Two young adult brothers who brutally attacked a trans woman “for a laugh” in the United Kingdom have been given only suspended sentences by Taunton Crown Court, meaning they will not be imprisoned unless they re-offend.
The attack was recorded by a CCTV camera; at 6:30 PM on March 27, 2013, twenty-three-year-old Nathan Statton and twenty-four-year-old Luke Statton were walking past the woman’s home, whom they knew before she began transitioning, when Luke kicked a sign over.
According to Bridgewater Mercury, the woman angrily ran out of the house to confront him, and Nathan knocked her over with a punch. While she lay on the ground, Luke kicked and stomped on her.
When questioned by the police afterwards, Luke described the assault as “having a laugh.”
At their sentencing, Judge Eric Salomonsen told them, “I have seen the CCTV of this unprovoked attack. I have no doubt homophobic remarks were used. Luke Statton, you pushed home this assault by kicking and standing on her. If either of you put a foot out of line for the next two years you know what is going to happen.”
Despite both the evidence and the judge’s belief in their guilt, Luke was only given a suspended sentence of eight months, while Nathan was given a suspended sentence of five months. They were also ordered to pay the victim a total of £350 (about $700 USD) each and all court fees.
The United Kingdom considers racially or religiously motivated attacks to be hate crimes, but has no similar laws regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.