British teenagers sentenced to jail for homophobic killing

LONDON (BNO NEWS) -- Two teenagers were sentenced to jail on Wednesday for a deadly homophobic attack in London's Trafalgar Square, according to Scotland Yard.

Joel Alexander, 20, and Ruby Thomas, 19, received six years and seven years in prison, respectively. They were previously convicted on December 16 of Ian Baynham's manslaughter after a three-week long trial. A third defendant, Rachael Burke, 18, received a sentence of two years after being found guilty at a previous trial of affray.

On September 25, 2009, 62-year-old Baynham was punched to the ground by Alexander, and then kicked and stamped on by the two girls in what prosecutors said was a homophobic attack.

Baynham, an openly gay man, and his friend Phillip, had enjoyed an evening out in Soho to celebrate Baynham's new job with the UK Border Agency. The attack began after Thomas shouted homophobic slurs at them.

The two teenage girls were then seen to stamp and kick Baynham's head and chest as he lay on the pavement severely bleeding from a serious head injury. The attack was captured on CCTV cameras.

The victim was eventually taken to an area hospital in a coma from which he never recovered. His life support machine was switched off on October 13.

"First and foremost, Ian's death was totally unnecessary. The police investigation clearly showed a background of aggressive, drunken behaviour that led to hostile confrontations with others - decency and respect were non-existent," Detective Inspector Paul Barran, who led the investigation, said after the conviction.


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