A 15-year-old was attacked by a group of three people and subjected to homophobic abuse in a vicious hate crime.
The teenager, who cannot be named at this time, was getting off a bus in the town of St Andrews in Scotland on 27 October when he was jumped from behind.
He was called anti-gay slurs on the bus, resulting in his decision to depart and avoid the harassment.
The strangers punched and kicked the boy to the ground after following him, according to the victim’s mother.
She told The Courier: “There were three of them, they attacked him from behind, he fell on the ground and hit his head.
“They punched him in the face and started kicking him on the ground.”
He fortunately did not require medical treatment for his injuries, but is now suffering emotionally as a result of the seemingly prejudiced crime.
“It’s really upsetting,” his mother added, explaining that witnesses managed to get the attackers away from her child.
“I’ve been young myself and I can understand that kids sometimes can be a bit cruel towards anyone who is different but the whole violence, that’s really scary.
“It could have been much worse and the idea of him not being able to walk around the street in St Andrews of all places – it’s not something that ever crossed our minds.
“It just doesn’t happen that often, it’s just really scary.”
The woman added that the family’s home environment is “always very open and understanding,” making an attack like this all the more hurtful.
“For him to be faced with that sort of prejudice to the point where he says: ‘people hate who I am to the point that they’re willing to beat me up’ – I think that’s really serious emotionally for anyone who is going through teenage years and already dealing with homosexuality, which is a lot of the times a sensitive issue,” she explained.
Police are treating the assault as a hate crime because of the homophobic slurs used against the teen.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Around 5pm on Wednesday October 27, 2021, police were called to a report that a 15-year-old boy had been assaulted and subjected to homophobic abuse in City Road, St Andrews, earlier that afternoon.
“The youth did not require medical treatment.
“Officers are treating the incident as a hate crime and enquiries are continuing.”