UK: Two men jailed for five and a half years over homophobic claw hammer attack

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Two men who threatened their victims with a claw hammer and made homophobic remarks towards them in East Sussex have been jailed.

Simon Young, 40, of Eastbourne, and Gary Barney, 39, of Peacehaven, were sentenced to five and a half years at Lewes Crown Court last month.

The court heard that two men were walking to the Wish Towers Slopes on Eastbourne seafront at around 1am on 16 July last year, when they were approached by Young and Barney.

Sussex Express reports they threatened the pair with a claw hammer and demanded cash and their mobile phones.

Young and Barney made homophobic comments towards them and punched one of them in the face.

The pair then forced them to start walking back to their home with the intention of stealing property from them.

However, the victims managed to get away.

Young was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon, kidnap, attempted robbery and assault.

Barney was convicted of kidnap and attempted robbery.

Sussex Police say the sentence sends out a clear message that hate crime in whatever form will not be tolerated.