Hate Crime Punch Against RuPaul’s Drag Race Star: Scaffolder Receives Suspended Jail Sentence

LIVERPOOL, UK – A man who was found guilty of a hate crime for punching a drag star has been given a suspended jail sentence, according to the Liverpool magistrates. The defendant, Alan Whitfield, 51, was charged with physically assaulting James Lee Williams, 31, who is known by the stage name The Vivienne and won the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. As a result of the attack, Williams, who also competed in the reality show Dancing on Ice, sustained a bruised jaw that caused discomfort for a week. Whitfield, a scaffolder from Everton, Liverpool, subjected Williams to verbal abuse before delivering the punch.

In sentencing Whitfield, District Judge Paul Healey condemned his behavior as “appalling” and highlighted the hate crime aspect, stating that the attack was motivated by hostility towards the victim’s sexual orientation. The judge also emphasized that the assault took place in a public area at midday, in the presence of children who had to be moved to safety. However, the judge decided against immediate imprisonment due to Whitfield’s lack of relevant prior convictions and the impact his absence would have on his ailing mother, for whom he serves as the primary caregiver.

Whitfield received a 12-week suspended jail sentence and will be under a two-year restraining order that prohibits any contact with Williams. He is also required to complete mental health treatment sessions and rehabilitation activity days with the probation service. Additionally, he has to pay £300 in compensation to the victim and £454 in court costs.

Williams, in a victim personal statement read to the court, expressed his concern over the possibility of being attacked simply for being true to himself as a proud gay man. Whitfield, on the other hand, disputed the claim that the assault was motivated by Williams’ sexuality and alleged that it stemmed from an angry reaction to a comment about his own skin.