Gay couple brutally beaten and rushed to hospital after defending innocent women from homophobic thugs

Police are treating the attack as a hate crime

A gay couple have been left with horrifying injuries after being subjected to a brutal homophobic attack in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Emmett Doherty and Luke Bromilow were set upon in the early hours of Sunday morning outside a Chinese takeaway after they attempted to help a woman who was being harassed by men.

Doherty says he told the men “don’t speak to a woman like that”, only to become a target for a torrent of homophobic slurs and abuse.

The men violently assaulted the pair, leaving them requiring hospital treatment for facial, head and body injuries. The attack is being treated as a hate crime.

Gay couple ‘traumatised’ after homophobic attack.

Speaking to the Derry Journal, the Derry-born Doherty – who was in the city to visit family – explained that he and his partner had been considering moving back to the city, but “that is obviously not going to happen now”.

He said: “Luke is absolutely terrified, he wanted to go back early. He won’t leave the house. He is absolutely traumatised. It’s just disgusting.”

Police in Derry are treating the attack on the gay couple as a hate crime

Police are treating the attack as a hate crime

Doherty added: “I have a moral obligation to the next generation to speak out about this. I won’t be silenced and I will fight this. We were attacked down that town. It’s 2020, it’s an absolute disgrace.

“What message does this send to the younger generation? What message to the young 16 year old sitting thinking about coming out? It’s going to push them back; push us back.

“I feel very strongly I have moral obligation to the next generation of gay people to do this, to pursue this.”

Derry attack is being treated as a hate crime.

Inspector John Moore of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: “Officers attended the scene where they located two males with injuries to their head and to their face. Officers administered first aid to one of the males.

“We are making enquiries to establish what occurred and who was involved in this incident, which is being treated as a homophobic hate crime.

“Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw what occurred, or has information which could assist our investigation, is asked to call police at Strand Road on 101, and quote reference number 227 of 26/07/20.”

Foyle Pride said: “It is with sadness that Foyle Pride once again have to condemn a homophobic attack in Derry city centre.

“The attack on a Derry man and his partner visiting from Liverpool for a weekend with family occurred in and outside of the Great Fortune Chinese takeaway at lower William Street.

“One of the men defending a female customer from a verbal assault was hit on the head and suffered injuries to the eye area as well as a broken nose.

“His partner who was waiting outside, entered the takeaway on hearing the homophobic language directed at his partner and he too was set upon. Dragged outside he was left on the ground with injuries to the head and body.

“As well as the physical attack the two men and a female friend were subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse.

“Foyle Pride would like to hear from anyone in the area who witnessed this vicious attack and may have any information.

“All information received will be treated with the strictest confidence. We wish them both a speedy recovery from this despicable attack on members of our community.”