A 25-year-old man in England was sent to jail for five years earlier this week following his conviction for a brutal homophobic assault that left a gay man unconscious in the street.
According to Sussex police, Aaron Rhoods was part of a group of men who attacked the unnamed victim in Brighton in 2018. The two men were arrested a short time later and were convicted this past June after numerous court hearings. The accomplice, Celso Dias, 22, was sentenced to a supervision order for two years.
"These convictions shows that despicable hate crimes such as this will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be brought to justice," police constable Russell Smith said in a statement.
Police say Rhoods, Dias, and a group of men encountered the victim in Kings Road, Brighton, in the early morning of Sunday, October 18, 2018. The group hurled anti-gay rhetoric at the victim, who was 32 at the time, before they cornered and attacked the gay man. He was struck over the head with a bottle, causing the man to lose consciousness. The group left the man bleeding in the street, and he was still unconscious when police and paramedics arrived.
Rhoods and Dias were arrested a short time later in the area after they were discovered checking door handles on cars. Police said the men matched the descriptions of the attackers provided by witnesses. Rhoods and Dias were charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Both men were found guilty following two years of delays and court hearings. Rhoods received a much harsher sentence than his accomplice, indicating the severity of his actions.