Published: 00:00, 26 August 2016
| Updated: 09:27, 26 August 2016
Neighbourly Colin Duncan thought he would show kindness to an ex-prisoner who had moved in next door.
But that good deed resulted him in being beaten with fists, feet, a bottle and having his ear bitten off - all because he is gay.
Now his attacker, Ryan Kilgariff, 21, has been given a 12 year sentence for the vicious homophobic attack in Folkestone in which the terrified victim feared he was about to be murdered.
Judge Adele Williams told the thug, who pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent: “All Mr Duncan was doing befriending you because you had shortly been released from prison.
“I have seen the photographs of the injuries – they are quite shocking. This was a grave offence.”
Canterbury Crown Court heard how in March this year Kilgariff had gone to stay at a house in Cheriton Road Folkestone after serving an 80-day sentence for attacking his mother.
Prosecutor Matthew Hardyman said Mr Duncan invited Kilgariff around for a drink and they drank a bottle of vodka together before buying more bottles of lager.
But at midnight when Mr Duncan said he was going to bed, Kilgariff launched “a sustained attack” on him, said the prosecutor.
“It resulted in Mr Duncan’s right ear being severed and throughout the attack Kilgariff referred to his victim as being ‘queer’ and gay.
“Mr Duncan is gay but he had no idea that Kilgariff was homophobic, “ he added.
Mr Hardyman said the victim needed 20 stitches for his injuries and surgeons were able to re-attach part of his severed ear.
“Mr Duncan cannot remember how many blows from the beer bottles were rained down on him as he protected himself with a blanket.”
The prosecutor said that the attack alerted Kilgariff's partner and the victim pleaded with her to call the police – but she didn’t.
In fact, he was only found the following afternoon when a care worker arrived and described the blood-soaked and broken glass-strewn room as resembling “a crime scene.”
Kilgariff, who has also been convicted for assaulting his partner, was arrested after he was spotted trying to get out of a window.
Mr Duncan later told police: “All I was trying to do was be kind and neighbourly to a man who had just been released from prison. I thought I was going to be murdered.”
Kilgariff was given an immediate nine year jail sentence and the judge added another three to be served on licence when he is released.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Cara Ferguson said: “This was a particularly violent attack that has had a significant effect on the victim.
“It was treated as a hate crime and the significant sentence received by Kilgariff reflects the seriousness with which the court regarded his conduct.
“Kent Police remains committed to stamping out all crime motivated by hate and prejudice.
“Our message is simple; have the trust and confidence to report hate crimes and incidents to the police.”
More by this authorPaul Hooper