Three men have been jailed after being found guilty of a vicious homophobic assault and a racially motivated attack in Brighton.
Bradley Brachman, 19, unemployed, of Egmont Road, Hove, Rhys Pryer, 19, also unemployed, of Wilfrid Road, Hove, and Andrew Wilson, a painter, of Manor Hill, Brighton, were all found guilty of wounding with intent and assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH).
They were convicted on Thursday 23 October after an 11-day trial at Brighton Crown Court. Wilson was also found guilty of stealing a mobile phone.
They were all remanded in custody and appeared for sentencing on Friday (21 November) where they each received four years’ imprisonment for wounding and one year to run consecutively for ABH. Wilson also received six months for theft to run concurrently.
The men attacked the first victim, who was aged 40 at the time, just before midnight on Friday 16 August last year. They set about him with bottles at the junction of Edward Street and Dorset Place, striking him several times around his head, causing wounds that needed hospital treatment and which have resulted in permanent scarring.
They then moved on to the bottom of St James’s Street where they hurled homophobic abuse at a 34-year-old man before punching him and chasing him across Old Steine to the bus stops near Pavilion Gardens where they continued the assault.
He was taken to hospital where his wounds required stitching. During the assault, Wilson snatched the victim’s phone as he was trying to call police.
In summing up, Judge Anthony Niblett described the attacks as unprovoked and vicious. He said that the attacks were motivated by the strong eastern European accent of the first victim and the fact that the second man was gay.
He agreed with a witness who said that if she hadn’t stopped and intervened in the first incident the man may well have been killed.
In sentencing them, Judge Niblett said that he was satisfied that they targeted the first man due to him being eastern European. They had not attacked his English friend who was with him. Similarly, they attacked their second victim for no other reason than being gay.
The judge also formally commended the witness who was driving past when the first attack happened and called police. She intervened by shouting at the men to stop and if she had not, the attack would have continued and may even have resulted in the victim being killed. She was also able to provide crucial evidence to the police and the court and was awarded £300.
Detective Constable Chris Bishop, of Sussex Police, also received a formal commendation for the care that he had given to the victims and the “expert and thorough” investigation that he had carried out.