Court increases ‘unduly lenient’ sentence for homophobic thugs who attacked gay couple
The sentences of two homophobic thugs have been increased after the government challenged an “unduly lenient” sentence.
18-year-old Gage Vye-Parminter and 19-year-old Matthew Howes were initially sentenced to five years in a young offender institution in January over a homophobic attack on Brighton seafront on May 2 last year.
The pair had hurled anti-gay slurs at victims Dain Finney and James Loxton, 22 and 24, before beating them in a violent attack.
Both victims suffered horrific injuries, with Mr Finney sustaining fractured eye sockets, fractured cheekbones and a fracture to his nose – nearly losing vision in one eye.
The attackers’ sentences have this week been increased after the government challenged the court’s initial leniency.
The UK’s government’s Solicitor General Robert Buckland had challenged the “unduly lenient” sentence in the case, which he contends did not reflected the homophobic hate crime element of the case.
The senior government legal chief made an apperance before the Court of Appeal today to personally argue the case.The pair
After the intervention, Vye-Parminter and Howes have now been sentenced to seven years in jail.
Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General said: “This vicious attack was totally unprovoked and has left the victims with long-term emotional and physical scars. It will take the victims a considerable amount of time to recover from this.
“I thought the sentence was unduly lenient as it failed to adequately take into account that this attack was motivated by hate.
“I hope the Court’s decision to impose a longer prison sentence, to include the sentence uplift, sends a clear message to society that such offences will not be tolerated.”
Taking to Facebook previously, victim Dain Finney recalled: “Two guys decided to shout homophobic comments as we were walking home doing the sensible thing and ignoring it they decided to jump us and kick us in the face.
“I don’t know who did but thank you to the people trying to get the guys off us and calling the police.
“Felt pretty lucky going through life not experiencing homophobia and for it to happen in Brighton just goes to show that people still can’t be accepting of others.
“No one should ever experience being discriminated against no matter who they are.”