UK: Homophobic and racist attack on 16-year-old boy in Leamington
Warwickshire Police said the incident was being treated as a "hate crime" after the boy was left with cuts and bruises.
15/9/2015- A 16-year-old boy was subjected to a suspected homophobic and racist attack in Leamington. The teenager was attacked on the canal towpath at Eastnor Grove, as he made his way home shortly before midnight on Saturday. A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said the incident was being treated as a “hate crime”. She said: “We are investigating an incident of hate crime which occurred at 11.50pm on Saturday, September 12 on the canal towpath at Eastnor Grove, Leamington. “A 16-year-old boy was verbally assaulted using homophobic and racist language and then assaulted. He suffered minor injuries.” Police said it was unclear if a weapon had been used during the attack.
Daniel Browne, director of the town’s Warwickshire Pride festival which celebrates the LGBT community, hit out at the attack. Speaking on Sunday, Daniel, who won an award at the Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire Awards for his work, told the Telegraph: “The incident last night could have easily been worse. It could even have been a murder. “The victim is very lucky to have escaped with only a few cuts and bruises. “Not only was this attack homophobically and racially motivated, it was also planned.” He added: “Homophobic and transphobic incidents are clearly on the rise in Leamington. “Despite there being a Pride event that celebrates diversity and LGBT culture, in many ways the town is going backwards. “Something needs to be done to raise awareness of what LGBT people are going through.
“I will be contacting the police, the council and my MP to discuss these incidents and request their assistance in doing something to support local LGBT people and raise awareness of homophobia and transphobia.” Mr Browne also said he planned a protest rally to raise awareness of problems members of the local LGBT community were faced with. He said: “I am now also planning on organising an equality rally, which will be a peaceful protest in Leamington where LGBT people and anyone who supports LGBT people and equality can come together to raise awareness of these issues.” Anyone with information about the attack is urged to contact Warwickshire Police by calling 101.
© The Coventry Telegraph