Teen walks free after assault and homophobic abuse

Swindon Advertiser: A suspended sentence was imposed on a teenager who assaulted a gay man A suspended sentence was imposed on a teenager who assaulted a gay man

A TEENAGER who fired off a volley of homophobic abuse as he launched a drunken assault on a gay man in the street has walked free from court.

Stuart Trinder snarled 'what do you want faggot?' before he punched Alan Baker to the ground and rained kicks on his prone body.

And when a friend of the victim stepped in to stop the violence the 19-year-old turned on him, decking him with a punch before landing blows as he was on the ground.

But after hearing Trinder was 18 at the time, was not motivated by the victim's sexual orientation, and had no previous convictions, a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that the two groups had each been drinking heavily in the Casbah in the early hours of July 19.

The victim was with friends Jordan Satchall and Claire Smith, while Trinder with two other men, one of whom was at school with Mr Baker.

Miss Marlow said: "Mr Baker pointed out one of the people with Mr Trinder who used to bully him at school because he was gay."

Shortly before 3am Mr Baker and his group were waiting for a taxi outside the Jury's Inn hotel on Fleming Way when they saw the defendant and his friends.

She said something was said between the groups and Trinder became abusive, calling Mr Baker a 'f***ing faggot' and punched him, knocking him down.

An earlier hearing was told he also said 'What do you want faggot?' before starting the violence.

“When he fell to the ground he continued to kick him to the head and body while he was on the ground," she said.

"Mr Satchall came over to try and assist his friend. He then was assaulted himself by Mr Trinder who punched him in the face causing his nose to bleed."

Miss Marlow said he was also attacked on the ground and that as the defendant rained kicks on his first victim, his own friends were trying to stop him and pull him off.

Trinder, of Albany Close, Park North, pleaded guilty to two counts of actual bodily harm.

Rob Ross, defending, said while his client accepted using the words, the victim's sexual orientation was not the reason for the attack.

He said he used the words as an insult as he carried out the assault believing one of the other group had made a comment about his friend's weight as they walked past.

Although he does not currently have a job he does some 'ad hoc' work for a friend's father who is a painter and decorator.

"He seems to be a willing young man who has made a foolish mistake," Mr Ross told the court.

"It would have been, as he now appreciates, very much in his interest to walk home and, whatever was said about his friend's weight, to ignore it."

Passing sentence, Judge Douglas Field said: "On the night in question you were drunk, you had been in a nightclub.

"There had been some sort of altercation in those premises, then outside in the street in the early hours of the morning you injured these two young men.

"They were punched by you, both fell to the ground, they were further punched and kicked. You hurled some homophobic abuse at at least one of them.

"This crosses the custody threshold. bearing in mind your age, lack of previous convictions and the way the probation service look at you I have decided to suspend any period of custody."

He imposed four months suspended for a year and told him to do 200 hours of unpaid work and do 21 hours at the attendance centre for young men.

He was given six months to pay £150 compensation to each man and an £80 victim surcharge.


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