Drunk trio beat man after anti-gay abuse

Two women and a man have admitted attacking a stranger outside a gay pub in the English city of Gloucester

Drunk trio beat man after anti-gay abuse
10 April 2012

Three drunks have admitted to punching and kicking a man who taunted them with homophobic abuse outside a gay bar in Gloucester, UK, a court heard.

Gloucester Magistrates' Court was told last week how two women and one man attacked the victim outside the Westgate pub in the city center during the early hours of  25 February.

Ria Marsh, 25, of Linden Road, 45-year-old Anthony Fairley, of Commercial Road, and 35-year-old Claire Armitage, of Linden Road, all pleaded guilty to assaulting Timothy Challen.

Prosecuting, lawyer Louise Pinder told District Judge Martin Brown that Mr Challen was sitting outside the pub when he was attacked, The Citizen reported.

She said: 'The three defendants came out of the pub and approached the victim and one of them said, "he shouldn't be allowed in here – he is not gay".

'Armitage and Marsh punched him to the head and Fairley then punched him twice in quick succession. Armitage and Marsh then punched and kicked Mr Challen while he was on the floor.

'Marsh admitted to having consumed between 20 and 30 double vodkas, Armitage had been drinking lager and taking cocaine and Fairley had drunk 12 pints of lager, bottles of beer and shots.'

She added that the incident was captured on CCTV and Armitage tried to run away when the police arrived.

However, solicitor Joan Hughe, defending Marsh and Armitage told the court the attack was heavily provoked, while solicitor Nicola Berryman, defending Fairley, agreed saying that there was a 'high degree of provocation'.

'It was just after midnight when the three defendants were out drinking and met up in the Westgate pub,' Berryman told the judge.

'The victim had been causing trouble and goading the two women for a long time and making offensive remarks.

'The pub manager and doorstaff actually asked the victim to leave and he went and sat outside.

'But then he started to make offensive gestures through the pub window and when they left at 1.20am, he was still there.'

District Judge Brown called the assault a 'very serious and sustained attack' and 'a joint enterprise'.

He also warned the three defendants could face jail time and adjourned the case until Friday.

They were all granted conditional bail.

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