A MAN who assaulted his victim because he was gay has been sent to prison.
Zak John Willsmer, of Laburnum Drive, Oswestry, admitted calling Josue David Perez-Castillo a “puff” before punching him while he walked down the street with his partner.
Shrewsbury Magistrates Court heard Willsmer, 21, had taken MDMA (a Class A drug commonly known as ecstasy) and drunk an excessive amount of alcohol on August 21, 2013.
He was with a group of men near Oswestry’s disused railway line when he spotted two men walking a dog.
Sara Beddow, prosecuting, said Willsmer approached the couple with two other men and asked if they were “puffs”. Mr Perez-Castillo said ‘no’ but his partner said ‘yes’.
They were allowed to carry on walking but when they crossed paths again later, Willsmer’s group had grown in size.
Miss Beddow said: “The defendant grabbed hold of Mr Perez-Castillo's crotch and shouted ‘I’ll keep this for myself’ and ‘get home n***er’.
“When the victim told him to shush he punched him.”
Mr Perez-Castillo grabbed Willsmer’s legs and both men went to the ground before the victim suffered a barrage of kicks and punches from about three other men, according to his partner who tried to pull Mr Perez-Castillo from the group but was grabbed by another man in the group and assaulted.
The victim eventually managed to break free and the pair walked away.
He went to hospital as a result of the incident but his injuries were “not long-lasting”.
Willsmer pleaded guilty to the charges of racially and homophobically aggravated assault and a later incident on October 1, 2013, of being drunk and disorderly in a public place, namely Black Gate Street, Oswestry, in which he acted aggressively towards police and swore at them.
Ceri Lewis, defending, said Willsmer had “grown up” since the incident.
She said: “He has expressed genuine remorse and he is now a completely different person to the one I represented last year.”
She told the court that as a 15-year-old Willsmer was told if he didn’t stop drinking at his current rate he would not make the age of 21.
However it had taken a serious car crash in February, in which he suffered a fractured spine, to prompt him to stop drinking.
“The accident put everything in perspective and he now feels he is lucky to be alive,” Miss Lewis added.
“He’s thoroughly ashamed and admits there was no need for this incident.”
Willsmer was sentenced to immediate custody for 23 weeks for the assault, handed a 12-month conditional discharge for the drunk and disorderly incident and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Perez-Castillo.
An existing community order will continue on his release.