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Man jailed for five years after 'despicable' homophobic attack in Brighton

Aaron Rhoods' victim had to be resuscitated by paramedics after being hit by a bottle.

2021-08-18

Words: Alastair James; picture: Sussex Police/Pexels

A man from Surrey has been jailed after leaving a man unconscious in a homophobic attack in Brighton.

Aaron Rhoods, 25, from Waterden Road in Guildford, was jailed for five years at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday (11 August) after being found guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The attack took place at around 3:30am on Sunday 14 October 2018 on Kings Road.

“Hate is not welcome in our city”

According to Sussex Police, Rhoods was one of several men who shouted homophobic abuse at a man before cornering the then 32-year-old victim and hitting him over the head with a bottle causing him to lose consciousness.

The victim had to be resuscitated by paramedics.

An hour later, Rhoods and 22-year-old Celso Dias from Wandsworth, were arrested after being found trying car door handles in nearby John Street.

Both matched witnesses’ descriptions of the attackers. They were later charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Aaron Rhoods (Photo: Sussex Police)

In June, Rhoods was found guilty and ordered to pay a £170 surcharge in addition to his sentence. Police say Dias was given a supervision order for two years.

In a statement, Investigating officer PC Russell Smith with Sussex Police said: "Brighton and Hove is a wonderful, vibrant city thanks in no small part to the incredible diversity and inclusivity of its residents.

"These convictions shows that despicable hate crimes such as this will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be brought to justice.

"We will continue working to show that violence and hate is not welcome in our city and that Brighton and Hove is a safe place for everybody to enjoy."