Homophobe who smashed gay flatmate with hammer gets increased jail sentence

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A homophobe who left his gay flatmate with brain damage after hitting him with a claw hammer has had his sentence increased.

Joseph Williams, 21, was jailed for 14 years in September, after attacking 18-year-old flatmate Connor Huntley with a claw hammer as he slept, in the two bedroom flat they shared in Margate, Kent.

Mr Huntley miraculously survived the “life threatening” injuries, but was treated for a depressed skull fracture and traumatic brain injury – and was left with brain damage.

Today, the Court of Appeal ruled that the sentence against Mr Williams had been “unduly lenient”, increasing it by five years.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP told PinkNews: “I am pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision to increase the sentence handed to Joseph Williams.

“His victim suffered horrific life changing injuries in a vicious hammer attack.

“I felt that the original 14 year sentence was unduly lenient as it did not reflect the aggravating factors in this case, that the offence was motivated by hostility towards the victim’s sexual orientation and that he was particularly vulnerable at the time because he was asleep.

“I hope the increased sentence of 19 years sends out a clear message that attacks motivated by homophobia will be dealt with by long prison sentences.”

Claw Hammer
Connor Huntley was hit at least twice with the claw hammer

The Court heard in September that Mr Williams had been heard making derogatory comments about gay people, and that he was from a Catholic background.