A Swindon man who was attacked after a night out in the town has said he was beaten because he was gay.

The victim, who did not want to be named, said he had been walking home with another man who was not gay from the Pink Rooms nightclub in the Old Town at around 4:30am on Sunday.

He told the Swindon Advertiser he was stopped by two men who asked why he had red glitter on his face.

He said this led to an angry exchange which included homophobic insults and he was then punched repeatedly by one of the men and kicked on the floor by the other.

The victim, who said he suffered back pain and bruising to his neck and right side, told the newspaper: “It was horrific. I have never experienced anything like this before.

“It was a hate crime. They hated me because I’m gay and that is the thing that makes it worse for me.”

He described one of the men as being white, quite broad and around 25 years old, with short black spiky hair. He was wearing knee-length shorts and a t-shirt.

The other man, who was said to be of mixed race, was also in his mid-20s and was wearing trousers and a t-shirt.

The victim estimated both men to be between 5ft 10in and 6ft tall.

Swindon Police duty inspector Bill Giles said: “An incident of this kind is an extremely rare occurrence in Swindon. We get drunken brawls in town around that time, but for the victim to be picked on because of his sexuality is rare.”

Anyone with information is being asked to call Swindon Police on 0845 408 7000 or Crimestoppers, where information can be left anonymously, on 0800 555 111.