Further details of an attack against a lesbian couple in the Maltese town of Hamrun emerged at a court hearing yesterday, with a defendant reportedly head-butting one of the girls.

Two girls aged 15 and 16 were injured during an incident in February of this year on the Mediterranean island, the Times of Malta reports.

They said one of two brothers, 15 and 17, had been verbally abusive to them as they sat in a town square and later physically attacked them after the older girl had called one a ‘poofter’ in response.

He reportedly then head-butted the girl, with a witness telling the court he said he had no aversion to attacking a girl. When the two girls retaliated against him, they fell down a series of steps in the square.

The mother of the girl who had been head-butted showed the court photographs of her bloodied face.

A 35-year-old woman also became involved in the incident and herself faces charges. The two girls were themselves arraigned for causing injury to the two boys.

Malta’s prime minister stepped in after a second attack in February to announce the creation of new hate crime laws that would encompass homophobia.

At a press conference, Prime Minister Gonzi said: “We are sending a message to society in general, not to pass judgement of people, and that we expect the forces of law to enforce laws and eliminate all forms of discrimination.”