Northern Ireland gay man ‘devastated’ by homophobic attack

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One of the two men beaten in Londonderry by a three-strong gang has spoken about the attack and said he was too scared to answer his own door.

The unnamed couple, aged 22 and 38, were attacked by the men in Shipquay Street in the early hours of Saturday morning after asking them for a cigarette.

Speaking to UTV, one of the men said he was “devastated” by the attack, which left the pair with cuts and bruises.

He said: “I’m too scared to leave my own house. I’m too terrified to answer my own door. I’m terrified to walk down the street.

“My partner is working today and I had to walk him to work because he is terrified and he is usually a very strong, confident man.”

He added: “People don’t realise the repercussions of hate crime. It debilitates you. It wrecks you. It wrecks lives.”

The attack has been condemned by politicians including Mark Durkan, former leader of the SDLP and MP for Foyle.

He said of the attack, “Regardless of whether it expresses itself in the sort of wanton attack on this gay couple or in the subtle prejudice we see all too often, homophobia is inexcusable.”

A police spokesperson said that enquiries into the incident were ongoing and urged anyone with information to call 0845 600 8000 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.