Young queer men ‘stamped on and stripped’ in horrifying homophobic gang attack

Two side by side photos of one victim of the homophobic attack in London, showing his injuries but censored to ensure anonymity

Two young queer men were “stamped on and stripped” in a horrifying homophobic gang attack on London’s Southbank, after leaving popular LGBTQ+ club G-A-Y Late.

The attack took place in the early hours of Wednesday (17 August), when the two victims left the Soho nightclub and headed towards the Southbank.

In an Instagram story, one of the victims described how three people “stamped on his head” and “assaulted” his friend, while a woman acted as a look-out.

He said the attackers stole everything they had, and added: “They threw my jacket, shoes and tried to strip me then throw me in the river thinking I was dead, just as I was about to pass out.”

The attackers’ reported attempt to throw the victim into the river was especially disturbing, as earlier this year the body of 20-year-old queer student Harvey Parker was discovered in the River Thames. 

Parker had been missing for three weeks, and was last seen leaving the LGBTQ+ Heaven nightclub in Charring Cross, London, near where this week’s victims were attacked.

“I have multiple cuts, bruises and an open head injury on the back of my head,” the victim said.

“I left the hospital… with a police officer having to take me home from the hospital A&E.

“My hair is covered in blood, hence the blonde is now ginger-looking.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that a call was received reporting the homophobic attack, and that officers “arrived on scene within four minutes of being called”.

Officers managed to chase and arrest two suspects, identifying the attack as a “homophobic hate crime from the outset”, and recovered some of the victims’ belongings.

By Thursday (18 August) both suspects had been charged and pleaded guilty to robbery, although they have since been released on bail. They are set to be sentenced on 21 September at Highbury Magistrates Court.

Superintendent Dan Ivey said in a statement: “This attack was absolutely sickening – the victims were punched, kicked and beaten and were stripped of some of their clothing, in what was clearly an attack by opportunist thieves motivated by hate.

“I am glad officers responded so quickly and in a way which has resulted in suspects being arrested within minutes, and then charged with serious offences. We have deployed additional uniformed and plain clothed officers into this area in recent months to target perpetrators, and have a new, dedicated LGBT+ engagement officer, who works with a range of partners to understand and respond quickly to emerging safety issues.

“We also have launched a new LGBT+ Community Reference Group which enables us to discuss concerns, incidents and information impacting on LGBT+ people, shaping our policing tactics and investigations.”