Man handed 100-hour community service order for head-butting ‘racist homophobe’ at taxi rank
A 21-year-old has been ordered to complete 100 hours of community service after he head-butted a man hurling “racist and homophobic abuse” at him and his friend.
He was confronted by the man while he and a friend queued for a taxi in Weighbridge at around 1.20am on Sunday 28 June. The court heard that the situation became heated when the man began making racist comments regarding the girlfriend of Symphorien’s friend.
It reportedly escalated as the man continued shouting aggressively in their faces, persistently using the slurs “P*ki” and “faggot” towards Symphorien and his friend.
Symphorien snapped, later stating that the alleged homophobe “deserved to be head-butted” and it “wasn’t an option” for him to walk away. However he admitted he does now regret his actions.
Defence advocate Paul Lockwood said Symphorien had been provoked by a man who “obviously wanted a fight”. The other man is yet to appear in court for his role in the altercation.
“It was a major over-reaction,” he said, but added that it was “out of character” as Symphorien has a reputation for being a “hard-working, pro-social” member of the community.
In sentencing, Judge McKerrell acknowledged the severity of the man’s alleged homophobic comments, but also noted that the individual is yet to appear in court and hasn’t had the chance to defend himself.
“Clearly if the other person did say those comments it would be deplorable and despicable,” he said, but even so it would not excuse Symphorien taking the law into his own hands (or head).
“You cannot in any case attempt to justify what you did. It was a deliberate act and the correct thing would have been to call the police and get them to deal with the problem,” the judge declared.