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Increased sentence for homophobic attack

Margate man’s sentence increased to 19 years for homophobic hammer attack on flatmate.

Man has sentence increased to 19 years for violent homophobic attack

Margate man’s sentence increased to 19 years for homophobic hammer attack on flatmate.

The Court of Appeal has increased Joseph Williams’ 14 year sentence to 19 years for trying to murder his gay flatmate Connor Huntley in a hammer attack while he slept.

Connor Huntley, who was 18 at the time of the attack, was hit on the head with the hammer, suffered severe injuries and will never again be able to live totally independently.

Connor Huntley was hit on the head by a hammer in a homophobic attack Credit: Kent Police
Connor Huntley was hit on the head by a hammer in a homophobic attack Credit: Kent Police

He was found on an inflatable bed with a duvet covering most of his body. A claw hammer was embedded in his skull and there was blood on the pillow, the floor and up the door. The hammer caused a depressed skull fracture and a traumatic brain injury. He suffered a brain clot and underwent surgery to remove bone fragments embedded within his brain. Doctors had to remove part of his skull during the operation.

In September this year, Joseph Williams of Margate, Kent was convicted of attempted murder after his trial at the Old Bailey and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment combined with a hospital direction under s.45A of the Mental Health Act 1983 and with restrictions for an unlimited period of time under s41 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

I am pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision to increase the sentence handed to Joseph Williams. His victim suffered horrific life changing injuries in a vicious hammer attack. I felt that the original 14 year sentence was unduly lenient as it did not reflect the aggravating factors in this case, that the offence was motivated by hostility towards the victim’s sexual orientation and that he was particularly vulnerable at the time because he was asleep and I hope the increased sentence of 19 years sends out a clear message that attacks motivated by homophobia will be dealt with by long prison sentences.

– Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP

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