Teen thug walks free after violently attacking gay couple while singing song from Frozen
A teenager who violently attacked a Lancashire gay couple while singing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from the film Frozen has walked free.
Aaron Jiva, now 18, was 17 at the time of the offence on 1 May 2020, when he and his friend Jordan Moore began harassing victims Jackson Tattersall and Ben Fox as they left a supermarket in Accrington, Lancashire.
According to the Lancashire Telegraph, prosecutor Alaric Bassano told Preston Crown Court that the gay couple tried to leave the situation, but Moore shouted at them: “Oi, my mate wants to talk to you.”
When the Jiva and his friend caught up with the couple, the defendant began singing the Disney song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
Bassano continued: “This was in relation to Mr Tattersall’s hair, which was the same colour as a character from Frozen, and he perceived this to be homophobic.
“Mr Tattersall, who suffers with epilepsy and borderline personality disorder, said he could feel elements of his disorder coming on and his partner, Mr Fox, told the group of lads to leave him alone.”
Jiva began taunting the couple, calling them “gay” and “f****ts”, and telling Tattersall: “I’ll show you borderline personality disorder.”
He threatened to “fight” the couple, and also to “bottle” them, before launching a physical attack.
Jiva punched Tattersall in the head, the prosecutor said, repeatedly kicking him on the ground. The attack only ended when a bystander intervened.
At the time, Jiva told police officers that the victim had started the altercation.
Bassano said that after the attack Tattersall had dropped out of college, had become anxious and was fearful of visiting supermarkets.
The Lancashire teenager was spared jail and had begun ‘turning his life around’, a judge said
When questioned by police, Aaron Jiva insisted that he had gay friends and was not homophobic, and that he had been drunk and high at the time of the attack.
In July 2021, he pleaded guilt to causing actually bodily harm, but by this time he had turned 18.
The court heard that it took police six months to charge Jiva, requiring him to be sentenced as an adult.
Jiva’s defence, Julian King, insisted that his client had had a difficult life, having been through homelessness, and that since the incident social services had intervened and he had been able to enrol at college and complete his GCSEs.
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Judge Richard Archer took this into account in sentencing Jiva, and the teenager was spared jail.
He was instead given a 12-month community order, and told to complete 20 days of rehabilitation and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Archer said: “This is in no way the fault of the defendant’s, but if this incident had been dealt with at the time he would’ve been dealt with in a youth court and probably given a referral.
“In fact, it has worked to his advantage, as he has had that time to reflect, and embark upon turning his life around.
“It is Mr Tattersall who has been at a disadvantage here as he has had to drop out of education and I feel the system has failed Mr Tattersall more than it’s failed the defendant.”