Pair face longer jail sentence for homophobic attack

Gage Vye-Parminter, 18 and Matthew Howes, 19, now face seven years in prison. Picture: Sussex Police

Gage Vye-Parminter, 18 and Matthew Howes, 19, now face seven years in prison. Picture: Sussex Police

Two Crawley men who were jailed for attacking two men in a homophobic attack on Brighton seafront last year have had their jail terms increased.

Gage Vye-Parminter, 18 and Matthew Howes, 19, now face seven years in prison after Solicitor General Robert Buckland referred their sentences to the Court of Appeal.

The pair targetted the couple on May 2 last year.

After shouting homophobic comments, they knocked the couple to the ground and kicked them both repeatedly, a spokesman from the Attorney General’s Office said.

The beating was so severe one victim lost consciousness and both had to be treated at hospital for face and head injuries.

Vye-Parminter and Howes were convicted of grievous bodily harm and assault and were originally sentenced to five years and four months detention to be served in a young offender institution.

The court found that the attacks were ‘motivated by hate’ and agreed that an uplift to the sentence to reflect it was a hate crime should have been imposed, the spokesman added.

Speaking after the hearing, Solicitor General Robert Buckland said: “This vicious attack was totally unprovoked and has left the victims with long-term emotional and physical scars.

“It will take the victims a considerable amount of time to recover from this.

“I thought the sentence was unduly lenient as it failed to adequately take into account that this attack was motivated by hate.

“I hope the court’s decision to impose a longer prison sentence, to include the sentence uplift, sends a clear message to society that such offences will not be tolerated.”

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