Couple injured in horrific homophobic attack near London’s South Bank

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In a horrific homophobic attack, a man was kicked in the head by a gang who tried to strip him and throw him into the Thames.

The man has detailed the brutal attack, in which he and a friend were beaten in the early hours of Wednesday as they returned home from Soho’s GAY nightclub.

The incident reportedly happened as they crossed the Golden Jubilee Bridge at Embankment and the South Bank of London.

In a series of social media posts, the man shared photos showing a deep cut to his head and abrasions to his face and neck.

“I had three people stomping on my head and one attacking my boyfriend with a white woman on the lookout,” he wrote.

“They stole everything we had.

“The worst part is they threw my coat and shoes and tried to undress me and then threw me into the river thinking I was dead just as I was about to pass out.”

After the attack, he was reportedly taken to hospital where he stayed overnight with “several cuts, bruises and an open head wound”.

He described the attack as “homophobic” and urged, “Please be careful when passing through central London, especially if you are LGBTQ.”

The incident has led to calls for a stronger police presence on the South Bank, where a number of homophobic attacks have been perpetrated in recent years.

Matthew Smith, a political scientist at Birkbeck, University of London, wrote on Twitter: “I have spoken to many people who have been robbed on the Southbank, including those who work there.

“These attacks are not going away and need to be addressed in some way. People need to feel safe walking home.”

Waterloo and South Bank councilor Sarina Da Silva described the attacks as “deeply concerning”, adding: “We are working with the Met and South Bank security to have a greater presence of police and security officers.”

In 2016, a gay couple was subjected to a tirade of abuse after a drunken man saw them walking hand in hand in the early hours.

On New Year’s Day 2019, four hooded crooks physically attacked two men holding hands near the National Theater.

A Met Police spokesman said: “We are aware of disturbing photos circulating on social media showing the injuries of a young man, who was one of two victims of an attack in the Southbank Area.

“In the early hours of August 17, the police were called with a report of a group that had assaulted two young people. Officers were on the scene within four minutes of the report. They chased away a number of suspects, arrested two and seized some of the victims’ property. Officers gave the two victims first aid, took them to hospital for treatment and returned them home.

“From the outset, this was determined to be a homophobic hate crime. Officers obtained accounts from the victims and others, and watched CCTV. Two young people were charged that day and taken into pre-trial detention. On the morning of August 18, they both pleaded guilty to theft and were released on bail, subject to conditions, to appear in Highbury Magistrates Court on September 21 for their conviction.”

If you have any information about the incident, please contact Met reference 996/17AUG22.

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