? That means one and a quarter with ‘good behaviour’ – that is disgracefull for what is clearly a homophobic murder, and even if it wasn’t it’s not enough of a sentence, I hope there is some form of appeal process for too short a sentence, so at least this poor man’s family may fell justice has been done – I am sooo angry about this.

  6. Robert, ex-pat Brit 6 Mar 2009, 2:07pm

    Isn’t it transparent? Almost every time a gay person is murdered,the police usually consider it a hate crime while the courts and juries do not. This is indeed institutionalised homophobia, just take a look at the Home Office for starters. This sentence is outrageous and sends a message to young people that its ok to kill gay people and get away with little or no sentence if the victim is gay and is considered less than a straight person. Even in death, we are discriminated against.

  7. Not homophobic?? So what reason did the defendant give then? I’d be interested to know… And would the judge have made the same decision if the defendant had shouted racist abuse at someone and then attacked them? I don’t think so.

  8. Further to the suggestions by Charlene and Annie, does anyone know to whom such complaints should be addressed. I fear it won’t do much good but I would like to try. It seems to be another case of the establishment treating gay people as of inherently less value than other people.

  9. It might be more appropriate to bombard Jack Straw, MP, Minister of Justice, with e-mails – he’s the one with the power to remove this idiot Judge and to review the case. As I understand it, such a review can increase the length of sentence.

  10. Simon Murphy 6 Mar 2009, 2:47pm

    Write to the Office of Judicial Complaints which is the body which investigates complaints into the personal conduct of judges. Considering this ridiculous verdict I think this judge is homophobic and should be investigated to determine his suitability to hold judicial office.

    The email address is

    I wrote them the following email:

    Dear Office for Judicial Complaints,

    I wish to make a complaint about Judge Brian Barker and question his ability to carry out his judicial duties in a balanced and impartial manner. This is as a result of the ludicrous 2.5 year sentence he handed to David Smith for the homophobic, premeditated murder (or manslaughter the judge would regard it) of Ronald Dixon in Charlton last year

    Judge Brian Barker said the attack had not been motivated by homophobia, despite evidence that Smith and three friends had earlier that day shouted anti-gay taunts at the murder victim. In fact the police regarded the killing as motivated by homophobia
    Smith’s defence argued that he was not homophobic and that the homophobic taunts and subsequent murderous violence were unrelated.

    This sentence is outrageous and Judge Barker has sent a clear message to young people that its ok to kill gay people and get away with little or no sentence if the victim is gay. If this judge is a homophobe then he is not suitable for judicial office and he needs to be removed from his position.

    I would request that Judge Barker be suspended pending an investigation into his conduct in this case.

    Yours sincerely

  11. It’s getting worse over the last few days there are more and more reports of gay killings and the murders being let off.


    What are Stonewall etc doing about this? There should be protests.
    All we do is moan about what is going on but put up with it.

  12. Simon Murphy 6 Mar 2009, 3:46pm

    Well for starters people need to complain to Jack Straw . His email address is

    Also email the Office for Judicial Complaints to demand that the judge who basically cleared the homophobe be suspended from his position pending investigation into his suitability to hold public office.

  13. Thanks Simon, I’ll do it tonight.

  14. Simon, thanks for the address, I’ve emailed the OJC and will be writing to Jack Straw too.

  15. Mihangel apYrs 6 Mar 2009, 4:31pm

    well, that’s what one of our lives is worth: two and a half years youth custody. Not murder; not manslaughter; not homophobic, just unfortunate.

    And they wonder why we still have no faith in the system

  16. Thanks for the email address Simon and for the suggested letter. I’ve tweaked your letter to make it my own and have sent it to both email addresses you have supplied.

    Here’s a reflection. The other day somebody told me George Clooney is gay, so I typed “George Cloony gay” into Google and before long I was scanning forums awash with disgust and dismay at the idea that Clooney, Keanu Reeves, and Matt Damon are or might be gay. In the anonymity of internet forums people from all over the world pour out their disgust and dread at the thought that these men might be gay! Meanwhile here we are with the ability to form Civil Partnerships, to report Hate Crimes, etc., etc.,

    For those who think the battle has been won, that we LGBT people are now free . . . how wrong you are. Laws and statutes have been passed, and movies have been made, but the hatred of LGBT people is pathological in a large segment of the population.


  17. Thanks for your hard work Simon. I’m sending it off now. This whole business would be a bad joke if it weren’t so sickening. It’s reminiscent of the American South when racist whites could kill blacks with virtual impunity. Anyone heard of the recent case in Galicia, Spain, where a guy got off a murder charge on the basis of ‘profound fear’ of being raped by a gay man – after admitting stabbing two guys 59 times?? Some self-defence!! To Spain’s credit the country was outraged, but what the hell are the courts up to in cases like this?

  18. Pete & Michael 6 Mar 2009, 5:23pm

    What is the point of reporting anything to the Police, they are just not interested. In Cheshire the Police had an increase of funding from the Council Tax of 18% in 2008/9, 2009/10 the funding from Council Taxation will be increased by 4%, has Policing improved? We don’t think so, only 32% of the population in UK have confidence in the Police do a good job.

  19. Pete & Michael – the police isn’t the problem here, they’ve made fantastic progress in the recognition of homophobic hate crimes in the last few years. In this case, the police also treated the incident as homophobic.

    The problem lies in the courts.

  20. Pete and Michael,

    I agree with your general feeling, but please do take Simon’s letter and tweak it as others of us have done, and email it. It will take just five minutes. It’s only when enough of us make our voices heard that something gets done. And things HAVE been achieved in for LGBT people y others making stands over the years, however unequal they remain. You can let news like this beat you down a little or you can fight back. This state of affairs is not acceptable and we can make our voices heard.

  21. Pete & Michael 7 Mar 2009, 7:22am

    Have done.

  22. Martin Davies - Gay C of E Clergy Spouse 7 Mar 2009, 9:41am

    Why am I not surprised at a conservative right winged court bench statement that a homophobic attack is not homophobic – what total and utter crap.

    But on the other hand at least the prisoner cannot go to jail with Qudos calling himself a queer basher and getting respect from other mentally deranged prisoners.

    Lets hope that Mr Dixon is able to find some sollace in the short time of peace that might ensure after the end of the case but there seem to be no mention of damages payable to Mr Dixon for the physical, mental and emotional harm caused to him.

  23. Martin- it says in the article that Ron Dixon died of his injuries.
    for what it’s worth I’ve written to Straw and the Office for Judicial complaints- but for as long as papers like the Daily Mail can churn out their bigotry and hatred unopposed and the BBC lend tacit approval to casual homophobia, I don’t think anything will change.

  24. This man can’t be a real Judge. A real Judge would not be so stupid. But think on this. One day every one will stand in front of God and he will Judge the young murderer and the Judge and what will they have to say then. A sad lot they will be then.

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