Man jailed after homophobic attack on men who were ‘singing songs from Wicked’

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A man has been sentenced to 13 weeks behind bars – after a homophobic attack on men who were singing songs from the musical Wicked.

It was reported last October that 25-year-old Jean Claude Manseau and a friend were subjected to abuse while travelling into Manchester City Centre on a tram.

After becoming involved in an altercation on the tram, the pair were set upon and horrifically beaten by a gang of men, who have still not been identified.

Mr Manseau was “badly beaten” and required stitches to his face after the attack.

This week, 29-year-old Ian Oldham was jailed over the incident, for shouting abuse at the two men.

The court heard that he branded the pair “gay boys” and “batty boys” – before calling over the group of men who attacked them.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Oldham’s sentence was increased to reflect the homophobic nature of the crime.

David Graham, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “The two victims were subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse and threats of violence both during and after a tram journey into Manchester city centre which was purely motivated by homophobic prejudice.

“The men were in good spirits and looking forward to a night out in Manchester which was soon spoiled by a sequence of events which has greatly affected them since. The actions of Oldham drew the attention of another group of unidentified men, which in turn led to one of the victims being violently attacked in the street.

“Targeting someone because of their sexual orientation is totally unacceptable. The CPS and police are dedicated to tackling hate crime and we will continue to work closely together to bring those who commit such offences to justice for their disgraceful actions.”

Oldham will serve a total of six months behind bars – 13 weeks for the incident, alongside time for a separate domestic violence assault.

Following the assault, hundreds of people attended a ‘Wicked’ sing-along on the trams in protest, led by the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus.