Four teenagers who attacked a gay couple in Arnhem a year ago have been given community service sentences as expected.
The ringleader, whom the court said punched one of his victims in the mouth, dislodging five teeth, was given a 160 hour sentence. The three others were given 80 hour community service terms.
The court ruled that the gang was not out to beat up gay people and that the injuries suffered by one of the men was not the result of being hit by a bolt cutter.
It was more likely, the court said, that the man was hit by the ringleader, who is a trained kick boxer and whose hand was proved to be damaged the day after the attack. The teenagers had the bolt cutter with them to steal bikes.
The assault on Jasper and Ronnie Vernes-Sewratan led to a storm of protest in the Dutch media with calls for men to walk hand in hand as a sign of solidarity.
The leading Dutch gay rights organisation, the COC, called for the new coalition to take measures, including tougher prison sentences, to tackle the rising frequency of homophobic attacks.
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