Victim of brutal homophobic attack ‘thought he was going to die’ as mob battered him

Liverpool homophobic attack Aodhán Benson

The victim of a brutal homophobic attack in Liverpool “thought he was going to die” as a group of men assaulted him.

Aodhán Benson, 24, previously told PinkNews that he was out with friends celebrating their final day of university when they were approaching by a group of four men on Saturday (10 July).

One of the men asked Benson, from Belfast, if he had “any change”, but when he responded “sorry, love”, the tone instantly shifted.

He began shouting homophobic slurs at the young gay man, and as the situation escalated, he head-butted Benson. When Benson tried to defend himself, the man’s friends joined in attacking him.

On Monday (12 July), Benson told ITV News that he feared for his life.

“All I could think is ‘what if I die and don’t get the chance to tell my mum and dad that I love them’,” he tearfully said.

“No one goes on a night out and thinks they might not come home.”

Benson, who was later taken to hospital and was left with a busted lip and permanent scarring on his nose, added: “One punch can kill.

“You could effectively ruin someone’s life – you could end their life. You could ruin their family’s lives and you could also ruin your own life.”

He said that the attack initially caused him to feel shame about his identity, adding: “When it all happened I was like, if this is what being gay means then I don’t want to be gay.

“But I totally take that back – I’m never going to be ashamed of who I am, I’m so proud to be gay.”

“I’m so proud of the gay community and the things they’ve faced up to.
“If this makes a change, me speaking about what happened, then that’s good.”

Two men have been arrested in connection with the Liverpool attack, but have been released on bail while investigations continue.