English Schoolgirl Found Guilty in Anti-Gay Killing
An English court found 18-year-old Ruby Thomas guilty in the beating and kicking death of an openly gay 62-year-old civil servant last year, British newspaper the Telegraph reported on Dec. 17.
The Telegraph described how police found the victim’s blood on the former schoolgirl’s bag and on her shoes, which were described as ballet pumps. The court was told that Thomas was smiling as she kicked and stomped the victim, whom she called a "fucking faggot" even as she assailed him. The press noted that Thomas had been a student at a private girls’ school.
Thomas and two others--Joel Alexander, 20, and Rachael Burke, 18--were all convicted in the death of Ian Baynham, whom they attacked in London’s Trafalgar Square on Sept. 25, 2009. The teens reportedly struck and kicked Baynham while uttering anti-gay epithets. The court heard that Thomas herself screamed "Fucking faggots!" as she kicked Baynham, after Alexander had knocked the older man to the ground. Prosecutor Brain Altman described a scene in which "Shocked onlookers saw repeated stamping to his chest and forceful kicks to his head."
According to media reports, the three teens were acting rudely and shouting profanity. When Baynham and his friend walked past the youths, they shouted anti-gay taunts at the men. Baynham responded, "No, I don’t want to sleep with you, love!" according to a Dec. 17 article in British newspaper the Daily Express. Alexander then punched Baynham, knocking him to the sidewalk and fracturing his skull; the three teens commenced kicking Baynham at that point.
Baynham had just been hired as a civil servant with the U.K. Border Agency after a long job hunt, the media reported. He was out with a friend to celebrate when the encounter took place. Baynham’s friend attempted to intervene in the attack, but was restrained by an onlooker who did not understand the situation and thought that one of the girls was under attack.
According to media reports, Ruby stomped on Baynham’s head several; times during the attack. After pummeling Baynham, the group moved off, telling the friend not to follow them of they would "knock [him] out." The three were later arrested at a London residence.
Baynham suffered brain damage in the attack and was on a respirator for two and a half weeks. Baynham died on Oct. 13, 2009.
The court heard that the youths were drunk at the time of the attack. The next day, Thomas boasted on Facebook about having taken part in the beating. Thomas and Alexander were both convicted of manslaughter on Dec. 16. Burke had already been convicted and sentenced of affray. The three will all face sentencing next month.