Police in Worcester investigating a homophobic assault have released CCTV images of three men they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.
The victim, in his 20s, was left with cuts and bruises after being punched to the head and face in the assault, which happened on Broad Street at around 2.30am on Tuesday, 29 May.
The man had previously been confronted in Shakeeys takeaway on Angel Street by three men who had questioned him about his clothing and his sexuality, before verbally abusing him and throwing chips at him.
The three men followed the victim and his two friends out of the restaurant and onto Broad Street, where two of the men then physically assaulted the victim.
PC Geraint Perkins from Worcester police station is investigating the incident. He said: “This was a completely unprovoked assault and although the victim only suffered minor injuries, he was left badly shaken by the attack.
“The victim is believed to have been targeted purely because of his sexuality and this is backed up by independent witnesses who saw what happened.
“We class these types of crime – where people are victimised because of their sexuality, race, religion, disability or gender identity – as hate crimes and we take them extremely seriously.
“Thankfully, this sort of crime is rare in Worcester but we will do all we can to bring those responsible for committing hate crime to justice.
“The three men in these CCTV images were seen in the city centre around the time of the assault. They may have vital information that could help us with our inquiry.
“I would urge anyone who knows who these men might be to contact us. Alternatively, if you recognise yourself as one of the people in these images, please call us as soon as possible so we can eliminate you from our inquiries if necessary.”
Anyone with information about this incident can call PC Perkins on 0300 333 3000, quoting 53S 290512 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.