Two men who brutally assaulted a gay couple in Glasgow almost two years ago were sentenced to jail yesterday at the city’s Sheriff Court.
STV News reported that Calvin McLelland, 20, from Coatbridge and James Knot, 16, from the Gorbals, both pleaded guilty to assault aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.
Both have been given prison sentences of nine months.
The attack took place in McNeil Street, Glasgow in the early hours of 17th August 2013. Dillon Jeffreys and his partner Connor Sullivan were on their way home after a night out when McLelland called Jeffreys a “faggot” before punching him to the ground. Sullivan then stepped in to defend his partner, after which McLelland also punched him, causing him to fall to the ground. Both attackers then continued to kick Jeffreys’ head and body as he lay helpless.
The severity of the attack was such that Jeffreys’ skull was fractured as a result of the assault.
The incident was seen by two plain-clothed police officers, who quickly called an ambulance. The attackers fled but McLelland was found by police the following day, and Knot a few weeks later.
Sentencing, sheriff Sam Cathcart determined that in light of “the gravity of these offences” the only possible sentence was a custodial one.
The pair were sentenced on a day police confirmed that 650 hate crimes have been recorded in Glasgow during the last two years, and that “more racist and homophobic attackers are being locked up than ever before”.
Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland said: “I want to make it clear, I will not tolerate any form of hate crime in the city centre. We are committed to doing everything in our power to identify and bring those responsible to justice.
“We are now detecting three out of every four hate crimes in the city – but we will not be resting on our laurels. Those who fail to respect those around them can expect a swift and robust response.”
He added: “Tackling hate crimes, such as racist and homophobic offences, is a high priority for Police Scotland. There is no place in Scotland for any behaviour motivated by prejudice and it will not be tolerated.”