Gay rights charity Stonewall has described a violent attack on a gay couple in south London as “shocking”.

Christopher Bryant, 42, and his partner Damon Truluck, 38, were walking home across Betts Park in Penge, Bromley, south London, at around 12:30am on Sunday 19 May when they were attacked by six men.

The assault took place just hours after Mr Bryant celebrated his 42nd birthday. He suffered multiple injuries to his face and Mr Truluck suffered injuries to his back and hip.

The couple were also subjected to verbal homophobic abuse.

Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said to PinkNews.co.uk: “This shocking incident is a sad reminder that many lesbian, gay and bisexual people still face threats to their personal safety simply because of the way they were born. We are pleased Christopher felt able to go to the police: it is really the only way we can, as a community, fight back by making sure our local police forces know about our experiences.”

She added: “Stonewall is working closely with police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners to make sure they do everything they can to encourage us to report incidents. If we don’t report, criminals won’t be caught and incidents will continue. We wish Christopher and Richard a swift recovery, and we hope the Metropolitan Police work hard to bring their assailants to justice.”

The Metropolitan Police Service has launched an investigation and the couple gave a further statement to police on Monday.