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Boy, 17, beaten, strangled and set on fire

A 17-year-old boy was subjected to a horrifying ‘torture’ attack because he was gay.

The victim’s ex-lover Taylor Knight, 20, led the assault at his flat in King’s Heath, Birmingham, motivated by his own ‘repressed sexuality’.

The teenager was beaten, strangled with a wire and also had his hair burned with an aerosol can and lighter.

Mobile phone footage filmed by one of the attackers of the victim being assaulted was shown at Birmingham Crown Court.

Knight, appearing on a link from HMP Brinsford in Staffordshire, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, theft, and child abduction.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Heidi Kubik QC stated he was fortunate for the Crown Prosecution Service’s ‘framing’ of the case, admitting her punishment powers were limited.

She jailed Knight, of Northfield, for three years and eight months.

Knight had been in contact with the victim from early March last year and they had communicated over text, social media and phone calls, speaking about sex. 

They had also spent a night together.

But things turned bad on March 13 when the pair were in the company of Knight’s friend, nicknamed ‘Ace’, who made homophobic comments towards the 17-year-old.

Prosecutor Omar Majid said: ‘He was egged on and encouraged by this defendant, he didn’t stop it.’

On March 18 the victim went to meet Knight at his flat in Moss Grove, Kings Heath, but on the way was called by Ace who again issued similar discriminatory slurs.

When the victim arrived at the address there were also two teenage girls.

Mr Majid said: ‘The victim tried to explain he was actually in a relationship with the defendant as far as he understood it. 

‘That appears to be the trigger for the defendant to become violent.’

Knight threw a sandwich and water at the teenager’s face, prompting him to text his brother for help and include his location.

He was then cornered and punched and kicked to the ground.

The victim was ordered to take off his shirt and trousers as they proceeded to ‘drag him around the flat’ before Knight threatened to ‘rape and burn him’. 

They then used an aerosol can and lighter to singe his hair.

At that point, his money and phone were taken from him. 

Mr Majid said: ‘The defendant proceeded to take a wire, place it around the victim’s neck and strangle him with it. He then put him in a headlock while ‘Ace’ kicked him in the face.

‘They dragged him into the bathroom and made him sit in the bath in cold water and threw cigarette ends at him.’

Knight and Ace then left briefly to buy drugs, which is when the 15-year-old girl aimed boiling water at the victim. 

When Knight returned, he threatened to kidnap and stab the victim.

Meanwhile, the victim’s brother, who had been frantically trying to reach him, alerted police who arrived at the flat. 

Knight claimed he did not know the victim but had brought him back to his flat after seeing him outside a shop in a beaten state.

Police video showing an officer talking to the 17-year-old alone captured him shaking and fighting back tears, before bravely nodding to confirm his attackers were in the same flat.

Mr Majid read an emotional statement the victim made saying he now had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the attack had ‘broken’ him.

The 15-year-old girl was convicted of theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and has previously been sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order. 

No action was taken against the second female while ‘Ace’ has never been identified.

Judge Kubik ruled that it was a hate crime and said: ‘He was subjected to homophobic abuse by the group including yourself. 

‘The fact you chose to join in because of your own repressed sexuality or feelings does not prevent this being an offence within the meaning of the act.’

Thugs beat and set fire to 17-year-old in homophobic torture attack

The victim’s ex-lover Taylor Knight, 20, led the assault (PIcture: BPM)


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