Woman jailed for homophobic Pride attack

Posted On 16 May 2019 at 4:03 pm

A woman who conducted a homophobic attack on a man travelling back from Brighton Pride has been jailed.
Jasmine Shepherd, 20, appeared at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday, May 7 following her earlier guilty plea.
The court hear how Shepherd of Hayley Road, Lancing targeted the victim as he left Lancing railway station on the afternoon of Saturday, August 4.
Shepherd hurled a torrent of homophobic verbal abuse at the victim and followed him into a nearby supermarket in South Street before picking up a bottle of wine and throwing it at the back of the victim’s head.
The victim suffered a serious head injury and partial loss of hearing in one of his ears.
With the aid of eye witnesses to both the assault and verbal abuse, Shepherd was quickly identified.
She pleaded guilty to the charge of grievous bodily harm with intent and was sentenced to eight years and six months in a young offenders’ institute.
Investigating Officer Robert Rollins of Worthing Investigation Team said: “Shepherd took an immediate dislike towards the victim and the verbal abuse she shouted was abhorrent.
“The attack, understandably, caused the victim a huge amount of stress, pain and worry and I hope this sentencing provides closure for him.
“Shepherd’s previous bad character and the homophobic aspect of the assault allowed the judge to provide a higher sentence.
“We hope this statement will be a stark warning to everyone that this behaviour is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

  1. Gilbert Bligh Reply

    I do not see why the courts can pass a higher sentence because the motive is homophobic. Any unprovoked assault such as this merits the same sentence, regardless of the motivation – you can be assaulted for any number of reasons…. being straight does not make it any less painful or life-changing… or meriting a lighter sentence for the perpetrator.

    • Matthew Jones Reply

      Because the attack was motivated by homophobia, it wasn’t a random attack.

    • Daniel Harris Reply

      Because LGBT are minority, we are often a visible minority in the case of the man who was assaulted. There have been a spate of incidents and we as a city of sanctuary must clamp down. She is not a resident in the city and others in her area face homophobia, they come here to feel safe not get assaulted for who they are.

      Let’s hope next time she realises, saying that I am a great believer in restorative justice, and giving people an opportunity to see the impact and what role compassion can play in preventing future issues.

      If they use this and they reoffend on a similar offence then they should be prosecuted for both incidents, due to not changing or potentially using a victim for so called freedom.

  2. Jason Reply

    Gilbert Bligh – I agree. Physical attacks can never be justified, and what we’re no longer allowed to remember is that homosexuality used to be illegal. If it was mentioned at all, it was as something distasteful.

    Attitudes have changed. Whether that’s for the better or worse is for the individual to decide, but to physically attack someone who isn’t a direct threat to one’s own safety can never be justified.

    Same sentence whatever the motivation though. As you say, a ruined life is a ruined life, and it doesn’t make any difference to the victim what was in the mind of the attacker.

  3. Billy Reply

    Just to clear up the misunderstanding here – for Gilbert and Jason – if you attack someone that is obviously a bad thing, but your motivation is also important and relevant when we assess the seriousness of the crime.
    If a wife attacks an abusive husband then she might be seen as ‘fighting back’, so there are possible mitigating circumstances.
    If you just hit someone because you are a bully and you can, then that is pretty bad, and you will be sentenced accordingly.
    But if you hit someone purely because they are, say, black or an immigrant – or in this case gay – then that is a worse attack which society has decreed is unacceptable because it’s not just violence, but violence based on hate. So this is an attack and it’s a hate crime.
    It’s also worth pointing out that times change and the values of an earlier age are not relevant.

    • Gilbert Bligh Reply

      I have a perfectly clear understanding of this incident and I do not want denigrate it because the victim is gay. I wish him well and hope he can put this behind him and that this ‘girl’ has received an appropriate sentence.
      It seems to me that the ‘girl’ may possibly have attacked anyone that day regardless of their disposition and therefore any sentence meted out to her should be the same because people like this are filled with hate to whomever they attack.
      She also must have some mental disorder even though she was probably drunk at the time

  4. Owe Syred Reply

    I am in fact the victim of this assault & I was targeted solely because I had stickers on my shirt from the pride parade. This female & her mother & two young siblings ASSUMED I was gay. In fact Im not but the assumption and the subsequent attack by this individual is still a Homophobic hate crime. This female has history of violent attacks on vulnerable people & at the time of her sentencing she was in prison for another vicious attack on a homeless women who was stabbed in Worthing. She was also on a two year ban from Worthing & lancing town centers for assaults on vulnerable people.
    Mental illness & drunkenness were not factors in the assault upon me, just some people are bad through & through. It took Police over two months to ask her in to be arrested even though he was named at the scene.She was allowed to be in on the streets & to commit more crimes since the attack on me. Do you think if a man had assaulted a women in a supermarket in front of witnesses he would be arrested at the earliest opportunity and rightly so. So why would the Police & the courts assume a female is a less likely risk to the public than a man. There are many victims of this individual including her un born baby who will be born in prison.

    • Gilbert Bligh Reply

      Thanks for your statement and facts – a terrible and sad indictment of modern society almost beyond belief.
      I wish you well on your road to recovery

  5. Tony Greenstein Reply

    there is a very good reason why targeting someone because of a protected characteristic such as race/nationality/sexual orientation should be an aggravated offence. Any assault is of course wrong though sometimes there are mitigating factors such as provocation.

    Someone who is a member of a particular minority, sexual, ethnic etc. is particularly vulnerable because of what they are. That is what they are being attacked for, not because they possess money or valuables etc. Racism and homophobia or attacks on disabled people are rightly seen as more serious than someone attacking you for your watch or valuables.

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