A man who subjected a YMCA volunteer to “homophobic abuse” and left him in fear has received a suspended jail term.
Kevin Lynch, 48, had become very agitated after seeing Shaun Ferguson kiss his partner.
Lynch later took the victim outside the Ridge Community Centre in Lancaster, where Mr Ferguson worked, and spoke to him in what he found were “extremely distressing and threatening terms”.
The hearing at Burnley Crown Court was told how Mr Ferguson, 20, a respected member of the community, had been left in fear after the confrontation on May 15, 2013.
Lynch, who is unemployed and on benefits, had turned up at the probation office drunk for his pre-sentence report interview. He had been ordered to live out of the area while on bail, can now return, but is banned from the centre. The defendant, of Tamsyke Road, Lancaster, had earlier admitted affray at Preston Crown Court. He last Friday received eight months in jail, suspended for two years. The defendant was also handed an indefinite restraining order, forbidding him from contacting Mr Ferguson directly or indirectly and prohibiting him from entering the Ridge Community Centre or it’s walled gardens.
Lynch was ordered to pay his victim £100 in compensation. Judge Jonathan Gibson said : “I certainly do not think that is full compensation, but is only a token because of the defendant’s limited means.
“This was very clearly an offence motivated as a result of Mr Ferguson’s sexuality. Mr Ferguson himself is a perfectly respectable member of the community and spoken of in good terms in the papers in the case. This was homophobic abuse.”