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Pair attacked gay couple in homophobic street attack after night out

Calvin McLelland, 20, and James Knots, 16, sentenced to nine months detention each for the attack in Glasgow.

Court: Glasgow Sheriff Court heard the case

Two men who attacked a gay couple on their way home from a night have been jailed for nine months each.

Calvin McLelland, 20, called Dillon Jeffreys a "faggot" before punching him to the ground on McNeil Street, Glasgow.

When Connor Sullivan stepped in to help his partner, McLelland then punched him and he also fell to the ground.

McLelland and 16-year-old James Knots then continued the attack on Mr Jeffreys while he was down, kicking him on the head and body.

Nearby police in plain clothes saw the attack and the pair ran off but were later caught. The two victims were taken to hospital and Mr Jeffreys was found to have a cut to the back of his head and a fractured skull.

McLelland, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, and Knots from Gorbals, Glasgow, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to assaulting Mr Jeffreys to his severe injury, on August 17, 2013 and that it was aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

Apprentice brick layer McLelland also admitted assaulting Mr Sullivan to his injury, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

On Monday, sheriff Sam Cathcart told the pair that "in view of the gravity of these offences" that the only appropriate sentence was custody.

The court heard Mr Jeffreys, 25, and Mr Sullivan, 19, were partners and had been socialising in Glasgow city centre on August 16, 2013.

Just after midnight they made their way home through Gorbals where they saw a group of youths, including the two accused.

Procurator fiscal depute Mark Allan said: "Dillon Jeffreys was asked by a member of the group 'Are you gay?' to which he replied 'Yes'.

"Connor Sullivan was then asked 'Are you gay?' to which he replied 'Yes'. Connor Sullivan then heard the word 'faggot' being used as Calvin McLelland approached and thereafter punched Dillon Jeffrey, knocking him to the ground."

The court heard Mr Sullivan intervened before being punched by McLelland and sent to the ground.

Mr Allan added: "Thereafter James Knots and McLelland were involved in an assault when Dillon Jeffreys was on the ground."

They repeatedly kicked him on the head and body, all of which was seen by two police officers in plain clothes, who were dealing with another incident.

When McLelland and Knots spotted the police they ran off and an ambulance was called for the two victims. At the Victoria Infirmary, Mr Jeffreys had a cut on the back of his head treated with two stitches.

He continued to feel sick and dizzy which was investigated and found to be caused by a skull fracture. The following day was sent home with medication.

Mr Sullivan suffered bruising as a result of the attack on him. McLelland was found at his home address the next day and Knots, the following month.

Defence laywer Laura Anne Radcliffe, representing McLelland said her client had a "hazy" recollection of events. She said: "He recalls seeing what he thought was an altercation involving a friend of his who was involved in a conversation with Mr Jeffreys.

"He recalls what he saw were words being exchanged but accepts he may have been mistaken in that assumption but he accepts he has thereafter approached Mr Jeffreys and punched him."

She said he also accepts punching Mr Sullivan and continuing to attack Mr Jeffreys as well as using the word "faggot".

Neil Kilcoyne, defending Knots, said his client also has a "hazy" recollection. He said Knots recalls a fight between his friend, McLelland and Mr Jeffreys and that he became involved.

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