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Man beaten in homophobic attack says it inspired him to join the police

Ella Braidwood August 24, 2019

A Welsh man said that being the victim of a homophobic attack ten years ago inspired him to join the police.

Cairn Newton-Evans, 28, told BBC Radio Wales that he was punched multiple times and had his head smashed into the tarmac during the assault in November 2008.

The 28-year-old was attacked by someone he knew from school who followed him over a railway crossing in his home town of Ammanford.

I wanted to “change things from within,” says police officer beaten in homophobic attack.

Newton-Evans spoke out ahead of Pride Cymru this weekend. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty)

He said he was left with a fractured nose and displaced cheekbone, which required surgery, after the assault.

His assailant also subjected him to “homophobic remarks” and death threats.

Speaking ahead of Pride Cymru, Newton-Evans said he decided to join the police in a bid to change attitudes, after officers only gave his attacker a caution and a “slap on the wrist”.

However, he said an LGBT+ officer from his local police station supported him and encouraged him to join the force to “change things from within”.

Newton-Evans joined Dyfed-Powys Police in 2009 and is currently the chief officer of the special constable.

Police officer is now friends with person who attacked him.

He even said that he is now friends with the man who assaulted him.

The officer met his attacker, who works in emergency services, again in 2012 after they were both called to the same incident.

What happened gave both of us the kick up the backside to achieve something.

“He came and apologised,” Newton-Evans told BBC Radio Wales.

“What happened gave both of us the kick up the backside to achieve something.

“He knows he is so lucky he has the life he has now – it turned a negative into a positive.”

In June, analysis by The Guardian revealed that homophobic and transphobic hate crime has more than doubled in England and Wales in the last four years.

The rate of LGBT+ hate crime, including offences like harassment, assault and stalking, increased by 144 percent between 2014 and 2018.

There were 4,600 LGBT+ hate crimes reported in 2014, but in 2018 that number rose to 11,600.

More: Hate crime, police, Pride Cymru

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