Pair found guilty of ‘homophobic’ manslaughter

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Two people have been found guilty of the ‘homophobic’ murder of a man in one of London’s busiest tourist attractions.

Ian Baynham, 62, from London was repeatedly stamped on and punched outside South Africa House in Trafalgar Square in September 2009. The Old Bailey heard how Joel Alexander, 20, punched Mr Maynham before he fell to the ground and was then stamped on repeatedly by Ruby Thomas, 18. Both were found guilty by a jury of manslaughter.

Another teenager, Rachel Burke, 18, was found guilty of affray at an earlier hearing but cleared of manslaughter.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told the court the girls had been “fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol.” He said: “There is evidence that the female defendants then began putting the boot into Mr Baynham, who was still prone on his back, clearly unconscious and in distress. Shocked onlookers saw repeated stamping to his chest and forceful kicks to his head.”

Mr Baynham, who had just started a job as a Team Leader in Border Control at the Home Office, died 18 days later of his injuries. All three attackers will be sentenced early next year.

Paul Martin, Chief Executive of The Lesbian and Gay Foundation, said after the verdict: “This is a hugely important result, but it is still greatly upsetting that we live in a society where these crimes are still happening and that Ian Baynham is no longer with us.”

Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “The perpetrators of this homophobic attack were educated in Britain’s education system within the last five years – demonstrating how much more needs to be done to tackle homophobia in our schools before it festers into violence on the streets.”

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