A 29-year-old man has been hospitalised with head injuries following a suspected homophobic attack near the junction of Denmark Hill and Camberwell Road in South London.
It is thought that the victim’s injuries are neither life-threatening or life-changing. It’s been reported that some shops in the area have been cordoned off, and blood could be seen on the pavement.
A 19-year-old man was arrested for the attack on the grounds of causing grievous bodily harm, and has since been released under investigation.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: “The incident is being investigated as a homophobic assault following comments made prior to the assault.”
Police are now appealing for witnesses and have urged anyone with information to call 101 quoting reference CAD 1376 of July 14, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
There has been a rise of the number of homophobic attacks in England, with the number of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes doubling in the past five years in England and Wales.
There have been several high-profile instances of homophobic hate crimes in June alone. On one occasion two queer actors were pelted with stones after kissing in the street, and a lesbian couple were attacked on a bus after they refused to kiss for the the benefit of straight passengers.
Writing on Facebook, alongside a picture with their bodies covered in blood, Melania Geymonat, one of the vitcims, described how the men targeted them: “They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions.
“I don’t remember the whole episode, but the word ‘scissors’ stuck in my mind. It was only them and us there. In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away.
“Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it. The next thing I know is Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them.
“On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over. Our stuff was stolen as well.”
At the end of last month, two gay men in Liverpool were attacked with a knife in an unprovoked attack. One of the men was left with serious injuries to the head and neck, while the other man sustained a minor hand injury. Both men were taken to hospital for treatment.
The offenders are described as between 12 and 15 years old, with one wearing a dark bubble coat and one riding a bike.
And earlier this month, a teenage girl was attacked and called a “fucking lesbian” after she got into a row with two ‘friends’ over £10.
Ellie-Mae Mulholland, from Walsall Garth, Hull, was on her way home on Monday afternoon (8 July) when she approached a friend who owed her money, according to her sister Stevie-Leigh Ansell.
The girl – who hasn’t been identified – then told Mulholland that she “never had” the money, and then proceeded to “beat her black and blue” with the help of another friend.