16-year-old South Asian boy beaten by his family after coming out as gay

16-year-old South Asian boy beaten by his family after coming out as gay
via Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona (representational only)
Michelle De Pacina
January 6, 2023
A 16-year-old South Asian boy from the U.K. was beaten by his family after coming out as gay. 
The parents and older brother of the teen all pleaded guilty to assaulting the 16-year-old at the Blackburn Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The boy’s family reportedly used violence against him while telling him he “could be changed.”
According to prosecution attorney Saleema Chaudhry, the teen was scared for his life after coming out, adding that he was disappointed with their reaction after believing he could maintain a good relationship with his parents.
“At the time he told his mum he was scared, but she ignored him,” Chaudhry said, according to Lancashire Telegraph
The 16-year-old has been placed in foster care, where he reportedly feels accepted.
“He said he is not sure his parents knew what they were doing was wrong. He was sad about what happened, but is happy he has now been accepted for what he is,” Chaudhry added.
Defense attorney Aftab Bakhat argued that the injuries had been “slight” and that the harm done to the child was predominantly psychological. 
“What is clear from the presentence reports is that they both have entrenched views which need to be tackled,” Bakhat told the court. “Their son has come out as gay and they have reacted in a horrible, nasty and violent way which is going to psychologically scar their own son.”
As for the brother’s defense attorney, Peter King, he claimed that the actions toward his sibling were out of loyalty rather than homophobia.
“Unfortunately his parents drew on him to try and make the other boy see things their way,” King said. “On the day he chose to support his parents, not because he thought his brother was adopting the wrong way forward, but out of loyalty.”
District Judge Alex Boyd concluded that the offenses of assault were homophobic by nature due to the child’s sexual orientation.
“He has to move away from his family and friends and is now restarting his life in the care system,” Boyd said. “He is doing well despite your actions and the position you placed him in.”
After pleading guilty, the family members were subjected to a 12-month community order.
They were each ordered to pay a 114 pounds (approximately $138) victim surcharge as well as 100 pounds (approximately $121) each in court costs.
The father was sentenced to 30 days of rehabilitative activity requirements, while the mother and brother were sentenced to 20 days. 
The parents were also sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, while the brother was given 80 hours.
The family was also given a restraining order to prohibit them from having contact with the victim for 18 months.

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