U.K. Man Sentenced in Gay Hate Crime Killing, Assault
A U.K. man has been sentenced to life in prison for a home invasion and knife attack last March that left one man dead and his same-sex partner severely injured. The couple was reportedly targeted on the basis of their sexual orientation and the fact that they were in a committed, long-term relationship.
South London resident David Kilcullen, 46, was found guilty in the killing of 59-year-old Gerald Edwards, who the court heard was the intended victim of the attack. Edwards was ill and did not work; Kilcullen reportedly expected Edwards to be home alone at the time of the attack. However, Edwards' partner, Chris Bevan, 57, was also at home when Kilcullen broke into their house with a knife. Although Bevan survived, Kilcullen inflicted "catastrophic" injuries on him, the court heard.
Edwards and Bevan had lived in their house in Bromley, a South London neighborhood, for 18 years. Kilcullen reportedly found it "distasteful" that the two were a couple, an Dec. 15 BBC News article said.
A Dec. 16 article posted at Love.com said that Kilcullen ordered the victims to lie down on the kitchen floor. He then proceeded to stab and slash them. Edwards was stabbed four times and died on the spot. Bevan fled the house, but almost died; rescuers performed heart massage on him at the scene in order to revive him.
"I remember the initial impact into my skin and the soreness and my head was spinning," said Bevan. "I thought, 'My God. I have to get out of here or I will die.'"
Bevan also prepared an impact statement in which he wrote, "This mindless act of violence has robbed Gerry and me both of our lives. He did not deserve to lose his life in such an evil and shocking way nor did I deserve to have my life affected in such an enormous way."
"There was at least an undercurrent of homophobic attitude" involved in the attack, Judge Brian Barker said.
Anti-gay crimes are on the increase in the U.K. the BBC News article said, citing a 14% rise in bias-motivated attacks against gays in London since April.