MX23RW : Friday, December 14 10:48:02

Former Wales captain Gareth Thomas victim of homophobic assault in Cardiff

Former Wales captain Gareth Thomas victim of homophobic assault in Cardiff
© Reuters
The former Wales captain was the victim of a hate crime, but the incident was dealt with by way of restorative justice.

Former Wales rugby union captain Gareth Thomas said he hoped a teenager who attacked him due to his homosexuality would "learn" from the experience.

On Sunday the 44-year-old, who came out as gay in 2009, posted a video to Twitter thanking the police and the people of Cardiff for their support following the attack in the city centre.

He said he had opted to deal with his attacker using restorative justice, when a victim talks to the perpetrator about the harm they have caused, "because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way".

"This morning I have decided to make what I hope will be a positive video," Mr Thomas said.

"Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.

"Why I want it to be positive, is because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved and were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice with the people who did this, because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way.

"Also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me, because there are a lot of people out there who want to hurt us, but unfortunately for them there are a lot more who want to help us heal, so this I hope will be a positive message."

In a statement, South Wales Police said the incident happened on The Hayes in Cardiff city centre on Friday.

"We can confirm a local 16-year-old boy was dealt with by way of restorative justice following the incident at around 9pm.

"Restorative justice was at the request of Mr Thomas and accepted by the teenager who admitted assault and was apologetic for his actions.

"Restorative justice is about putting victim needs at the centre of the criminal justice system, finding positive solutions to crime and encouraging young people to be accountable for the consequences of their actions."


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