Homophobic Mob Viciously Beats Gay Couple With a Hammer During Robbery

·3 min read
Victim of homophobic attack
Victim of homophobic attack

A gay couple was walking together and holding hands in Radcliffe, England, last Wednesday when they were attacked by a group of men wearing ski masks. The attack, the couple said, has made them scared of showing affection in public again.

Ryan Winnard, 21, and his boyfriend, Max Green, 18, were walking in the town when a group of men came up to them, according to The Manchester Evening News.

Winnard and Green were holding hands as the men began yelling homophobic slurs at them. When the couple started walking away, the men began attacking them.

Green was struck in the head, while Winnard was beaten with a hammer, the outlet reported. Green suffered a cut to his head in the assault, and Winnard’s nose and cheekbone were broken.

“Me and my boyfriend were heading home from his grandparents and as we were walking we could hear a group of lads,” Winnard said.

“We were holding hands and they started shouting over at us calling us faggots and gay boys. We carried on walking as we had no intention of starting any confrontation with them,” Winnard added. “Before we knew it, there were around five to six lads dressed in balaclavas and gloves running at us. They started attacking us, punching and kicking us, and were hitting me in the knees with a hammer.”

The mob of attackers took a cell phone, the couple’s debit cards, and other items.

“I can remember hearing them telling Max to empty his pockets and to give them everything he had, they then all came to me and beat me up for my Canada Goose coat," Winnard told The Manchester Evening News. “They then took my phone, bag, shoes, bank cards, keys — all of my belongings.”

Winnard said he then called the police, but that no one showed up for another two hours.

“I rang the ambulance and police and waited for around more than two hours,” he explained. “It’s one of those things where we could have been laying on the floor unable to get up. They’ve been really good but when we needed them, they weren’t there.”

The men are scared to go back to where they were attacked or to even hold hands in public.

“I don’t think I'll ever be able to hold my partner’s hand in the street again,” Winnard said. “I should be able to walk around and hold my boyfriend’s hand without fear of something like this happening. It’s one of those things that you never think would ever happen to you but now it has.”

He said he and his boyfriend had been overwhelmed by the response: “Everyone’s just trying to be there for us.”

A Greater Manchester police officer confirmed they had received a report of a robbery in Radcliffe, according to The Manchester Evening News.

“Inquiries established that a group of around five to six people, wearing balaclavas, approached two males before assaulting them and stealing property from them including a phone,” a spokesperson told the outlet. “The men were also subject to verbal abuse from the group. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.”

The attack is just the latest incident in the U.K. with groups targeting LGBTQ+ people. Hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people have tripled in the U.K. in recent years.