Thursday, October 15, 2009

UPDATED: 62-year-old gay man is the latest hate crime victim

One of the most disturbing trends of the last decade is the escalating violence and hysteria against LGBT. From London to Vancouver, gay men and women have bravely become more visible in society. I see more and more people coming out to family and friends. I see couples holding hands while walking down the street. Sadly, this increased visibility comes with a price. I've written before about the rise of hate crimes in Vancouver, so it doesn't surprise me to learn the London Metropolitan Police have reported an increase of 13 per cent in homophobic offences in the last 12 months. The latest victim is 62-year-old, Ian Baynham, who has died after a brutal attack.
UK Independent reports:
A gay man who was attacked by two teenage girls and a young man in a suspected homophobic assault in central London has died. Ian Baynham, 62, suffered severe brain damage after being punched and kicked to the ground after remonstrating with a group who had shouted homophobic abuse.

The attack took place on 25 September and he died of severe head injuries nearly two weeks later on Tuesday evening. Doctors switched off his life support machine. Mr Baynham, from Beckenham, south-east London, had been walking through Trafalgar Square, a short distance from the city's gay district of Soho, with a 30-year-old male friend when he was attacked shortly before 11pm.

Gary Nunn, a spokesman for the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, described the incident as "disturbing". "A lot of people perceive London to be a very tolerant place when it comes to gay people, but are surprised that these violent crimes are taking place on our streets today." READ MORE


Three held over fatal gay attack 
(October 16, 2009)
Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with a fatal homophobic attack in London's Trafalgar Square. An 18-year-old man and two 17-year-old women were arrested at their homes in south-east London. They are being questioned in custody at police stations in south and central London. Gay man Ian Baynham, 62, from Beckenham in Kent, was verbally abused by a woman in a group on 25 September. When Mr Baynham confronted the group he was punched and kicked to the ground. He suffered head injuries and died in hospital two weeks later. A 30-year-old man who was with Mr Baynham received minor injuries in the incident. 

Teenagers charged with manslaughter over gay man's death 
(October 19, 2009)
Three teenagers have been charged with manslaughter over the death of 62-year-old gay man Ian Baynham. Joel Alexander, 19, of Talbot Road, Thornton Heath, south London, and two 17-year-old girls, one from Penge, south-east London, and the other from Thornton Heath, have been charged with manslaughter. They will appear before City of Westminster magistrates' court today. They allegedly screamed homophobic abuse at him before they kicked him to death.

He died in hospital last Tuesday, several weeks after being kicked and punched in Trafalgar Square while on a night out. Baynham was out celebrating a new job with a friend on September 25th when the attack happened. The teenagers had reportedly been shouting obscenities at passersby when he confronted them over their behaviour. Baynham, of Beckenham, Kent, had recently won a job at the UK Border Agency after a long period out of work. He had also qualified as a counsellor for AIDS sufferers.  
Via UK Pink News