Homophobic attacker jailed

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A man who attacked a gay neighbour leaving him with permanent scars and requiring 114 stitches, has been jailed for five years and 137 days.

The homophobic assault took place when Thomas Bampton, 47, who was drunk and high on drugs targeted Stuart Windsor in Blackpool.

Bampton had been visiting his ex girlfriend, Sharon Lee, who lived next door to Mr Windsor and his partner John Carr, he threatened to either slash her or the gay couple with a knife.

Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court, “He turned to her and said ‘either they’re going to get it or you are going to get it’.

“In a gesture, he ran his finger down Ms Lee’s cheek, saying ‘yes, a nice long one’. She was very frightened.”

Bampton had tried to persuade Mr Carr to drop a previous allegation of assualt but soon became abusive.

Mr Lamberty said: “Mr Windsor was trying to calm him and he rose to shake the defendant’s hand, but Mr Bampton pulled away and told him ‘I’m going to kill you’.”

The victim was slashed twice from his eyebrow to his mouth and from his ear to his neck, he lost two pints of blood.

Simon Newell, defending, said his client, who pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, had a limited recollection of what had happened, “He had had a considerable amount to drink and had inadvertently smoked crack cocaine twice. He thought he was smoking cannabis.

“He doesn’t believe he’s a danger to the public and this attack was wholly out of character.”

Mr Windsor has since moved house to escape the scene of the crime, he said: “Things are slowly getting back to normal, but with him in jail now I can start to feel safe again.

“Bampton has made our lives hell and we want to rebuild what we have lost through all of this. We can put our lives back on track.”

Det Con Lee Wilson, of Blackpool CID, said: “This is a substantial sentence for a vicious and cowardly attack on a vulnerable victim.

“We will not tolerate this or any sort of hate crime.”