Prison sentence for man who committed ‘completely vile’ transphobic attack

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

A man who committed a “vile” transphobic attack has been sentenced to two months in prison.

Philippa Baker, a trans woman, was buying groceries at the self-serve checkout of her local supermarket in Caterham, Surrey, when she was attacked.

Darren McClean, 38, of Highdown Lane in Sutton, shouted hateful, transphobic comments at Baker during the incident last month.

She went up to McClean and asked him to stop the abuse, but he continued – and also began taking pictures of her on his mobile.

He was eventually removed from the supermarket by security staff, with Baker reportedly left shaken by the attack.

After the incident, McClean posted the images he took of Baker on Facebook, where he continued to make transphobic comments.

McClean pleaded guilty at Guildford Crown Court to using abusive behaviour to cause harassment, and was sentenced on Friday.

In a statement following the sentencing, Baker called the comments thrown at her by McClean “completely vile.”

She recalled: “He spoke with such hatred which I have not been subjected to previously.

“I was just minding my own business, paying for my items, when I was caught off guard by the abuse”.

“I would like to thank PC Kara Lyford and Surrey Police for their support and reassurance throughout the case.”

PC Lyford said that Baker “was subjected to an awful ordeal whilst simply going about her day-to-day life.

“McClean not only verbally abused her, but then proceeded to threaten her and take pictures of her without her consent.

“When she asked him to stop, he refused, continued to hurl abuse and made extremely offensive and unacceptable comments.”

She added that “as a result Philippa has suffered a great deal and has feared for her personal safety.

“I would like to reassure the residents of Caterham and particularly our LGBT+ communities that we do not tolerate hate crime in any way. We take all reports of hate seriously and will take action.

“This sentencing result will hopefully give Philippa a sense of justice that she deserves.”

McClean was also sentenced to 10 months in prison for breaching his suspended sentence, after he was found guilty of a burglary in Redhill in February 2016.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.