His two assailants, Thomas Pickford and Scott Walker, pleaded guilty to the murder of Dobrowski at the Old Bailey criminal court on May 12 2006 and sentenced to life imprisonment on June 16 2006 with a minimum of 28 years to be served. Both men had been involved in an attack against a gay man two weeks prior to the murder of Dobrowski. Walker had been out on license due to threats against his mother but the license had expired the day before the murder, however, it had not expired at the time of the previous homophobic assault.
This was a landmark case in Britain, where Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was utilised in sentencing the killers. This Act empowers courts to impose tougher sentences for offences motivated or aggravated by the victim's sexual orientation in England and Wales. The trial judge was His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC.
In an interview with The Times the bouncer for the club that Dobrowski worked at said, "if you had met this gentleman, you would know him to be a fresh-faced young man who never said a nasty word to anyone, even to the drunks who came in off the street. That was his way: a kind, sweet guy. After the sentencing of Pickford and Walker, Dobrowski's family made a joint statement describing him as, "an intelligent, funny, hardworking and beautiful man, whose life was brutally and mercilessly punched and kicked from him.
Police say there was a short exchange of words before Pickford started to throw punches at Dobrowski. Walker then joined in the attack. One witness who intervened was warned off and told, "We don't like poofters here and that's why we can kill him if we want." They then continued their attack for an unknown length of time whilst, according to witnesses, continually throwing homophobic insults.
The injuries that were left were so severe a pathologist was unable to identify how many times he had been hit, however did identify 33 areas of injury to the head, face, ears and neck. Dobrowski had to be identified by fingerprints. A police officer who arrived at the scene of the crime described him as, "a bloody swollen pulp. He was unconscious when found in the early hours of Saturday 15 October and died from his injuries later in hospital. There was a lot of media attention on the attack due its brutality, a lot of attention was placed on Dobrowski's sexuality and this being considered a hate crime. Police eventually tracked down the murderers who both eventually confessed on May 12 2006 and given a life sentence with a minimum of 28 years. In January they originally denied committing the offence.
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