Two men who smashed up a young man’s face leaving him with multiple fractures have been jailed for more than five years each for the homophobic attack on Brighton seafront last year.
Gage Vye-Parminter, 18, and Matthew Howes, 19, both from Crawley, admitted committing grievous bodily harm and assault on the 22-year-old man in Kings Roadin the early hours of 2 May.
His 24-year-old friend was also attacked by the pair, and although he was not as badly hurt he was also taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital to be treated for face and head injuries.
The attack began shortly before 5am when Vye-Parminter and Howes were walking behind the pair shouting homophobic comments at them.
The 22-year-old victim, who now lives in Camberley, Surrey, said he then remembered being knocked to the floor and attacked before losing consciousness.
Detective Constable Sarah Townsend said: “This was a violent and unprovoked homophobic attack on two men who were singled out for their sexual orientation.
“This sentence sends out a clear signal that we will take a robust approach to those who target individuals based on their race, disability, gender identity, religion or sexual orientation.
“I hope this case will encourage other victims of hate crime to report such behaviour and violence to the police.”
Both attackers were sentenced to five years and four months in a young offender institution when they appeared at Brighton Crown Court on 13 January. They were also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
The court heard that officers in a patrolling police car were flagged down by a passing taxi driver who told them two men had just been attacked in Kings Road, on the south pavement opposite the Queens Hotel.
Officers found the two victims aged 22 and 24 and they were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital to be treated for face and head injuries. The 22-year old man sustained fractured eye sockets, fractured cheekbones and a fracture to his nose.
Vye-Parminter and Howes were arrested at the scene and taken to custody for questioning.