In the British seaside resort of Bridlington, Christopher Benjamin Needler, a gay man, was sentenced to prison and community service after being charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm for punching Lee Newby, another gay man, because Newby was pressuring him to get more involved with the gay scene there.
Needler allegedly punched Newby in the eye, damaging his vision and destroying his chances of becoming a helicopter pilot.
According to court statements, “The defendant describes having known the victim for two years. He said Mr Newby bugs him and irritates him by always letting him know he has seen him when they are out in town, or getting his friends to have a look at him. He describes him as an idiot who irritates him.”
Said Needler’s attorney: “[Needler] is a homosexual but is not flamboyant and what he does not want is to be pushed into what is laughingly called the gay community. The victim and his friends have been trying to suck Mr Needler into that scene, which is a very incestuous one in which to live. They will not let it drop and allow him just to be an ordinary guy. He recognises if he had not had a drink, or only a touch more than he normally has, he probably would have controlled himself and left the place.”
According to the Bridlington Free Press: “Sentencing, Lord Halifax said: ‘We are satisfied the offence is so serious that prison is the only suitable sentence because of the unprovoked assault and the injuries caused. We are sentencing you to four months imprisonment, suspended for a period of 18 months’…Needler was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work, with a supervision requirement of 18 months, and ordered to pay compensation to Newby of £1,000, with costs of £55.”
Gay pressure led to assault [bridlington free press]