Teen boy beaten by own family and left ‘scared for his life’ after coming out as gay
A 16-year-old boy was beaten by his parents and his brother after coming out as gay, a court has heard.
Blackburn Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday (4 January) that the victim, who is of South Asian heritage, was scared for his life after having come out to his family.
Members of his family, who have remained anonymous to protect the identity of the victim, reportedly used violence against him while saying he “could be changed”.
His mother, father, and older brother all pleaded guilty to assaulting the 16-year-old and were each subjected to a 12-month community order.
Prosecution attorney Saleema Chaudhry told the court that the victim was shocked at the response by his family, believing he could have a good relationship with them by coming out.
Chaudhry added that he reportedly told his mother that “he was scared” during the incident, but that she ignored him.
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“He is not sure his parents knew what they were doing was wrong,” the attorney added.
The 16-year-old was then taken into foster care following the assault, where he has reportedly “been accepted for what he is”.
Despite the assault charges, defence attorney Aftab Bakhat attested that the physical injuries had been “slight” and that the harm was predominantly psychological.
He told the court that the family has “entrenched views which need to be tackled” and that the parents had used those homophobic views to “psychologically scar their own son”.
Meanwhile, the brother’s defence attorney, Peter King, argued that the actions towards his younger sibling were one out of loyalty rather than predisposed homophobia.
“Unfortunately, his parents drew on him to try and make the other boy see things their way,” he said. “On the day he chose to support his parents, not because he thought his brother was adopting the wrong way forward, but out of loyalty.”
His father was ordered to complete 30 days of rehabilitative activity requirements, while his mother was ordered to complete 20 days. Both were also sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work.
The older brother was also ordered to complete 20 days of rehabilitative activity requirements, and ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work.
Additionally, each of the family members was ordered to pay a combined £342 victim surcharge, as well as £100 each in court costs.
In his closing statement, judge Alex Boyd agreed that the offences were homophobic in nature and had become aggravated due to the child’s sexual orientation.
“He has to move away from his family and friends and is now restarting his life in the care system, he continued. “He is doing well despite your actions and the position you placed him in.”
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