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No Prison Time for Teens Who Choked, Robbed Gay Student

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday May 15, 2018

The two teens who reportedly choked and robbed a photography student on a London subway train last December were sentenced on May 11, UK newspaper The Evening Standard reported. The two assailants - whose names were not published due to their ages, one of them being 16 and the other 17 - received no prison time, but were ordered to pay a fine and participate for one year in a monitoring program intended to help rehabilitate youthful first-time offenders.

20-year-old Will Mayrick - who was 19 at the time of assault - told the media that he thought "the sentencing was a little on the light side," but also opined that the youths might not have gotten themselves into trouble in the first place had they received education about diversity in school.

"They were so young, Mayrick said, "and I can't help but think that if they had had some sort of LGBT education then the attack might never have happened."

As EDGE reported the week after the attack took place, Mayrick and several friends were riding the London subway on their way to an event when the two teens - at the time both 16 - boarded the train and began harassing Mayrick's group.

"We'd got a bit of glitter on and they obviously didn't like that," Mayrick told the Evening Standard at the time. "They shouted 'fucking gays' and 'fag,' whatever they could think of.

"Then one grabbed hold of me and got my head in a headlock," Mayrick continued. "The other grabbed my phone and tried to make me apologize for being gay." When Mayrick refused, the teen who had him in the headlock began choking Mayrick, forcing him to apologize. News reports also indicated that the youths threatened to stab Mayrick unless he complied.

The teens also reportedly assaulted one of Mayrick's companions when she tried to intervene and stole Mayrick's phone.

But in speaking to the Evening Standard, Mayrick made it clear that he sees no reason to apologize for being who he is.

"I'm proud of the fact that I'm gay," he said. "I would never want to change."

The teens were ordered to pay £150 apiece in restitution. Mayrick said that he would donate the money to charities that combat homophobia in schools.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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