Manchester: Man ‘scarred for life’ by brutal attack for singing songs from Wicked

Two men were savagely beaten in Manchester this weekend – because they were singing songs from the musical Wicked.

25-year-old Jean Claude Manseau and 19-year-old Jake Heaton were travelling on a tram in the city just before 1 AM on Saturday, singing a song from the musical Wicked, when another man began to hurl homophobic abuse at them.

The pair got off the tram at Market Street to head towards Canal Street – but were set upon near Piccadilly Gardens by the man and a mob of around 15 other men.

According to the Manchester Evening News Mr Manseau was beaten unconscious in the brutal attack, and suffered multiple head injuries.

Mr Heaton was also punched in the head, but managed to escape and call for help.

Mr Manseau told the newspaper: “It has destroyed every bit of confidence I have.

“It will be a while before I go anywhere on my own. I don’t know when I’ll feel safe to go into Manchester again.

“They split my forehead, my lip, broke my nose. My eyes are black and swollen.

“My ribs are painful, I can’t move much. My face is going to be scarred for life. That has upset me.”

Mr Heaton added: “It’s completely shocking. Nowadays you think people are mostly accepting of people’s sexuality, especially in a big city like Manchester. We did nothing to provoke it. We were just having a laugh and a sing on the tram.

“It was definitely homophobic. Throughout it all they were hurling abuse at us.”

Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.

They are searching for a white man in his early 20s with very short hair, and a group of black or mixed race men.