Man jailed over gay slur scissors attack at station

Lee Howett

Lee Howett

First published in News

A HAIRDRESSER has been jailed for stabbing a train passenger with scissors because he made a homophobic comment.

Lee Howett, 26, of Cornwell Crescent, Stanford-le-Hope, lashed out at a man who was with a group on a night out.

Basildon Crown Court heard on Tuesday how Howett had been drinking heavily and was waiting for a train at Basildon station when a group of three men joined the platform at around 11.15pm on Sunday, June 24.

Howett became annoyed with their rowdy behaviour and shouted at them to shut up. Two separate scuffles broke out during which the victim sustained a bite mark.

Howett then went back to the bench and took a pair of hairdressing scissors out of his bag before approaching the group for a third time and stabbing the victim close to his right shoulder blade.

The court heard how while enjoying an evening at a pub, Howett had a confrontation with his ex-partner. The couple had broken up just two weeks beforehand following a volatile relationship.

Chris Whitcombe, mitigating, said: “His emotions were running high.

“He 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 badly.”

Following the attack, Howett waited at the station for police to arrive and made a full admission.

He pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent.

Judge David Owen Jones sentenced Howett to two-and-a-half years in prison.

He said: “People who use scissors as a weapon in a public place to stab somebody must face imprisonment.”

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