The Daily Mail reports:
Howett had been drinking heavily and was sitting on a bench waiting for a train to arrive at Basildon station when a group of three men carrying pints of beer joined the platform at around 11.15pm on Sunday, June 24.The trio had been celebrating after one of them found out he was set to become a father for the first time.
But Howett became annoyed with their rowdy behaviour and shouted at them to shut up. Two separate scuffles broke out, during which a homophobic comment was made by the victim, who also sustained a bite mark from Howett.
Howett then went back to the bench and took a pair of hairdressing scissors out of his bag before approaching the group for a third time and stabbing the victim close to his right shoulder blade.
According to his attorney, Chris Witcombe, Howett was long a victim of anti-gay bullying and had just broken up with an abusive boyfriend.
“By the time he got to the train station the situation was extremely raw and whilst that doesn’t excuse his behavior it puts it into context,” Whitcombe said.”He would normally get up and walk away and had never confronted anybody before, but whatever had taken place previously was the catalyst and he reacted extremely badly.”
Howett pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
“It may be and I accept it probably was the case that one of the young men made a homophobic comment towards you,” said Judge David Owens. “That must have been hurtful but unfortunately you reacted very badly when it would have been easier to distance yourself from the group.”