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Gay Couple Gashed with Glass Bottles in 'Appalling Hate Crime' in England

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday August 17, 2021

Married couple Rob and Patrick
Married couple Rob and Patrick  (Source:Tom Knight/Twitter)

A gay couple were gashed with bottles by a gang of four men in an attack described by police in a gay neighborhood in Birmingham, England, as an "appalling hate crime," U.K. newspaper the Independent reports.

"Husbands Rob and Patrick, both in their thirties, were assaulted" outside a gay bar in the 'early hours' of Aug. 15," the article detailed. The couple had called out jokingly to "a black SUV" full of men they say they spotted "inhaling balloons" of an unknown gas. In response, the men "shouted homophobic abuse" at them.

Patrick tried taking cell phone video of the encounter, at which point one of the SUV's passengers stole the phone "out of his hand," the account said.

The attackers then sped off, taking the phone with them. When a woman who was out with the couple attempted to intervene, she was dragged by the car and suffered a foot injury, the article recounted.

Rob ran after the vehicle, which stopped at a light. But then the men got out and started to beat Rob with bottles, reported UK newspaper The Guardian. Patrick came running up also, but one of the men "knocked him unconscious," the article added.

"Both men were left covered in blood after suffering cuts to their head and arms," The Guardian detailed.

Photos circulated on social media show the men swaddled in bandages, their clothes and faces wet with blood, as they seemingly await medical attention.

"West Midlands Police said the men in the car were described as being of Middle Eastern or Asian appearance," the Independent reported.

The police issued a statement in which Inspector Steve Lloyd condemned the beating, calling it "an absolutely appalling attack and robbery on people just trying to enjoy a night out in the city center," and assured the public that law enforcement "are taking this appalling hate crime very seriously."

Lloyd said the couple had "suffered homophobic abuse before being physically injured, and we are working incredibly hard to find those responsible."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.