Two 16-year-olds arrested after attack on gay teen who was ‘forced to apologise for being gay’

Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with an attack on a gay teen.

Police have arrested two teenagers in connection with the homophobic assault, which took place on October 21 in West Ham.

British Transport Police confirmed two 16-year-old boys had been arrested on suspicion of assault and were in custody.

The victim, a 19-year-old man, was travelling on a westbound Jubilee line train from West Ham with his friends, at around 11:10 PM.

(Creative Commons photo/Flickr user Sparkyscrum)

The victim and his friends were dressed in fancy dress for an event they were going to.

However, they were set upon by two men who boarded the train at West Ham and began verbally abusing the victim and his friends, hurling homophobic slurs at the victim.

When challenged, they became more aggressive.

According to a previous appeal put out by British Transport Police, the first offender then pulled the victim from his seat into a headlock, strangling him.

The second offender took the victim’s phone before, making threats to stab him.

They demanded the victim apologise for being gay which eventually the victim did as he was struggling to breathe.

(Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

They then let him go and handed back his phone and a fight ensued between the victim’s friends and the offenders.

One of the victim’s friends, a 25-year-old woman, was punched and pushed to the ground. She sustained bruising.

The original victim did not sustain any injuries.

At North Greenwich, the victims left the train.

(Creative Commons photo/ Flickr user Rob Wells)

British Transport Police had preiously put out an appeal in connection with the attack, saying: “Officers would like to speak to the people shown in the images as they may have information which could help the investigation.

“Hate crime will not be tolerated by British Transport Police. We believe that everyone has the right to travel safety.

“We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because they are perceived to be different, or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently called for a zero tolerance attitude to hate crime in London.

Speaking at the PinkNews Awards, he said: “Let me be clear, hate crime will not be tolerated anywhere in London. In London, you are free to be whoever you are happy, and safe.

“London is a warm, inclusive and welcoming place, and I’m grateful for all of your support over the last 16 months, not for me, but for all of us.

“London is open to all people regardless of race, gender and sexuality and open to love.”

Speaking to PinkNews, he added: “If you choose to live in one the most diverse cities in the world, you’ve got to accept people are different sexuality, different faiths, different ethnicities and different socioeconomic backgrounds.

“That, for me, is why we are the best city in the world – but we could be better.

“For me it’s a badge of shame – that in spite of the progress that we have made over the last 20, 30 years if you’re a Londoner who happens to be LGBT, you make yourself vulnerable to hate crime.”