Geeling murder shows ‘school homophobia’

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A gay school equality group has accused the media of pandering to homophobia over the reporting of the murder of 11-year-old Joe Geeling.

Sue Sanders, co-chair of Schools Out, who campaign for LGBT equality in education, said this case shows the problems of homophobia between schoolchildren.

Michael Hamer was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the murder of Joe Geeling in a case which appears to centre around a letter luring the boy to the killer’s home.

Ms Sanders said the way the media reports on cases which have elements of homosexuality panders to homophobia, she highlights an example that many reports omit the fact that the boys were at a Roman Catholic school where they were likely to have learned that homosexuality is a sin.

Hamer stabbed his victim three times in the neck and three times in the head after his sexual advances were rejected and then hid the body in a wheelie bin in woods close to the boy’s home, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Judge Mr Justice Richard McCombe accused Hamer of killing the pupil to stop him telling others about the gay advance.

Ms Sanders said the case shows the stigma of homosexuality between schoolboys, she told “What Hamer did was atrocious, but having been in classrooms and seeing what kids say, the assumption is that being gay is appalling.”