Two gay men were the victim of a homophobic attack in Liverpool over the weekend.
The two men, both in their thirties, were walking home in the Anfield area around 9:20pm on Saturday (22 June) when a group of three male youths launched the unprovoked attack.
According to Merseyside Police, the teens threw homophobic insults at the men before one of them pulled out a knife and physically assaulted them.
One of the men was left with serious injuries to the head and neck, while the other man sustained a minor hand injury. Both men were taken to hospital for treatment.
The offenders are described as between 12 and 15 years old, with one wearing a dark bubble coat and one riding a bike.
We're appealing for info following a homophobic assault in Manningham Rd, #Anfield around 9.20pm last night, Sat 22 June. Two men were injured after being assaulted by youths armed with a knife. Please contact @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK with info
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) June 23, 2019
Detective Inspector Tara Denn described it as an “appalling and unprovoked attack” and called on any witnesses to come forward to assist the investigation.
“Two men have been left with significant injuries tonight and the hate and violence that has been inflicted on them is simply unacceptable and won’t be tolerated on the streets of Merseyside,” they said.
“I would ask anyone in Manningham Road or the surrounding areas this evening to please come forward with any information.
“You may have witnessed the incident or youths making off from the scene, or even have CCTV or dashcam footage, and I would urge you to please get in touch with police. Likewise, if you know who is responsible for this crime, please do the right thing and let us know.
“There is absolutely no place for hate crime in society and we know how much of a massive impact it has on victims. I want to reach out to the LBGT community, who I know will be deeply saddened by this news, and reassure you that we stand with you and if you report such incidents to the police, we will do our utmost to support and protect you and bring those responsible to justice.
“We are passionate about maintaining the right of all our communities to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, and by working closely with our partners will continue to work to eradicate hate crime of all forms.
“Victims can report directly to the police where experienced hate crime officers will treat them with sensitivity and compassion, or via third party reporting centres in fire stations, citizen advice bureaus and hospitals where the information will be passed on.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police via Twitter or Facebook. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 19100328734 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.