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Couple beaten and stabbed in another brutal homophobic attack in Birmingham’s Gay Village

Patrick Kelleher September 6, 2021
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The Birmingham Pride parade

Birmingham city centre has played host to multiple homophobic attacks in recent months. (Jim Wood/Getty)

A gay couple were left covered in blood after they were attacked with knives in a homophobic attack in Birmingham.

Lee Drayford, 53, and his boyfriend, said they were targeted by three men while waiting for a taxi on 18 June. By the time Drayford’s boyfriend returned to his hotel, he was covered in blood.

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Drayford hit out at West Midlands Police, saying detectives had taken almost three months to interview him about the attack.

This is despite the fact that he was knifed in the leg during the incident, while his boyfriend – who asked not to be named – was left with wounds on his head and chest.

“One (used homophobic slurs), the other pulled out the hotel key card from my pocket,” Drayford told Birmingham Live.

“I called him a thief and as soon as I said that he pulled out the knife. I was shocked and, as I jumped back, he caught me with the tip of the knife.

“One said something and my boyfriend shouted: ‘They are going to kill you,’ and pushed me in the taxi. I feel so guilty.”

Drayford’s boyfriend didn’t make it back to the hotel for 45 minutes after he stayed at the scene to face their attackers. By the time he returned, he had been “beaten up” and had “blood all over him”.

“Immediately afterwards, I felt anger and fear and I felt useless,” Drayford said. “I did feel suicidal.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the West Midlands Police said: “We carried out a full investigation into two men who were assaulted after spending time in Birmingham’s Gay Village. The attack took place around 3am on Sunday 18 June.

“One man received a stab wound to his leg which did not require medical treatment and the other man was pushed during the homophobic attack.

“It is understood three male offenders were involved. We conducted an extensive CCTV trawl and followed several lines of enquiry, while keeping in contact with the victims.

“The three offenders have not yet been identified and we will look into any further evidence that comes to light.”

Anybody with information can contact West Midlands Police through the live chat function on its website, quoting the crime reference number 20/989237/21.

Birmingham police ‘stepping up’ patrols following spate of anti-gay attacks

Drayford shared his experience just days after police said they would be “stepping up” patrols in Birmingham following a spate of homophobic attacks.

Speaking to ITV News, superintendent James Littlehales said the crimes could not be allowed to continue.

“We’re stepping up our policing presence, and we continue to work with security staff in licensed premises, and our wider partners,” he said.

“Please come and enjoy our wonderful city – but be kind. We must look after each other and enjoy a great atmosphere.”

Littlehales’ comments came just weeks after a gay couple were hospitalised after they were beaten with glass bottles during a brutal homophobic attack in Birmingham.

Rob and Patrick, both from Oxfordshire, had travelled to Birmingham on 14 August to attend a friend’s housewarming party. Later in the night, they went to the city’s Gay Village with friends.

“I don’t know why on Earth these guys think a fun Saturday night is going down to the Gay Village at four in the morning to call people f****ts outside a gay bar,” Rob told PinkNews in August.

“It’s horrible, and I hope they get found and have to atone for what they did.”

Police later arrested three men in connection with the attack.

Related topics: Birmingham

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