Man ‘beaten to death by brothers for calling one of them gay’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Two men beat a man to death after he called one of them “gay”, a court has heard.

The brothers said it was to “teach him a lesson” after the verbal exchange.

James and Peter Weeks allegedly attacked Ian O’Mahoney and Barry Tatan at a pub in Eltham, south London, on August 28 last year.

The court heard that Mr Tatan, 48, had drunkenly called one of the brothers “gay” at a pub earlier in the evening.

The brothers are alleged to have then followed him to another pub where they targeted him and his flatmate, Mr O’Mahoney.

Prosecuting at the Old Bailey, Tom Kark QC told jurors: “When Ian O’Mahoney tried to help his mate Barry, who was getting a beating from one of the brothers, the other Weeks brother grabbed him by the shoulders and, swinging him around, threw him to the floor.

“So forceful was that swing that it literally lifted Ian’s feet off the ground and his head hit the hard pavement with a resounding thud which was audible to those nearby.”

The brothers did not know either of the men they are alleged to have attacked, and had no provocation to attack other than their apparent offence to being called “gay”, the court heard.

The QC added: “Neither Barry nor Ian put up a fight. Neither was being aggressive and the Weeks brothers had no cause to launch their attack other than the apparent provocation of the words of Barry Tatan earlier in the evening.”

Mr O’Mahoney was able to stagger back to his home, and was still alive the next morning.

Mr Tatan went out to the pub the next day, assuming things were fine, but returned to find he had died from a brain haemorrhage.

He told the court of his regret at not calling an ambulance earlier, having not realised the severity of his injuries.

Peter Weeks, 29, of no fixed address, is charged alongside his brother with manslaughter in that they unlawfully killed Mr O’Mahoney, which they both deny.

James Weeks, 27, of Crayford, also pleaded not guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm, a charge Peter Weeks admitted at a hearing last month.

Mr Kark said: “They were jointly responsible for his death by reason of their unlawful and cowardly assault, provoked as it was by a stupid comment Barry had made.”

The trial continues.