Southampton gay couple beaten in vile homophobic attack
A gay couple from Southampton were “punched to the floor” and repeatedly “kicked in the head” in a vile homophobic attack.
According to the Southern Daily Echo, Jamie Edwards, 33, Damian Hampton, 26, were attacked near a local shop on December 4.
They were leaving the shop together, but were followed by a group of three teenagers in hoodies and balaclavas who began hurling homophobic abuse at them.
The situation then escalated to a four-minute violent physical attack. Edwards told the Southern Daily Echo: “It happened so fast, within seconds they had caught up and punched Damian in the face. They ripped my clothes and wouldn’t stop kicking us while we were on the ground.
“We had never even seen or spoke to them before, it was a totally unprovoked and unexpected attack.
“It’s more of a pride thing, I had to watch my boyfriend being booted on the floor and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.”
The couple were left with heavy bruising to their legs, arms and ribs, and cuts and grazes to their hands. Edwards is also losing wages as he has had to take time off from work to recover from the homophobic attack.
A Hampshire Police spokesperson told the newspaper that the attack is being considered a “hate crime” and added: “We are investigating an assault which took place near the One Stop shop in North East Road, Sholing, at around 3.45pm on December 4.
“Anyone with information, or who witnessed this incident, is asked to contact police on 101, quoting the reference number 44190436605.”
Edwards posted an update on his Facebook page on Saturday (December 7) which read: “Thank you to Hampshire constabulary. We have today received an update the CCTV has been viewed by the police and the people who done this are very well known to them.”
This year, data has shown that hate crimes against LGBT+ people have more than doubled in the whole of England and Wales, and that transphobic hate crimes have risen by 81 percent in the UK.