A young lesbian couple were verbally abused and punched in the face by a group of men in Brighton.

The women, aged 18 and 22, were walking along Gloucester Place holding hands at around 3am on October 7th when three men began shouting homophobic insults at them.

Two of the men then punched them both in the face. They appealed to the third man, who had a large brown dog, to stop the attack, but he did nothing.

The men then ran off in the direction of Queens Road.

All three were described as being white and in their early twenties.

Twelve days after the attack, police have issued an appeal for witnesses.

James Ledward, the editor of gay magazine GScene, told the Brighton Argus: “If people don’t see prosecutions going to court and people being punished for these vile crimes, then they won’t be able to see the point and will lose trust and stop reporting them again.”

Anyone with information should call Sussex Police on 0845 6070999.