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Tasmanians Assail Hate Attacks

Compiled By GayToday

tasmaniamap.jpg - 6.68 K Launceston, Tasmania, Australia--Following the sentencing of three teenagers involved in a hate-motivated attack against two gay men in Launceston's City Park in June 1997 the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group has renewed its calls to overhaul the Government's approaches to homophobic violence.

In the Supreme Court in Launceston on May 6th, Justice Ewan Crawford, sentenced Jay McDonald 17 of Ravenswood to a three month suspended sentence for verbally abusing, kicking and punching two flight attendants aged in their 20s.

Ryan Jones 18 of Invermay and Kylie Battesse 16 of Ravenswood each received 35 hours of community service for their role in the attack.

Justice Crawford told McDonald, Jones and Battese that it had been "sickening to hear what you and your friends did that night. It would be wrong to say that people in your group were acting in the way of animals. To say that would be unfair to other members of the animal kingdom."

He said that some members of the public would think the sentences too lenient, but that the Crown could only prove those charges to which the three had pleaded guilty, and that he could not sentence them for the collective guilt of the gang to which they belonged.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
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Related Sites:
Tasmania Gay & Lesbian Rights Group

Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said that punishing the perpetrators of homophobic violence is not a solution to the problem.

"Perhaps these particular young people have learnt their lesson, but if we are to stop this kind of violence happening again the authorities must develop a whole of Government approach to anti-gay and anti-lesbian hate crime which takes in health, education and the police."

Two other participants in the City Park attack have been remanded to appear in the Supreme Court in June and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of one other.

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