A gang befriended a couple only to brutally beat one of them in an “extremely violent” homophobic attack outside a south London pub Saturday evening (19 June).
The victim, in his 40s, swung by the Centrals Bar and Lounge in Sutton with his partner, the Metropolitan Police Service said in a news release.
Sat outside in the beer garden on Central Road, a group of men approached the couple and invited them to their table.
Trying to befriend them, the men were initially welcoming to the couple, but tension bristled when the group began making homophobic comments, prompting the couple to move to a table further away.
Later that evening, the victim left the pub alone and walked along the main thoroughfare between 1.10am and 2am. Then the same group of men from earlier set upon him, hurling homophobic insults and punching him in the face.
It was an attack so violent that detectives were left startled by the man’s injuries, being left with injuring on his face and head and was hospitalised. The crime, London police said, appeared to be homophobic in nature.
“This was an extremely violent attack which left the victim with head and facial injuries for which he is still receiving hospital treatment,” said Bromley CID acting detective sergeant Herdeep Jugdev.
“It also appears that the assault was motivated by the victim’s sexuality.
“Hate crime of whatever kind is something we will never tolerate and we are doing all we can to find the person or people responsible.”
Jugdev urged witnesses and those driving vehicles along Central Road with a dashcam to contact the authorities about the incident. They can call 101 with CAD reference 2214/20JUN.
They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
In England and Wales, anti-LGBT+ hate crimes more than doubled between 2014 and 2018.
The rate of LGBT+ hate crime, including offences like harassment, assault and stalking, rose by 144 per cent in four years. There were 4,600 LGBT+ hate crimes reported in 2014, but in 2018 that number leapt to 11,600.
Watch: French NGO teaches police about LGBT+ identities