Tre tenåringer sparket ihjel en 62 år gammel mann på åpen gate i London fordi han var homofil. – Angrepet minnet om en scene fra filmen «A Clockwork Orange, sa et øyenvitne.
Collegestudentene Ruby Thomas og Rachael Burke var bare 17 da de og deres da 18 år gamle venn Joel Alexander angrep den offentlige tjenestemannen Ian Baynham på Trafalgar Square etter en kveld på byen.
Da de oppdaget den åpent homofile Baynham og hans partner skrek de fornærmelser etter dem, og da Baynham konfronterte dem ble han slått av Alexander. Baynham mistet bevisstheten og falt i bakken, noe som påførte ham den alvorlige hjerneskaden han døde av 18 dager senere.
Mens Baynham lå hjelpeløs på gaten trampet tenåringsjentene på brystet og hodet hans:
Mr Baynham, who was enjoying an evening out to celebrate getting a new job on September 25 last year, was a ‘defenceless’ victim, the jury heard.
Brian Altman QC, prosecuting said: ‘The scene was Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London, home to the National Gallery, Nelson’s column and the plinths.
‘On one side is the South African embassy and the pavement outside it was the scene of a despicable incident in which Ian Baynham was brutally attacked by these defendants, who attacked him with such a degree of violence that he died from his injuries 18 days later.’
He added that one witness likened the level of violence to a scene from the film A Clockwork Orange, the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film which caused outrage on release over its depiction of a gang of teenagers carrying out orgies of sadistic violence.
Mr Altman added: ‘The story of this case is an all too familiar depressing tale of drunken, loutish behaviour, but what these defendants did that night went far beyond mere antisocial behaviour.
‘Two of them are teenage girls, fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol. They confronted Mr Baynham with abuse and then together with Joel Alexander they jointly participated in a violent attack on a defenceless man in public.’
The jury was shown grainy CCTV footage of the trio, who had travelled together from their homes in South London, at various stages of their evening.
The girls could be seen swigging from cans of drink.
A friend who saw them earlier that night described Thomas, a trainee beauty therapist, as ‘off her face’, flirting with men who walked past and trying to pick fights.
Rett før trioen angrep Baynham forsøkte Burke and Thomas å starte en krangel med en gruppe svarte ungdommer. Et vitne forteller også at han så dem peke på et annet homofilt par som gikk hånd i hånd, og at han hørte en av dem si «vi kan ta dem», mens de andre to nikket ivrig. Andre vitner forteller at de tre oppførte seg aggressivt og måtte kontrolleres av venner da de ankom Trafalgar Square rundt klokken 22 om kvelden:
‘What led to Mr Baynham’s death began when Ruby Thomas shouted ‘****ing faggots’ as he and Philip Brown walked past just minding their own business,’ Mr Altman said.
Mr Brown then urged Mr Baynham, who was from Beckenham, Kent, to ignore the taunts and carry on walking, the court heard.
‘A physical confrontation between Mr Baynham and Ruby Thomas escalated,’ Mr Altman added. ‘Joel Alexander intervened and he lunged at Mr Baynham, punching him once to the side of his face with a clenched fist.
‘The blow felled him to the ground and it’s clear that the force of the punch was such as to render Mr Baynham unconscious, the back of his head hit the ground with nothing to break the fall.
‘He suffered a severe brain injury from which ultimately he was to die.
‘But that did not suffice. Shocked onlookers saw repeated stamping on Mr Baynham’s chest and forceful kicks to his head. He was fitting on the ground and bled on to the pavement.’
The girls, now aged 18, were studying at college and living with their parents at the time of the attack.
Alexander is now 19. Burke, from Upper Norwood, Thomas, from Crystal Palace, and Alexander, from Thornton Heath, all in South London, deny manslaughter.
Burke is also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm for allegedly punching Mr Brown repeatedly as he tried to stop her escaping into Charing Cross rail and Tube station.
The trial, expected to last two and a half weeks, continues.