Brothers found guilty of beating man to death over ‘being called gay’

Two brothers are facing jail time after being found guilty of manslaughter for beating a man to death to “teach him a lesson” after his friend “suggested [they were] gay”.

James and Peter Weeks were found guilty of manslaughter by a jury in nine hours following their trial at the Old Bailey. James Weeks was also found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Peter Weeks had admitted the latter charge.

The brothers had attacked Ian O’Mahoney and Barry Tatan outside the White Hart pub in Eltham in south east London on 28 August 2016.

Mr Tatan, 48, had been targeted by the brothers after he insulted them at another pub earlier that evening by calling one of them “gay”.

But after Mr O’Mahoney attempted to help his friend, the brothers turned on him and he was thrown to the ground hitting his head on the pavement,

Prosecuting, Tom Kark QC told the jury: “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.

He added that Mr Tatan “had suggested, apparently, that James Weeks, who neither man knew, was gay. That caused the Weeks brothers to decide to teach him a lesson.

“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 Tatan and Mr O’Mahoney shared a home together, to which Mr O’Mahoney made his way back, he eventually died after suffering a bleed on the brain.

He had been alive the following morning when found in the hallway by Mr Tatan, but he and his sons had not realised that he was fatally injured.

Mr O’Mahoney died from a brain haemorrhage by the time Mr Tatan returned to their home that morning.

The Weeks brothers had denied manslaughter.

But 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.”

Judge John Bevan said that Mr O’Mahoney’s death had a “devastating effect” on his family.

He added that the victim was “completely harmless” and had been “getting on his feet” before he died.

The brothers are set to be sentenced on Monday morning, 6 March.