LGBT youth activist wants action after death of teen following homophobic attack

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An LGBT youth organisation has demanded action to prevent more assaults after the death of a Liverpool teenager following a homophobic attack.

Queer Youth Network said physical assault is an everyday occurrence for gay teens.

18-year-old Michael Causer was attacked by three youths on Friday 25th July and suffered serious head injuries.

Despite surgery at the Walton Neurology Centre to try to reduce swelling on his brain, he died at 2:30pm on Saturday.

Two men, Gavin Alker aged 19 and James O’Connor, 18, both from the Huyton area, where the attack took place, have been charged with grievous bodily harm.

A third man from the area, aged 19, has been charged with witness intimidation.

Merseyside police said the attack was being treated as a homophobic hate crime.

A Home Office post mortem is to be conducted to confirm the cause of the death after which the police said they will consult with the Crown Prosecution Service about the possible further charges.

The police said all those arrested in connection to the attack were known to Mr Causer and no one else is being sought.

David Henry from the Queer Youth Network said the attack was completely preventable.

“We must unite all communities concerned to beat the scourge of youth violence universally once and for all,” he said.

“It is vital that anti-homophobic bullying polices and initiatives which aim to prevent further tragic deaths re-evaluate how much of an impact they really have and how they can become more effective by updating their understanding of incredibly violent nature of Britain’s youth culture.

“The events in Huyton over the past few days is proof that young people from our poorest, most marginalised sections of society are the victims regardless of the cause.”

Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Ron Round, said: “We are all shocked and saddened at Michael’s death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to them.

“We realise many people locally may want to offer their messages of support and sympathy to Michael’s family and, with this in mind, we have opened Books of Condolence at Huyton, Kirkby, Prescot and Halewood One Stop Shops as well as Whiston Library.”

Meanwhile OutRage! activist Pauline Ellis, who was a youth worker in Merseyside for more 17 years, accused the gay community of apathy.

“It was going to happen sooner or later and I am stunned how the local media here in Liverpool have downplayed coverage of this story which I feel is due to the lack of a vocal LGBT community in Liverpool,” she said.

“It’s very easy for the increasingly comfortable and apathetic gay community to blame working class youths for this latest attack, but having partnership rights and a few extra equality laws is not an excuse to abandon the ongoing fight for gay liberation.”