A man in his 60s was brutally bashed by a man in a ‘despicable’ attack. (Stock photograph via Getty Images)
A man in his 60s was left suffering severe facial injuries following a “despicable” homophobic attack in Liverpool, England.
In the early hours of 16 May, the victim was set upon by a man while walking along Church Street just by the city centre.
The perpetrator hurled homophobic slurs at the victim before striking him several times in the face, leaving him with bruises all across his body and facial injuries, police said.
They believe the victim was “targeted” because of his sexuality and are treating the attack as a hate crime.
Merseyside Police, the county’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement that a second man is understood to have been present during the incident who booked it after with the offender.
Using local surveillance footage, investigators have identified a man they believe could have information to assist with their inquiry.
APPEAL | Detectives have issued a CCTV image of a man who could have information that may assist with their enquiries following an homophobic assault at around 4am on Monday 16 May on Church Street, Liverpool City Centre.
👉 https://t.co/Qs7BVOF3Ao pic.twitter.com/X0LIfCb7hS
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) June 16, 2022
To the force, how the brutal attack took place during Pride Month was a damning indictment of the rising levels of homophobic violence in Britain.
“It’s extremely disappointing that during Pride month, when we are celebrating tolerance in our communities, a man appears to have been targeted because of his sexuality,” said detective inspector Tony Roberts.
“To be attacked in such a manner is despicable, and we’re determined to find those responsible and remove them from our streets.”
He added: “I am also appealing for people to come forward if you recognise the male featured in the image. We believe he could hold information that could be vital to our continuing enquiries.”
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact @MerPolCC on Twitter or ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook with reference 22000334754.
They can also call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Liverpool has been shaken by anti-LGBTQ+ violence since lockdown measures were rolled back. Queer people have been left drenched in blood, beaten in broad daylight and spat on. Prompting queer venue operators to band together with the police to run training sessions for staff to support hate crime victims.
But the northwestern city is by no means. Overall, reports of LGBTQ+ hate crimes soared by 210 per cent between 2014 and 2021, according to police data.
And the true tally is likely even higher, given that nine in 10 LGBTQ+ victims do not report hate crimes to the authorities, government figures show.