UK: Man who forced victim to drink urine in homophobic attack has jail sentence lengthened by 3 years
The Court of Appeal has heard the case of a young man who carried out a sustained assault, poured bleach over the victim and made him drink urine, in an attack involving “homophobic hostility”.
Daniel Cannon, 23, from Selsey, West Sussex, attacked the unnamed 33-year-old when the victim was house-sitting for friends in April.
In an ordeal lasting around two-and-a-half hours, the man was repeatedly assaulted, had bleach poured over him, was forced to drink urine, and had salt granules rubbed in his wounds.
Cannon, who was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time, shouted that his victim was gay and urged him to admit he had committed a sex act with a man.
He made the man confess to his demands and ordered him to repeat the admissions as he captured it on a mobile phone.
The victim was also forced to remove his clothes which made him feel “humiliated and frightened”.
Cannon, who already had a significant criminal record, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, assault causing actual bodily harm, administering a noxious substance, and doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of justice in August.
The Press Association reports Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with Mrs Justice Swift and Mr Justice Green at the Court of Appeal in London heard from Solicitor General Oliver Heald that the original custodial term of six years handed down to Cannon was “unduly lenient”.
It was argued on behalf of Mr Heald that the “aggravating” features of the attack merited a longer term, and that insufficient weight was given by the sentencing judge at Chichester Crown Court to the fact that Cannon demonstrated hostility towards the man “based on his sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation”.
The court agreed and on Tuesday increased the six-year sentence to nine years.
Offences motivated by hatred for the victim’s perceived or actual race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity currently can receive higher custodial sentences.
Commenting on the case, Mr Heald said: “I asked the Court of Appeal to look again at the sentence given to Daniel Cannon as I felt it unduly lenient on the grounds that not only did he keep his victim against his will for a considerable amount of time, he carried out assaults and performed acts of degradation on him.
“Furthermore, Cannon displayed homophobia towards his victim, and sought to humiliate him further by filming part of the incident.
“Behaviour like this, whether fuelled by drink and drugs or not, is totally unacceptable and I hope the public are reassured that the court has increased the sentence to nine years.”