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Homeless man sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work following homophobic attack

Joel O'Hara reportedly assaulted a police officer in Hastings due to their sexual orientation

By Steve Brown

A homeless man has been sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work following a homophobic attack on a police officer.

Joel O’Hara, 25, of no fixed address, appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court at the end of February where he pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.

According to a court document, magistrates found the attack was aggravated by homophobia based of the presumed sexual orientation of the victim.

O’Hara was handed a community order with a requirement of 150 hours of unpaid work. The sentence was increased from 120 hours due to the homophobic element.