Mother of gay murder victim: ‘Homophobic hate crime still a major issue’
The mother of a gay student who was stabbed to death says her son ‘should have been free to express himself and live his life how he chose’.
University of Salford student William Lound was discovered with multiple stab injuries at his flat in Bramall Court halls of residence in February.
Speaking after her son’s killer Lee Arnold pleaded guilty to murder at Manchester Crown Court, Mo Lound expressed her family’s devastation.
“William was an intelligent, unique and caring young man, who should have been free to express himself and live his life how he chose,” she said.
“In this day and age, and in a city like Manchester, my son should never have been targeted with such violence because he happened to be gay.
Ms Lound added that she hopes her son’s death “highlights the fact that homophobic hate crime is still an issue in this country,” saying she wants it “stamped out by the police.”
“Although I am relieved Lee Arnold has pleaded guilty to the murder of my son, there is no changing the fact he has robbed me of my family.
“William’s death has had far reaching consequences and devastated my life in a way I never thought possible.
“I only hope that now Lee Arnold is in prison he receives the help that he needs, and will never be free to commit such a crime ever again.”
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In a double tragedy for Ms Lound, her daughter took her own life just three months after her brother’s death.
Virginia – known as Gini – delivered a moving eulogy to a packed congregation during Mr Lound’s funeral, just weeks before she was found dead in the corner shop she owned.
Paying tribute to her daughter Mo said at the time: “Gini was a bright, kind and incredibly hard working young woman.”
In the wake of Mr Lound’s death, Greater Manchester Police said that although there was no clear motive for the murder, they were treating the incident as a transphobic hate crime because Mr Lound used to “dress up in women’s clothes.”
Arnold has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.