UK

Student battered and bloodied in ‘homophobic attack’ outside London gay club Heaven

Josh Milton February 17, 2022
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Side-by-side photos of Harry Batt, one of him smiling indoors and another of a cut on the side of his head

Harry Batt, a student based in London, England, was left bleeding after a woman battered him. (Twitter/@_hxrrybxtt)

A gay man was left drenched in blood after a night partying in London’s Heaven nightclub ended in an alleged homophobic attack.

Harry Batt, a 21-year-old medical student, was waiting to catch a bus home after a night out when, at around 3:30am on Saturday (12 February), a woman reportedly started lobbing insults, calling him a “batty boy”.

Batt says that he told her to stop, warning her that he’d involve the police. She then began punching him, striking him “multiple times” in the head.

“There’s a scuffle and friends try to pull her away and as soon as she does it [punches] she runs off into the road and flees the scene,” he told ITV News.

Batt was rushed to hospital, with doctors having to use glue to seal the laceration on the side of his head. He has reported the incident to the authorities, he said.

In an unsettling Twitter thread, Batt said he has gone public about “unprovoked attack” not to draw pity, but to bring to national attention the alarming wave of anti-LGBT+ hate crime that has swept Britain in recent years.

The incident came only hours before three people “attacked” Heaven revellers queuing outside the club, its owner Jeremy Joseph told ITV News.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s hate crime unit are investigating the incident.

Gay man bloodied and beaten refuses to back down: ‘It will never stop me from being me’

Writing on Twitter, Batt stressed: “I am not posting this for people to feel sorry for me.

“I am posting this for awareness. I want everyone to be aware that the LGBTQ+ community still do not have equality in 2022 and to not be complacent as there are still so many people out there who [seek] to inflict hate upon us simply for being who we are.”

Anti-LGBT+ hate crime has soared in recent years, with at least 19,679 crimes motivated by hatred for someone’s sexual orientation recorded between 2020 and 2021, according to police data.

Overall, reports of LGBT+ hate crimes rocketed by 210 per cent between 2014 and 2021. The true tally is likely so much higher, given that nine in 10 LGBT+ victims do not report hate crimes to the police, government figures show.

Heaven owner Jeremy Joseph told ITV that the latest attacks captures the climate of fear many LGBT+ people in the country have grown accustomed to.

“The streets on a Friday and Saturday night are horrible at the moment you can feel an atmosphere at times,” he said.

“On Friday night, three people attacked our queue wearing balaclavas, police were about 50 metres away who chased them away.

“But they were willing to attack the queue in front of police that shows how bad it is on the streets at the moment.”

Batt added on Twitter: “I’m very lucky and thankful that whilst what happened was awful, it could’ve been a lot lot worse.

“It will never stop me from being myself and who I am.”

“Detectives from the Met’s hate crime unit are aware of an attack involving a 21-year-old man in the early hours of Saturday, 12 February,” a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told PinkNews.

“The incident happened outside Charing Cross railway station, with police called by LAS at 03.33hrs.

“The Met is liaising with colleagues from BTP who initially attended the incident, and enquiries including a review of local CCTV are underway.

“Anyone with information about the incident or which could help locate the suspect is asked to call 101 quoting CAD1136/12Feb.

“You can also contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

More: Hate crime, heaven

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