Two convicted of homophobic killing

Two people who hurled homophobic abuse at a gay civil servant before kicking and stamping on him have been convicted over their part in his death.

Ruby Thomas, 18, of Anerley, south-east London and Joel Alexander, 20, of Thornton Heath, south-east London, were found guilty of the manslaughter of Ian Baynham, 62, who died 18 days after the drink-fuelled assault in London's Trafalgar Square. Police later found Mr Baynham's blood smeared on Thomas's handbag and the ballet pumps she was wearing as she kicked him. The Old Bailey heard she smiled as she "put the boot in to" Mr Baynham after he was knocked to the ground by Alexander.

A third defendant, Rachael Burke, 18, of Upper Norwood, south-east London, was found guilty of affray at an earlier trial. All three will be sentenced on 26 January.

Detective Inspector Paul Barran, who led the investigation, said: "First and foremost, Ian's death was totally unnecessary. The police investigation clearly showed a background of aggressive, drunken behaviour that led to hostile confrontations with others – decency and respect were non-existent."

Mr Baynham's sister, Jenny, said: "My brother was an ordinary, honest, decent man, loved by his family, and his many friends. His only crime seems to have been to stand up for who he was."

The victim's friend, George Richardson, said: "Ian died because he was proud and honest about who he was. I can only hope this will encourage all victims of hate crime to report these to the police."

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