Man jailed after slamming student against a wall in brutal homophobic attack
A man has been jailed over a horrific homophobic attack in Weymouth, Dorset, during which he grabbed a student by the hair and threw her against a wall.
Martin Keith Stephens, of no fixed abode, was handed a four-month prison sentence for the assault against the 19-year old woman outside Boombox Nightclub in the early hours of May 11 this year, reports Dorset Echo.
The sentence was made up of three months for the attack specifically, and one month for the homophobic nature of the assault.
Stephens pleaded guilty to the assault at Weymouth Magistrates Court.
Prosecutor Charles Nightingale said Stephens had been drunk at the time of the attack, and had tried to start up a conversation with a friend of the victim, an A-level student.
Nightingale explained: “An altercation arose between the defendant and this group of young people outside the Boombox Nightclub.”
The prosecutor said the defendant “lost his temper” when the victim tried to take her friend away from Stephens.
Nightingale said Stephens then grabbed the victim by the hair, smashing her against the wall of a building and punched her mouth.
The woman was left with blood pouring from her mouth and major swelling on her head.
The court heard how the student phoned the police, even though Nightingale had said if he had “even a day in jail, she would pay for it.”
He also apparently said he would “f****** kill” the woman.
Stephens’ sentence will be served concurrently with an 18-month sentence for another crime.
Simon Lacey, defending, said Stephens pled guilts in a timely way, but denied some details of the attack.
“He wants everyone involved to be able to move on,” said Lacey.
Home Office stats released in October last year revealed a shocking surge of homophobic hate crime in England and Wales in 2016/17, in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Reports of hate crimes relating to sexual orientation surged by a massive 27 percent in just one year, from 7,194 to 9,157.
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Across all types of hate crime, reports surged from 62,518 the year before to 80,393.
The Home Office explained: “In 2016/17, the police recorded 9,157 sexual orientation hate crimes, 5,558 disability hate crimes and 1,248 transgender identity hate crimes.
“The percentage increases in these three strands observed in 2016/17 were similar to those observed in 2015/16 when compared with the previous year.
“The sharp rise in all three strands suggests that the increases are due to the police improving their identification and recording of hate crime offences and more people coming forward to report these crimes rather than a genuine increase.