A gay 17-year-old in Birmingham was beaten, set on fire and “tortured” by his ex-lover, who excused the homophobic attack by blaming his “repressed sexuality”.
The brutal and prolonged attack on the teenager took place in Kings Heath, Birmingham on 13 March this year.
According to BirminghamLive, the victim had exchanged sexual messages with Taylor Knight, 20, and had spent the night with him.
The pair were at a Kings Heath home, when Knight’s friend, nicknamed “Ace”, began hurling homophobic abuse at the victim.
Two teenage girls were also present, one of whom was just 15 years old. Knight had previously been given a child abduction notice and told not to associate with her.
The victim said he was in a relationship with Knight, but at that point Knight, as well as the others in the group, turned on him and launched a brutal attack which was filmed by one of those present.
Knight threw water and a sandwich in his face, Birmingham Crown Court heard, prompting the victim to text his brother for help and send his location.
The group then cornered the victim and began punching and kicking him.
Prosecutor Omar Majid said: “The defendant and those with him engaged in behaviour which can properly be described as torture.”
They forced the victim to undress, dragging him around, and later used aerosol and a lighter to burn his hair. Knight threatened to “rape and burn him”.
Majid continued: “The defendant proceeded to take a wire, place it around the victim’s neck and strangle him with it. He then put him in a headlock while ‘Ace’ kicked him in the face.
“They dragged him into the bathroom and made him sit in the bath in cold water and threw cigarette ends at him.”
The group also robbed the teenager of a mobile phone and money, and while Knight and “Ace” left to buy drugs, the 15-year-old girl poured boiling water on the victim. When he returned, Knight threatened to kidnap and stab him.
Luckily, the victim’s brother had alerted the police, who came to his rescue. When they arrived, Knight claimed not to know him, and said he had found him in the street having been beaten.
But the victim, who now suffers from PTSD and said he had been “broken” by the attack, managed to identify the perpetrators.
Taylor Knight will serve less than four years behind bars in Birmingham for the horrific homophobic attack
Appearing via video link at Birmingham Crown Court, Taylor Knight admitted to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, theft and child abduction.
However at his sentencing on 3 September, Judge Heidi Kubik QC said Knight was fortunate for how the Crown Prosecution Service had “framed” the case.
Although she ruled that the attack was a hate crime, she handed him just three years and eight months in prison, and said: “[The victim was subjected to homophobic abuse by the group including yourself.
“The fact you chose to join in because of your own repressed sexuality or feelings does not prevent this being an offence within the meaning of the act.”
The 15-year-old girl involved was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft, and was given a youth rehabilitation order.
The second girl was not charged and “Ace” has never been identified.
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