Homophobic thugs torture former gay magistrate in his own home and force fire poker down his throat

Vince McMahan

A couple tortured gay former magistrate Vince McMahan in his own home, forcing a fire poker down his throat in a vicious homophobic attack, a court has heard.

According to KentOnline, McMahan, a former city councillor and magistrate from Canterbury, was 58 years old at the time of the attack in March, 2019.

He had publicly come out as gay around six months previously, having spent decades in the closet.

Stuart Holland, 45, a carpenter, had been doing some work in McMahan’s home, so the former magistrate “didn’t expect anything was wrong” when Holland knocked on his door with his partner Joanna Bath, 46, Canterbury Crown Court heard on Monday (7 April).

McMahan invited the couple inside, but just minutes later they began to torture him.

Prosecuting, barrister James Ross said the gay man had felt a “weight off his shoulders” when he gave an interview a local paper coming out as gay, but his coming out made him a target for the defendants.

Ross said: “While all sitting in the living room Stuart Holland made a comment about Vincent McMahan’s sexuality.”

Holland then began slapping McMahan, calling him “queer” and a “pervert”, before grabbing a fire poker.

Ross continued: “Holland used that poker to begin striking Mr McMahan’s right leg a few times – this caused cuts and soreness.

“After Holland used the poker, Bath then got up and slapped Mr McMahan a few times, she then took an implement from her handbag and used this to hit Mr McMahan on the back of the head.”

When McMahan tried to escape, he said, “Holland grabbed him and inserted the poker into his mouth, causing him to gag.”

The barrister described the homophobic attack as “gratuitous degradation”.

Vince McMahan, who passed away last year from unrelated causes, said at the time of the attack: “I am shaken by this incident because I wouldn’t expect to be attacked in my own home – I’m also upset about being targeted and attacked because of my sexuality.

“This incident has made me very wary to leave my address in case I bump into [the defendants] in the street.”

Both Holland and Bath pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and theft. A charge of joint enterprise robbery will lie on file.

Bath previously also pleaded guilty to 11 unrelated counts of theft and two of supplying Class A drugs, and her barrister said that she was addicted to drugs at the time of the attack. He insisted she had played a “lesser-role” in the attack.

Holland’s barrister said that the attack was fuelled by money rather than homophobia.

Both defendants remain in custody and will be sentenced on Monday (12 April).