Homophobic teenager convicted of firearm offence
Two Surrey teenagers have received suspended jail sentences after they threatened people at a popular beauty spot with an air rifle and a samurai sword last May Bank Holiday.
The pair, both unemployed, arrived at the Wisley Car Park in Old Lane, Ockham, Surrey, by car and shouted homophobic abuse at passers-by before producing their weapons and using them in a threatening manner.
Eighteen-year-old Spencer George Payne, of Locke King Close, Weybridge and Gary Joe Smith, 19, of Cowley Crescent, Walton-on-Thames, went to the popular meeting place at 11.20pm on May 1st 2006.
Payne was given a 51-week sentence suspended for two years for one count of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or unlawful violence.
Smith received a sentence of 30 weeks suspended for 18 months for one count of possession of an offensive weapon in public.
Both were ordered to carry out community service. The severity of their sentences reflects the homophobic nature of their crimes.
“These were serious offences that caused the victims to fear for their safety. No-one should have to suffer victimisation and intimidation simply because of who they are,” said Detective Constable Pete Foster, according to RainbowNetwork.com
“Surrey Police have always treated hate crime as a serious offence and undertakes to fully investigate any allegations. Anyone who feels they have suffered a hate crime is encouraged to report it so that positive action can be taken wherever possible.”