Three men were whipped with belts and violently attacked in what is being treated as a homophobic hate crime.

Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said the incident occurred on George Street at 3:40am on 19 September.

The victims, who are all in their 20s, were walking together in Oxford, England after a night out before being targeted by a group of men.

One member of the trio has been hospitalised after being whipped and left with a serious cut to his forehead.

The police representative confirmed that verbal homophobic abuse was shouted at the men before the situation escalated to the culprits whipping and beating the three men with belts.

One teenager has been arrested on suspicion of assault and affray and an investigation into what happened is ongoing.

“The victims, three men aged in their 20s, were walking on George Street, Oxford when they were victims of verbal homophobic abuse from a group of men, which escalated into the suspects whipping and hitting the victims with belts,” a police statement said.

“One victim received a laceration to his forehead and required hospital treatment. He has since been discharged.”

It continues: “The two other victims received injuries to their head, stomach and arms but did not require hospital treatment.

“An 18-year-old man from Kidlington, Oxfordshire was arrested on suspicion of assault and affray and released on bail.”

Police constable Eleanor Middlemass, who is investigating the incident, has urged anyone with information to come forward.

She added: “We are appealing to anyone who may have seen the men on George Street on Sunday morning, or anyone with footage, whether that be from CCTV, dashcam or doorbell camera to contact the force.

“The easiest way is via our website or by calling 101.”

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 You can find out more about them here.