Crime | News | United Kingdom

Grandfather Killed In Attack Outside UK Gay Bar

A gay UK man, Ronald Hayes, 63, died earlier this week from injuries he sustained in an assault outside a gay bar in the city of Chester, Sky News reports:

MORPETHMr. Hayes lived with his male partner on a smart, modern estate at Widdrington Station, near Morpeth.

His partner was too upset to comment but neighbours spoke of a "pleasant, pleasant character" who tidied their gardens in winter without even being asked.

A murder enquiry has been launched and two men, both aged 26 and from nearby Ellesmere Port  have been arrested and bailed pending further inquiries.

The two men who were arrested by police were allegedly in the same bar as Mr. Hayes the night he was assaulted. Detectives are reported to be investigating whether the assault was motivated by anti-gay hate. Sergeant Andrew Burrage, from Chester Police, however, insisted that all possible motives are still being considered:

“I would like to reassure the communities of Chester that extra patrols will be visible in the area to answer any questions people may have. Inquiries are ongoing, and at this stage we are keeping an open mind, and it is too early to speculate on a motive for this attack.”

Meanwhile those who knew Mr. Hayes have been left shell-shocked by his death:

In a statement issued by police, Ronald's family said: “Those closest to Ronald describe him as a doting partner, father and grandfather whose spirit and energy was infectious. He had a drive for life that outweighed his years. We are all deeply saddened.”

Neighbours Joe and Linda Pinchen described his death as "devastating."

Watch a news report on the tragic murder AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. That's sad.I'm thinking hate crime.

    Posted by: M | Dec 1, 2013 11:08:58 AM

  2. Describing someone as a "grandfather" (or grandmother) in a headline comes off as attention-grabbing and unnecessary. It reads like an attempt to make the crime sound more heinous ... as though because someone had offspring, ending his life was more tragic than if he had simply been an "Older man" or "UK man" as most headlines appear.

    Can we just stick with the pertinent facts in post titles and if it's at all relevant that the man was survived by kids and grandkids, mention that as a postscript?

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 1, 2013 11:59:01 AM

  3. Tragic news, but that "grandfather" bit was indeed an unnecessary attention-grabber. There’s some other odd formulations in this artivcle as well. He and his partner lived in a "smart" modern estate? How is the aesthetics of their home of any relevance? And they “tidied their gardens in winter without even being asked”? Well now, doesn’t that bit of info splendidly illustrate the kind of life that was lost?

    Posted by: Miller | Dec 1, 2013 12:34:57 PM

  4. To the usual naysayers, Towleroad is quoting the news reports as presented in Britain, not here. I consider that the gentleman is a father and grandfather very relevant. I'm sure it matters to his immediate survivors and to his friends and neighbors. It also matters as a descriptive of the worth of the man's life, which was ended abruptly in a heinous crime.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 1, 2013 12:55:06 PM

  5. @JAMAL49

    By what you consider relevant, no article should ever again say "man" or "woman" -- EVERY article should describe a biological kinship: son, daughter, mother, father, grandfather.... Oh but wait. If a man is described as father to make his children feel warm and fuzzy, how will his wife feel that he isn't listed as husband? How will his grandkids feel that he wasn't listed as grandfather? How will his parents feel that he wasn't listed as a son?

    No JAMAL, you are wrong. Using "grandfather" in the post title was unnecessary and for all intents and purposes, inappropriate. A more professional article, or at least one from any sort of reputable unbiased news source, would likely include in its headline only gender, location, and perhaps age. Familial titles are totally irrelevant in such a report.

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 1, 2013 1:10:39 PM

  6. Blow it out your as*, sparks. You're just here to cause problems. Everyone knows it, and your posts reveal you to be a toad.

    Posted by: franklin | Dec 1, 2013 2:08:43 PM

  7. Andy really needs to move to facebook comments and or monitor comments in order to combat homophobic trolls like Sparks/Miller. Have ruined this site. RIP Ronald Hayes-hate crime for sure.

    Posted by: Molc | Dec 1, 2013 2:18:38 PM

  8. Andy really needs to move to facebook comments and or monitor comments in order to combat homophobic trolls like Sparks/Miller. Have ruined this site. RIP Ronald Hayes-hate crime for sure.

    Posted by: Molc | Dec 1, 2013 2:18:38 PM

  9. I've been commenting on Towleroad for several years. The vast majority of the time when I do comment, it's specifically on the topic of whatever article I'm posting about. Never do I criticize what content TR's contributors choose to cover (it's not my blog), and very rarely do I even make a suggestion about how it's covered. This was one of those cases... not that I need to justify myself to:

    MOLC, who are you again? Your post (and duplicate post at that) fits the description of troll far more than anyone else's on here today.

    And FRANKLIN, you stay classy now, ya hear?

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 1, 2013 2:37:17 PM

  10. Feel a deep empathy for Mr. Hayes and feel exceedingly sorry for his partner! Being beat up and left in a pool of my own blood myself just because I am gay, walked out a gay bar and was subsequently attacked by thugs is a sickening indictment of society at large . . .


    It certainly did not seem like it at the time or even for several weeks following. When I was finally able to go out the most surprisingly painful thing that I had to do was to apply makeup on the worst cuts and bruises. Still this is NOTHING by comparison!!! Am certain that I owe my life to the selfless and brave action of the bartender and another customer who came to my aid when they heard the first homophobic slurs being shouted before I was pounced upon.

    This was a few years back and in a small red necked town in the west where one certainly did not call the police who are bigoted to this day even though the population has risen to over 20,000 . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 1, 2013 2:47:07 PM

  11. @sparks -- Your complaint condemns the site for a lapse of taste, in your case supposed sentimentality? That has little to do with the report itself and a lot to do with your apparent anti-breeder position. Yes, some gay men have children and grandchildren -- how is that inflammatory in your mind to the extent it's the first thing you note in a possible hate crime and obvious tragedy for this man's partner, Neighbors and YES grandchildren.

    Posted by: BillyExPat | Dec 2, 2013 4:55:36 AM


    I wasn't "condemning" anything. I simply commented about the headline. To say I'm anti-breeder is to say I'm anti-family and that's ridiculous. Crimes/bashing against the LGBT community is always tragic. A person's choice to have children (and their choice to have children) does not make this kind of crime any more tragic than it is. It couldn't possibly. So using familial titles in a headline does come off as attention-grabbing.

    However, aside from expressing sadness that such things are still happening, there's rarely anything much to say except expressing condolences to the family (to the family, not about them in a blog post they'll probably never see). Yet you didn't do that either, you just commented on my comments ... which makes yours seem a bit hypocritical.

    Anyway, hopefully the author of the original post has some food for thought.

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 2, 2013 5:53:52 AM

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