The victim of a homophobic attack has told of his ‘disgust’ after his attacker only received a suspended sentence.
Gay man ‘disgusted’ after attacker only receives suspended sentence: Ryan Williams had been out with friends when a group approached them and said ‘gay is wrong’ and ‘you should all die’. The 24-year-old victim was beaten unconscious and left unable to sleep for months. The attack happened as he was walking home from work in July 2019 in the gay area of Manchester.
His attacker, Brandon Forrester, was out celebrating his 18th birthday on the day of the incident. He pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court of ABH to Williams and received a nine month sentence in a young offenders institution. However, due to the pandemic, there was a delay in proceedings and it allowed him to have his sentence suspended.
He walked free due to his ‘previous good character’. After the sentencing Williams spoke out, saying it felt like his attacker had only had a “good telling off”. Williams, from Preston, Lancashire, said “As soon as the judge said the sentence was suspended I just left, I don’t know how I feel about it.
After court he started laughing at my mum’s face, he showed no remorse. It was disgusting. “It’s been the longest 18 months of my life, I’ve gone through so many emotions. I’ve been put through emotional and physical trauma and after 18 months it feels like nothing has come of it. I’ve never been through anything like this.
And he’s just been told not to do it again.” Urging people who experience the same homophobia to speak out Williams added “People think homophobia isn’t an issue anymore, but things like this are still happening to people just because of who they are. I didn’t sleep for months, I drank for months, it was horrible. Part of me feels like everything I have been through for the last 18 months is for nothing, but if my story helps someone else then it was worth it.” The court were told that the beating left Williams unconscious and he only remembers waking up in hospital. He said he has lost all his confidence since the attack, saying “It made me question myself a lot.
I didn’t like myself. I shut myself down. I lost so much confidence. I used to be so confident and bubbly. But now I really overthink everything I do, and question myself. I don’t really go out and I don’t socialise. I’ve been attacked for being me.”
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