John Copley-Hammond (L) filmed the several occasions in which builders brazenly threw homophobic abise at him and his husband, Chris. (Screen captures via John Copley-Hammond/Metro.co.uk)
A police probe has been launched after a gay couple alleged builders targeted them with homophobic abuse in Gloucestershire, England.
Chris Copley-Hammond and husband John, both 49, captured on video what they allege is a group of builders lobbying homophobic insults at them, calling them “perverts”, “paedophiles” and “f**s”.
One incident captured on video appears to show the men, who were working on a site adjacent to the couple’s home, singing a homophobic song lyric, “I just called to say I’ll bum you” as Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” hummed on the radio. The couple say they were on their patio at the time, according to Metro.
A voice can reportedly be heard laughing in footage, saying: “Yeah, get some fudge.”
The couple say the alleged homophobic abuse escalated into threats of violence against them and their two young sons.
Things came to a head when cement appeared in their garden, and Chris and John confronted the workers.
Footage appears to show the workers denying the allegation, argue, and threaten to throw a brick through the front window of their house.
One called John a “dirty little pervert”. Brandishing a brick, another said: “I’ll f***ing smash one of these through your window you c***.”
A colleague said: “He will.”
“F***ing filming me mate, you dirty little paedophile,” another added.
In the video, after John told the men he would be pressing charges he was called a “f*****g bummer” as another voice muttered: “I want to smash your head in.”
‘We can’t live like this in our own home’
The string of allegedly homophobic incidents has left the family shaken. “We’ve been left really frightened,” said John.
“We can’t live like this in our own home.”
“To have to put up with this in our own garden is just not on,” Chris added.
“It’s really quite upsetting – we’re both 49 years old now, but we were both bullied at school, and it does bring up those feelings again.
“A lot of the comments they have made are ridiculous homophobic things that were said as slurs in the ’70s.
“To hear stuff like that in this day and age is just unbelievable. It’s quite pathetic, really.”
Subcontractors from Bales Homes Ltd had been hired for a new housing development since May 2020, with the site overlooking the couple’s family home.
The property developers apologised for the “regrettable” incident and said the workers have since been removed from the site.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed the force are looking into the couple’s claims.
“We take all incidents of hate crime seriously and will investigate to ensure offenders are dealt with appropriately and victims are given a voice,” they said.
“If you believe you have been a victim of a hate crime, please do contact police through www.gloucestershire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/how-to-report-hate-crime/.”