Murder victim Michael Causer

The acquittal of a man accused of killing an 18-year-old gay teenager in the UK in July last year has shocked the victim’s family and community.

Michael Causer – a trainee hairdresser – was beaten while he lay sleeping at a friend’s grandmother’s house in Liverpool after a night of drinking. He was then reportedly dumped on the street.

Despite extensive brain surgery, he never recovered from the beating and just over a week later his family decided to switch off his life support system in hospital.

On Friday, a man accused of taking part in the attack, 19-year-old Gavin Alker, was acquitted by a jury in the Liverpool Crown Court.

Another man, James O’Connor, 19, has admitted to the murder, while Michael Binsteed, 18, admitted to attempting to pervert the course of justice. They have yet to be sentenced.

Alker claimed that he acted in self-defence; but friends and family have dismissed the claim, insisting that Causer was a gentle and slightly-built person.

According to prosecutors, the attack on Causer was sparked off when the other men found pictures of him in the nude on his cell phone. This allegedly led to a “sustained and brutal” homophobic attack.

Causer was left with a fractured skull and a swollen brain. His family have vowed to ensure that justice is done and plan to prosecute Alker privately.

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