A villain who ‘tortured’ a 17-year-old boy in a horrific homophobic assault has been jailed after blaming his behavior on his ‘own repressed sexuality’.
Taylor Knight, 20, used the help of three friends to beat, strangle and set fire to the victim in his flat in Kings Heath, Birmingham, in March this year.
He was assisted by two teenage girls, one of whom threw boiling water at the victim, and an unknown man known as “Ace,” who repeatedly kicked the teen in the face.
Harrowing mobile phone footage was shown at Birmingham Crown Court of the victim on the ground as punches and kicks rained down as the group repeatedly called him “p****”.
The victim – who was also robbed of his phone – contracted post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and told the court in a statement that he was “devastated” after the ordeal.
Knight, who appeared on a link from HMP Brinsford in Staffordshire, turned away as footage of the attack played in court.
He admitted to physical harm, theft and kidnapping of children, and was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison on September 3.
Taylor Knight, 20, beat, strangled and stabbed the victim along with three others in his flat in Kings Heath, Birmingham, in March this year.
Judge Heidi Kubik QC said he was lucky with the Crown Prosecution Service’s “framing” of the case, admitting its criminal powers were limited.
The 15-year-old girl was convicted of theft and assault for the purpose of inflicting actual bodily harm and was sentenced to a juvenile probation service.
No action was taken against the second female, while ‘Ace’ was never identified.
The court heard how Knight was in a relationship with the victim and that the couple communicated regularly via text message.
But things went awry on March 13 when they were in the company of Knight’s friend ‘Ace’, who made homophobic comments to the 17-year-old.
“He was urged and encouraged by this defendant, he did not stop,” said prosecutor Omar Majid.
On March 18, the victim went to meet Knight at his flat in Moss Grove, but on the way he was called by ‘Ace’ – who was waiting at the flat – who again made similar discriminatory remarks, calling him ‘p****’. ‘ and ‘b**** b**’.
There were also two teenage girls at the address.
Majid said: ‘The victim tried to explain that he had a relationship with the defendant as far as he understood.
Knight, who appeared on a link from HMP Brinsford in Staffordshire (pictured), turned away as footage of the attack played in court
“That seems to be the reason for the suspect to become violent.”
Knight threw a sandwich and water at the teen’s face, prompting him to text his brother for help and state his location.
He was then cornered and beaten and kicked to the ground while one of the group happily filmed on a cell phone.
The victim was ordered to take off his shirt and pants as they “dragged him across the flat” before Knight threatened to “rape and burn” him.
They followed the latter by using a spray can and lighter to singe his hair.
At that point, his money, amounting to £25, and his phone were taken from him and the attack escalated.
“The defendant and those with him engaged in conduct that could rightly be described as torture,” Majid said.
‘The suspect then grabbed a wire, hung it around the victim’s neck and strangled him with it.
He then put him in a headlock as ‘Ace’ kicked him in the face.
“They dragged him into the bathroom and let him sit in the tub in cold water and threw cigarette butts at him.”
Knight and Ace then went away to buy drugs, and then the 15-year-old girl pointed boiling water at the victim.
When Knight returned, he threatened to kidnap and stab the young man.
Meanwhile, the victim’s brother, who had frantically tried to reach him, alerted the police who arrived at the flat.
Knight brazenly claimed he didn’t know the victim, but had taken him back to his flat after seeing a beat-up store outside.
Birmingham Crown Court (pictured) had heard of Knight having been in a relationship with the victim and that the couple communicated regularly via text message
Police videos showing a cop talking to the 17-year-old alone showed him shivering and fighting back tears, before nodding bravely to confirm that his attackers were in the same flat.
Majid read out an emotional statement the victim later made, saying that he now had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that the attack had “broken” him and made him afraid to sleep in case he dreamed about it.
Lawrence Selby, defending Knight, clarified that the girl he was not allowed to see visited him that day voluntarily and was not there against her own will.
The attorney stated that his client had a “difficult upbringing” and was diagnosed with autism, ADHD and a personality disorder, but was now receiving effective treatment in prison and off drugs.
As for the attack, Selby told the court that Knight was “visibly excited” when he showed the footage, saying: “There is genuine regret.
“Once he’s explained the impact of his behavior, he says he’s disgusted and ashamed of his actions.”
He argued that the defendant was “motivated not by the victim’s sexuality, but by his own sexuality.”
But Judge Kubik ruled it a hate crime, saying: “This was clearly a homophobic attack on the victim.
“He was subjected to homophobic abuse by the group, including yourself.
“The fact that you chose to participate because of your own repressed sexuality or feelings does not alter the fact that this is a crime in the sense of the act.”