An Irish teenager has been given a three year jail sentence – with two years suspended – for throwing a rock at another teenager during a homophobic attack.
The 18 year old – who cannot be named – pleaded guilty to assault causing harm on July 17, 2016 in Dublin, according to The Times.
The victim needed 11 stitches after the attack, and has been left with a permanent scar above his eye.
Judge Melanie Greally said the attack was “extremely nasty” and said there were “undertones of homophobia.”
“I live in fear simply because I am gay. I have no confidence in my looks because of the scar.”
– Victim Impact Statement
The teenager denied in court that the attack was homophobic, however the judge said the words heard by the victim “speak for themselves.”
The victim was called ‘a fag’ during the attack
The victim has alleged that the teenager called him “a fag” and “a dope” before throwing the rock at his head.
The teenager, who was just 15 years old at the time of the assault, has 24 previous convictions for assault, theft, burglary, criminal damage and trespass.
The victim was 16 years old when the assault happened. He was walking his dog with his 11 year old brother when they were approached by the other teenager.
The teenager verbally abused the victim before picking up a rock and throwing it at his head. The victim was transported to hospital by ambulance and was kept in for six hours under observation.
In a victim impact statement, he said that the scar was “a constant reminder that I was attacked because of my sexuality.
“I live in fear simply because I am gay,” he continued. “I have no confidence in my looks because of the scar.”
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He also said that he lives with stress and anxiety, and even tried to jump out in front of traffic one day due to his distress.
The victim also has an interest in acting, and believes he has lost out on potential roles as a result of his scar.
Stonewall defines hate crimes as acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.
LGBT+ people across the world continue to be victims of hate crimes, despite many countries legislating to protect LGBT+ people.
Last week, a bisexual man from Kyrgyzstan was forced to leave the country after suffering two homophobic attacks within the same month.
The man, who is in his 20s, had the word “gay” carved into his stomach in one of the attacks.
Meanwhile, last month, it was revealed that two gay men in Chile had been tortured in homophobic attacks on New Year’s Day.
One of the men was forced to sit in a tub of hot water because of his sexuality, which led to severe burns.
Meanwhile, in France, a man was beaten and abducted for two hours during a homophobic attack last October.