Man who posted homophobic note to gay throuple and set bin on fire sentenced

A court scene
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A man who subjected a gay throuple to homophobic abuse has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Adrian Thompson, of Finney Grove, Haydock, was sentenced at Liverpool Magistrates Court yesterday (13 June 2024).

The court heard how the 54-year-old pushed anti-gay notes through his neighbour’s letterbox last year, calling the men “f*****s”, before setting fire to a wheelie bin, after he refused to hand over rolling papers for cigarettes.

Thompson, who pleaded guilty to arson, must also pay £200 in court costs and finish 20 days of rehabilitation.

Judge David Aubrey KC observed: “There was an altercation between you and your victim, during which you made certain comments that, in the court’s judgement, aggravates the seriousness of this offence. You returned and set fire to the contents of the wheelie bin using an accelerant and a lighter. Fortunately, the contents were attended to almost immediately and so it was… no real harm was occasioned by that which you had done. Nonetheless any form of arson is an extremely serious offence.”

The confrontation began on 12 June 2023, reports the Liverpool Echo.

“Any form of arson is an extremely serious offence”

Commenting, Prosecutor Michael Stephenson said: “He lives across the road from [his victim], who was in a ‘throuple’ with two other men. On June 12 last year, the defendant came knocking on the door asking for cigarette papers. He was told they hadn’t any and told … to leave. The defendant posted some notes through the door.

Stephenson furthermore said: “The offence is aggravated by homophobic abuse. The defendant called the victim and his friends ‘f*****s’ and one of the notes suggested that they had unlawful pornography on a computer. I’m not sure how he could know that, but we point to that as evidence of his hostility.”

Daniel Travers, defending, said: “He regrets his response to the interaction with his neighbours. The positive aspect to all of this is the fact that this offence was committed a year ago and they have continued to live as neighbours without ongoing difficulty. Though this was a completely inappropriate reaction, and all arson is serious, by his guilty plea I hope the defendant has put himself in a much better position.”

Thompson faced difficulties in childhood and battled drug addiction, Travers added. “If he’s sent to custody he will lose his accommodation, he will be left in hostels which he fears will put him in proximity with other drug users,” he went on.

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