UK: Teen jailed for attacking gay man as he waited for victim outside Co-op shop

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A teenager has been jailed for 21 months for a homophobic attack on a gay man in Hertford.

The Hertfordshire Mercury reports Daniel Keem, 18, attacked his victim after targeting him with a series of homophobic slurs.

Giving evidence at St Albans Crown Court, the victim said he recognised Keem among a group of several youths as he walked into a Co-op store in Fleming Crescent, Hertford.

The victim said: “He shouted [abuse] I just ignored it and walked into the shop. I don’t normally respond to it. It encourages homophobia.”

Inside the shop the victim said the assistant, a neighbour called Lucy, had heard the abuse and asked if he wanted to leave by an alternative exit.

He decided to leave by the front door and heard Keem use another homophobic insult, but continued walking.

The man said Keem has verbally abused him in previous occasions.

As the victim made his way down a road he was approached by two men who pushed him into a bush.

He was then punched and kicked, leaving him with injuries including swelling to the right eye, a cut above the eyebrow and a swollen nose.

On Wednesday, Keem, of Hertford, admitted causing actual bodily harm on 10 October last year.

Recorder David Mayall sentenced him to 21 months’ detention.

Mr Mayall rejected Keem’s claim that he had not used homophobic language during the incident.