In the 21st Century where would you expect to hear about a gay man being beaten, burnt alive and tied to a lamppost to die?
You wouldn’t expect it to be in the UK, you wouldn’t expect it to be Scotland. But this is what happened to Stuart Walker in Cumnock, Ayrshire between the hours of 2:30 – 4:50 am on Saturday morning.
Strathclyde Police are currently not saying that this is a homophobic murder, however they do not believe this was a random attack. However, the pure fact that it would appear that Stuart was set alight while still alive seems to suggest that this is a case of more than one person being involved in beating him and setting him alight. The foulness of the method of, and I’m not going to mince words, execution of the man suggests some truly hate filled motive to the murder.
To be set alight in an industrial estate after a night out is not the way anyone should die, the speculation of course is that it may well be a homophobic based motive is horrifying. A number of gay men have in recent months been killed in Edinburgh, but this has happened in Ayrshire, indeed in one of the rural towns, hardly a murder capital of Scotland.