Gay man receives homophobic death threat for moving neighbour’s wheelie bin

A set of UK wheelie bins, each a different colour, lined up against one another.

An openly gay UK resident has opened up about a death threat sent to him after he moved a neighbour’s wheelie bin.

Joshua Val Martin, who lives in Greater Manchester, received an extremely homophobic note from a neighbour in his block of flats after a dispute about the local bins turned sour on 3 June.

The note read: “To Mr Gay, if you move my bin I will put an end to you. You may find an ex [mercenary] call on you not to have a chat but to destroy. From Flat 2.”

The 30-year-old writer said the letter was just the latest instalment after a months-long campaign of passive-aggressive behaviour towards him and his partner since moving to the “middle class” part of Greater Manchester in March.

“I was living in Clayton beforehand which was really working class and never had any complaints,” he said. “We got on with neighbours and it was great. This is at the other end of the spectrum – I knew there would be lots of rules and regulations.

“I was expecting egg and spoon races at the park and pub quizzes but it’s lots of curtain twitching … I think we stand out and I think we’ve been watched – it makes you paranoid.”

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Martin has since reported the incident to the Greater Manchester Police, who have said they are investigating the matter.

He told the Mirror that the growing issues involved a dispute over outdoor furniture placed in the communal area of the flats, as well as a Buddha statue which was promptly moved without his permission.

When confronting the neighbour, Martin said they had initially denied moving the statue, but then admitted moving it to the bins “to stop local teenage kids smashing it”.

After moving the statue back outside his flat, he found it had been damaged weeks later.

Martin then found that the statue had disappeared once again, which led him to move the bins out of place in an attempt to find it.

This, Josh believes, led to the death threat being posted on his door.

“I don’t know how you move on to this,” he said. “Can you have any kind of mediation when you get homophobic death threats? You can’t just say ‘sorry don’t worry about it’.

“I don’t want to speak to him and I don’t know what really can be said .‌.. People must have had dealings with him before but I just don’t know how he’s going to change.

“I just think that’s going to be who he is.”

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit theTrue Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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