Gareth Thomas alleges homophobic attack in video message showing cuts and bruises

A 16 year-old boy admitted the assault and apologised to the former Welsh rugby captain

Lawrence Ostlere
Sunday 18 November 2018 14:05
Gareth Thomas alleges homophobic attack in video message showing cuts and bruises

Former Wales international Gareth Thomas has revealed he was the victim of a homophobic attack in Cardiff city centre.

Thomas, who became the first professional rugby union player to come out as gay in 2009, posted a video message on Twitter with cuts, bruises and swelling around the left side of his face and head.

He did not reveal many details about the attack in The Hayes on Saturday night but explained that he was the victim of a “hate crime”, before thanking the police and local people who offered their support.

“This morning I’ve decided to make what I hope will be a positive video,” said Thomas, who earned 100 caps for Wales and scored 200 points. “Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.

“Why I want it to be positive [is] because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved, who were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice with the people who did this because I though they could learn more that way than any other way.

“And also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me, because there are a lot of people out there who want to hurt us but unfortunately for them there are a lot more that want to help us heal. So this, I hope, will be a positive message.”

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South Wales Police later confirmed that a 16 year-old boy had admitted the assault and apologised to Mr Thomas, who had requested that the matter be dealt with using “restorative justice” rather than pressing charges.

“We can confirm a local 16-year-old boy was dealt with by way of restorative justice following the incident,” the force said in a statement.

“Restorative justice is about putting victim needs at the centre of the criminal justice system, finding positive solutions to crime and encouraging young people to be accountable for the consequences of their actions.”

South Wales Police added that “hate crime has no place in society and has always been a priority.”

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