An attacker has been sentenced to over a year in jail after he punched and threatened a man who he thought was gay with a deactivated AK-47 rifle and bayonet in a homophobic incident.
Marcin Skalimowski, 41, assaulted an unidentified man in an unprovoked attack after the man tried to talk to him at the St James Wine Bar in St Helier, Jersey on the evening of 20 March.
Skalimowski was removed from the bar after the assault, but he returned 10 minutes later to threaten the victim, who he assumed was gay, with the two weapons.
Crown advocate Luke Sette, prosecuting, told the court that Skalimowski asked door staff if the victim was “still inside” before he unzipped the bag containing the deactivated AK-47 rifle, the Jersey Evening Post reported.
Fearing for their safety and the lives of customers, the door staff wrestled the man to the ground and alerted police.
While under interview, Skalimowski, who admitted to assault and possessing an offensive weapon, said he had “nothing against” LGBTQ+ people but wanted them to keep “themselves to themselves rather than bothering straight people”.
During sentencing on Friday (18 August), bailiff Sir Timothy Le Cocq said the incident was “incredibly stupid and reckless” and included a “significant element of homophobia”.
The bailiff sentenced Skalimowski to 12 months for possession of a weapon and three months for the assault, with both sentences to run concurrently. Skalimowski also received a consecutive three-month sentence for breach of a previous community service order.
The incident comes as Britain is on high alert after two people were stabbed outside a Clapham LGBTQ+ nightclub in a homophobic attack.
On 13 August, at 10.15pm, two men, one in his 20s and the other in his 30s, were attacked by a man with a knife outside the Two Brewers bar. The attacker then fled the scene on foot, which resulted in an urgent investigation by authorities.
Both victims were taken to hospital and later discharged.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have been in shock since the horrific incident, saying they feel like their “second home was attacked”.
Some queer people told PinkNews that they are ‘disguising’ themselves by changing their appearance in public as a result of the Two Brewers stabbing and rising hate crime incidents in the UK.
Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.