Police let men who brutally beat 5 lesbian women ride off in taxis, claim victims
A group of lesbian women who were brutally beaten up have condemned the response by police.
The five women were set upon by more than 15 men in an alleged homophobic beating which left the victims devastated and with missing teeth.
One woman said she feared she would die from the attack, another lost seven front teeth from a single punch and a third had a fit after she was left bleeding.
Now two victims have told BBC South Today that police let people they accused of attacking them ride off in taxis.
One victim, who remains anonymous, said: “I don’t think they handled it well at all.
“We was telling the police who assaulted people and they let ’em go in taxis.”
“No other witnesses got called to give statements.”
“There was 20-30 men involved – I don’t understand how only four has been arrested.”
Another victim told the BBC: “They’ve handled it completely wrong, they didn’t even come over and check if we were OK.
“There was no photos taken of the injuries.”
“I’ve been groped and grabbed as well as the other girls. We should have had a female officer there.”
Hampshire Police say officers attended the scene within 10 minutes, and four men, one from Portsmouth and three from London, have been arrested.
The men have since been released, but remain under investigation.
In a statement, Hampshire Police said: “We have explained our complaints procedure to the victims as they have indicated they are unhappy with the response they have received.
“If a formal complaint is made we will investigate thoroughly.”
The women, who published photos of their injuries in The News, said the attack happened after leaving the Blue Anchor pub in Portsmouth.
After singing ‘I’m in the Mood for Dancing’, the women said they were subjected to homophobic abuse.
The five women now say they want to bring their attackers to justice.
As the women rushed to help their friends, more men joined the attack.
A sister of one of the victims, who saw the attack, said: “The men had got off the girls but they were still hitting the older woman, I’d say at least 20 or 30 times.
“I was begging them to stop. It wasn’t until they heard the sirens that they threw her and ran off.”
“They dropped her like she was nothing and ran back into the club.”
She went on to say that she saw a man “stamping on a woman’s head”, and that she “had to beg for them to stop”.
Of her injuries, one of the victims said: “In the first punch all seven top teeth were out, and my jaw was fractured.
“It seemed like forever but the police are telling us it was only 10 minutes.”
Another victim said she witnessed at least seven men attacking a woman who was punched in the chest repeatedly.
A third victim told the paper: “There was just a massive group, at last seven, they were just punching me.
“I just remember trying to protect myself.”
“They were trying to get me on the floor,” she added, saying she then saw another friend of hers “fitting”.
“There was blood everywhere,” she continued.