Man who stood by as friend stabbed gay man in hate-fuelled attack near Northampton nightclub jailed

A man who stood and watched as his friend stabbed a man in a homophobic attack close to a Northampton nightclub has been jailed.

Perry Bentley, 23, watched as one of his friends stabbed a young gay man twice in the belly in a hate-fuelled stabbing near The Boston in August 2018.

But rather than help the victim, he got into a fight with the man's partner and ended up dislocating his own shoulder while judo-throwing him.

Northampton Crown Court heard today (March 22) how Bentley then limped away through the park in St Katherine's Gardens and tried to throw away a Stanley knife he had been carrying. However, he was arrested shortly after.

A 17-year-old man who was found guilty of carrying out the stabbing was also present in court but will be sentenced on May 23.

However, the victim in the case took the stand to tell his attacker how the stabbing had devastated his life and self-confidence.

The victim said: "When I first saw my scars in hospital I cried for over an hour at what these men had done to me.

"I have frequent flashbacks... I have nightmares of a man in my room at night.

"I have been left a shadow of my former self... I used to be outgoing and confident but I find going out just makes me anxious. I don't think I will ever be the same."

When Bentley saw the victim of the stabbing was in court, he grinned at the man and flashed him a thumbs up. The victim looked away.

During the trial, a picture taken on Bentley's phone a few months before the attack was shown to the jury. It showed the 23-year-old posing with a machete alongside the 17-year-old attacker in the case.

Bentley claimed the photo was a cover for an anti-knife-crime song he was working on.

But today, Bentley - from Isleworth, Hounslow - was jailed for 20 months for possessing a bladed article in public.