Homophobic thugs jailed for attacking gay couple

TWO men who attacked a couple on their way home from a night-out because they were gay have been jailed for nine months each.

James Knots at the Sheriff Court Glasgow. Picture: Iain McLellan/Spindrift.
James Knots at the Sheriff Court Glasgow. Picture: Iain McLellan/Spindrift.

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.

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

Calvin McLelland at the Sheriff Court Glasgow. Picture: Iain McLellan/Spindrift

Nearby police in plainclothes saw the attack. The pair ran off but were later caught.

The two victims were taken to hospital and Mr Jeffreys was found to have a fractured skull and a cut to the back of his head.

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 17 August 2013 and that it was aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual 

Apprentice bricklayer McLelland also admitted assaulting Mr Sullivan to his injury and that it was also aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.

Yesterday 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.

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

Procurator fiscal depute Mark Allan said: “Dillon Jeffrey 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 to the ground by McLelland.

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

They repeatedly kicked him in the head and body – all of which was seen by two police officers on plainclothes, 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 he was sent home with medication.

Mr Sullivan suffered bruising as a result of the attack on him.

Defence laywer Laura Anne Radcliffe, representing McLelland said her client had a “hazy” recollection of events.