Gay U.K. Hairdresser Sentenced for Scissor Stabbing
A gay British hairdresser has been slapped with a two and a half year jail sentence for stabbing a man with a pair of scissors. The 26-year old committed the act after upon hearing anti-gay remarks made by the stabbing victim, the Daily Mail (U.K.) reported.
On Sunday, June 24 Lee Howett was waiting for his train in Essex, England, after a night of heavy drinking. He was waiting on a bench at the train station’s platform when a group of three men carrying beer came near him around 11:15 p.m. The men were celebrating but Howett became annoyed with how loud they were and told them to shut up.
Apparently, Howett’s remarks sparked the men to lash out and two separate fights occurred. At one point, the victim hurled anti-gay slurs towards the Howett, which caused the hairdresser to go back to the bench where he was waiting, grab a pair of scissors out his bag before he approached the men for a third time.
Howett then stabbed the man in the right shoulder blade.
After the incident, Howett waited for the police and confessed to stabbing the man.
"People who use scissors as a weapon in a public place to stab somebody must face imprisonment," Judge David Owen Jones told the hairdresser, who also bit the victim.
The court was told that Howett was upset about a confrontation he had with an ex-boyfriend as the couple broke up two weeks before the stabbing.
"Having been abused by his ex-partner it is right to say that his emotions were running high," Howett’s attorney, Chris Whitcombe, said. "By the time he got to the train station the situation was extremely raw and whilst that doesn’t excuse his behaviour it puts it into context. Howett has been subjected to homophobic abuse since his school days. He has been an openly gay man since his teenage years. He would normally get up and walk away and had never confronted anybody before, but whatever had taken place previously was the catalyst and he reacted extremely badly."
Howett, however, pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent and he was slapped with a two and a half year prison sentence.
"It may be and I accept it probably was the case that one of the young men made a homophobic comment towards you," the hairdresser told the court. "That must have been hurtful but unfortunately you reacted very badly when it would have been easier to distance yourself from the group."