Homophobic attack leaves victim scared to go out alone
TEENAGER Andrew Macey says a barbaric homophobic attack has tainted his view of Gloucester and has left him scared to leave his home.
The 18-year-old Gloucestershire College student was mugged in Gloucester Park, just yards from his house, in a brutal attack which left him bruised and shaken.
His attacker Joel Campbell, 18, of Emerald Close, Tuffley, who also stole his phone and wallet, screamed homophobic insults at Andrew during the assault.
Andrew, who moved to the city a year ago and lives in Weston Road, said ever since the attack, which happened in January, he has been afraid to go outside and it has ruined his view of the city as a whole.
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"I grew up in a rough area of Kent and nothing like this has ever happened to me before," said the video games design student.
"I was shocked that something like that happened to me here, and it has definitely changed the way I see the area. It has left me scared to walk outside the house on my own. I don't walk through the park anymore, I go the long way around."
Andrew and his fiance Mark Griffiths are now desperate to move to another part of the city.
"We just want to get out of here," added Andrew. "I can't walk anywhere now without Mark."
Meanwhile, Campbell was sentenced to 12 months' detention in a young offenders' institution for the crime at Gloucester Crown Court.
The court heard how he spat phrases including "Gay Bruv" as he grabbed Andrew by the throat and pushed him against metal railings, bruising his back.
"I was just walking to college when it happened," said Andrew.
"He ran towards me and asked me if I had any credit, which I thought was a bit weird.
"There was an accomplice with him too, a girl who I assume was keeping watch or something.
"Then he attacked me and stole my phone and wallet."
Andrew's fiance Mark utilised his technical know-how and tracked the stolen phone using his laptop, which led to another arrest when it was found for sale in a shop in Station Road.
Andrew added: "Mark has helped me so much. Especially initially as I was in so much shock I didn't know what to do."