Pair convicted of homophobic killing

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A 20-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were convicted today of the manslaughter of gay man Ian Baynham.

Ruby Thomas and Joel Alexander, both of south-east London, are facing jail.

Mr Baynham, 62, died 18 days after he was attacked in Trafalgar Square in September 2009.

The Old Bailey heard this month that he had suffered homophobic abuse before being knocked to the ground and then kicked and stamped on.

The assault was described as a “Clockwork Orange-style” attack.

Mr Baynham suffered severe head injuries and never regained consciousness.

Alexander and Thomas were found guilty of manslaughter and affray in a retrial. The jury in the previous trial could not agree on a verdict.

Rachel Burke, who was also present at the attack, was cleared of assault but found guilty of affray at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC told the court that Ms Thomas had drunkenly hurled anti-gay abuse at the pair and Mr Baynham had confronted her.

Ms Thomas is said to have lashed out at Mr Baynham and he retaliated towards her friend, Rachel Burke, the jury heard.

The court was told that Mr Alexander then knocked Mr Baynham to the floor with a punch to the jaw.

As he lay on the floor, the girls are said to have kicked him and stamped on him.

Mr Alexander admitted punching the older man but said he struck out to protect the girls.

Mr Baynham died from head injuries sustained when he hit his head on the pavement, the court heard.

Thomas, a former private school pupil, already has a conviction for violence after assaulting a bus driver in 2007.

Thomas, Burke and Alexander will be sentenced in the New Year.