Gay bar criticises hate crime response

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A publican has criticised local police for not doing enough to stop hate crime in Northampton.

Matt Morris, landlord for the Boston Clipper gay bar, is arranging a memorial event for a customer who was murdered last July after leaving the venue.

Michael Fardon was found 200 yards from the venue behind a dumpster with broken ribs and head and facial injuries, his family were unaware that the 45 year old was gay.

His parents now want to celebrate his life and raise awareness of hate crime through a charity evening at the Boston Clipper next Sunday.

Mr Morris told “I was unhappy with the response of the police at the time and the fact that they only have five hate crime officers in a town as large as this.

“It shows that people think we have equality with civil partnerships but there are other issues.”

A spokesperson for Northamptonshire Police told “We do have a number of specialist hate crime investigators who are specially trained, but any officer can deal with all victims of crime.”

A spokesman for the Kiss Goodbye to Homophobia event said: “The family want to experience the gay scene and come to terms with the life that Michael led.”

“I felt very strongly in doing something for Michaels family, I didn’t want them to end up thinking that they never really knew a part of Michaels life being gay and it was the fact that him being gay ended up in his death.

“Although nothing can ever compensate for their loss, I don’t want them to be left with just those feelings.”

It will include live entertainment from acts such as the Cheeky Girls as well as speeches by Colin Lill, the Mayor of Northampton and Peter Maddison the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police.

A 19-year-old man will appear before Northampton Crown Court in October charged with Fardon’s murder.

Kiss Goodbye to Homophobia starts at 8pm in The Boston Clipper, College Street, Northampton on Sunday 17 September 2006