A High Court Judge imposed a five-year jail sentence on Anthony Joseph who killed a relative following continuous homophobic attacks by the now dead cousin, Gavin Edwards.
While sentencing Joseph, Justice Iain Morley said, “This court accepts that Joseph was being persecuted by Edwards for three years, and who had two weeks earlier chased him with a gun, all because Edwards believed Joseph to be gay. Let this be clear: attack on the grounds of perceived sexual orientation is completely unacceptable. A strong message must be sent to the public.”
Joseph admitted last year that he stabbed his cousin during a fight in Point where they lived.
He was sentenced this week, and the judge said he would be eligible for release after serving two thirds of his five-year sentence if he is of good behaviour while behind bars.
He has already spent two years on remand, and Justice Morley added that the time is to be taken into account.
After Joseph pleaded guilty to manslaughter, the prosecutor, Rilys Adams, provided the court with the details from the evidence file.
It was said the convict and the deceased got into a fight following three years of attacks by Edwards simply because he thought Joseph was “gay.”
Joseph stabbed Edwards once with a pair of scissors as soon as his cousin released him from a headlock.
The convicted man, who said he found the weapon at the scene, also said he had no intention to kill anyone, only to injure, even after he had been struck on the head with a bottle.
The bottle broke and injured him, leaving glass fragments embedded in his scalp.
Justice Morley ruled, “For the manslaughter of your cousin … in light of your plea, good character and remorse” the sentence is five years imprisonment.
The judge further said, “Willingly engaging in confrontation and fighting over name-calling is intolerable. You may reflect [that] you should have walked away when MJ intervened.”
He said it was important to note that the manslaughter arises from an unlawful act, namely a retaliatory stab in a fight in which Joseph freely engaged, and the intent during the single stabbing action was to cause harm, not in self-defence.