Taylor Knight, one of a group of thugs who beat, strangled and set fire to a 17-year-old in a horrifying “torture” attack because he was gay, has been revealed to have been the victim’s ex-boyriend.
According to the Birmingham Mail: Taylor Knight had been in a relationship with the victim but led the brutal homophobic assault at his Kings Heath flat, motivated by his own “repressed sexuality.” Harrowing mobile phone footage was shown to Birmingham Crown Court of the victim on the floor as punches and kicks rained down while the thugs repeatedly called him ‘p****’.
Knight told police he had found the victim on the street, already injured, and brought him home. But “police video showing an officer talking to the 17-year-old alone captured him quivering and fighting back tears, before bravely nodding to confirm his attackers were those in the same flat,” the Mail reports.
“The defendant and those with him engaged in behavior which can properly be described as torture,” prosecutor Omar Majid said in court.
Knight’s attorney, Lawrence Selby, said Knight had shown “genuine remorse” and that the defendant acted not out of hate for the victim’s sexuality but for Knight’s “own sexuality.” But Judge Heidi Kubik, who handed down the sentence September 3, was not swayed.
“This clearly was a homophobic attack upon the victim,” she said to Knight. “He was subjected to homophobic abuse by the group including yourself. The fact you chose to join in because of your own repressed sexuality or feelings does not prevent this being an offense within the meaning of the act.”
Mr Majid said: “The victim tried to explain he was actually in a relationship with the defendant as far as he understood it. That appears to be the trigger for the defendant to become violent.”