UK

Drunken thugs jailed for hurling homophobic slurs and death threats at shop worker

Emma Powys Maurice May 6, 2021
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homophobic abuse

Two men have been convicted for the 'distressing' homophobic abuse (Envato)

Two men have been convicted for a vile “unprovoked attack” on a shop worker who was threatened with homophobic abuse.

Nathan Jones, 34, and Shaun Aston, 26, spat the slurs “f****t” and “batty boy” at the victim on 27 February as he worked at the One Stop Shop in Cardiff, Wales.

Jones had already been banned from the shop for a previous offence, Wales Online reported. Both men appeared to be drunk as they entered and began aggressively abusing the staff member for no reason.

Both men were ordered to leave but refused to step outside, the court was told. At this point they launched into a homophobic tirade with Jones calling the victim a “ginger c***” while invading his personal space.

Aston then warned the shop worker: “If my friend gets arrested, I will come back and I will kill you.”

The encounter left the victim feeling “intimidated, distressed, and fearful for his personal safety”, prosecutor Nuhu Gobir told a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday (5 May).

When the police arrived the defendants had left the store but were located outside a nearby off licence and arrested. They both pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour.

At the time Jones was in breach of an eight-month suspended sentence for stalking his former partner, incessantly calling her, bombarding her with hundreds of messages and emails, damaging her property, and turning up at her sister’s home in Swansea.

The current offence is Jones’ second breach of the suspended sentence.

Ashton was also in breach of an 18-month suspended sentence for affray after punching a shop worker in the head in 2019. When police searched him they found a knuckle duster in his possession.

Sentencing, judge Niclas Parry acknowledged the “distressing” homophobic nature of their latest attack.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a public servant and there was homophobic language. It would have been particularly distressing,” he said.

Jones was sentenced to eight months imprisonment. Ashton was sentenced to three months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and was made subject to a three-month curfew and a rehabilitation activity requirement order for 10 days.

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