9 UK men have been sentenced for attacking gay men.
The Hackney Gazetter reports that a gang of men led by Huseyin Onel attacked three men on suspicion of the victims’ sexual orientations.
The stream of attacks started outside of gay nightclub Dalston Superstore on May 5. Onel started the first assault by stomping and kicking the first victim. The second victim then started filming the attack while trying to defend the first one. Onel then sprayed a corrosive substance from a plastic bottle, which turned out to be acid, in the victims’ faces.
According to the Hackney Gazette:
The second victim “suffered a fractured eye socket and was lucky to escape with his eyesight intact – his recovery was described by doctors as “miraculous”. Another person suffered burns to their tongue. The suspects then got into three cars and drove from the scene.” As they drove away, the gang yelled out homophobic comments at the victims.
It seems the second victim wasn’t the only one recording as CCTV clearly covered the assault. This helped police to catch the gang, and the authorities then released the footage to the public.
The entire gang was sentenced on Thursday, January 17th. Onel was give 17 years in prison while the rest of the gang was given somewhere between 18 months and 14 ½ years.
Detective Constable David Leitner later released a statement about the case.
“Nine violent and dangerous men have been removed from London’s streets today and will now spend a lengthy time locked up in prison. The level of violence used in this attack, coupled with the speed that this incident escalated, are truly shocking.”
He added, “The original victim who was attacked by the group has never been traced but I hope he, and all those who were set upon by this violent group of individuals, will take some comfort from the fact that this group has been convicted.”