A gay couple have shared that they were both stabbed and beaten up in a homophobic attack in Birmingham’s Gay Village.
Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.
Lee Drayford alleges that he was waiting for a taxi with his boyfriend when three men began verbally assaulting them with an array of homophobic slurs.
The 53-year-old said that he was then stabbed in the leg, with his boyfriend having three wounds to the head and chest.
His partner pushed Drayford into the car when it arrived, choosing to stay to face the group before running to his hotel.
Drayford claims that his boyfriend was followed by the attackers and that he banged on the reception area’s window for help as he stood covered in blood.
“After about 45 minutes my boyfriend arrived,” Drayford explained. “He had only one shoe, his cardigan was off.”
“He’d been beaten up basically. He had blood all over him.”
Neither Drayford or his boyfriend, who wishes to remain anonymous, required hospital treatment for the injuries they sustained.
Despite this, Drayford said the mental impact has been substantial as he has been left traumatised by what happened.
He added: ““Immediately afterwards, I felt anger and fear and I felt useless. I did feel suicidal.
“I used to be an out-and-about person. I used to be OK with people, I wasn’t scared to go into a crowd of people I didn’t know. Now I’m scared.”
West Midlands Police were alerted of the incident on the night (18 June), but Drayford is not satisfied with their response and claims that they took almost three months to interview him.
However, a spokesperson for the police has insisted that what happened was thoroughly investigated and that they continue to keep in touch with the couple.
“We carried out a full investigation into two men who were assaulted after spending time in Birmingham’s Gay Village,” the spokesperson said. “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. If anyone has any information on this incident, please contact us.”
West Midlands Police can be contacted here.
Galop is an LGBTQ+ charity there for those who have experienced abuse or have been the victim of a hate crime. They can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm on 0207 7042040 or at HateCrime@galop.org.uk. You can find out more about them here.