Lancashire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service are to carry out a review into how an unprovoked assault against a teenager was dealt with after relatives raised concerns.
Preston man Michael Kellett, 41, called his young, short-haired victim a ‘gay boy’ as the victim sat in Preston Bus Station, chatting on the phone to a friend.
He then launched a violent attack on the 17-year-old, raining kicks and blows - including to the head - until a good Samaritan stepped in to stop him and called the police.
Despite his homophobic comment, Kellett, of Stanley Croft, Woodplumpton, was only charged with a simple common assault, rather than it being treated as a hate crime - which allows prosecutors to apply for an uplift in sentence.
He was given a fine and rehabilitation activity.
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A police spokesman today said: “If the victim and her family feel we haven’t dealt with this case appropriately, and have fallen short of their expectations, then we apologise wholeheartedly.
“We will now carry out a review of this case, with colleagues from CPS, and as part of this will identify where our staff may need extra training.
“We would like to stress that we take all reports of hate crime seriously and anyone who has been a victim of this type of crime should report it to us in the knowledge they will be treated professionally and sensitively.
“For more information on hate crime, and how to report it to us, please see our website here: https://www.lancashire.police.uk/contact-us/how-do-i-report-a-crime/report-a-hate-crime/”