Police share images of six men after homophobic plank attack on gay couple

Chadwell Heath London homophobic attack Metropolitan Police images

The Metropolitan Police have released images of a group of men they want to speak with following a homophobic assault on a gay couple in east London. 

The incident happened on Sunday 1 October at around 5.30pm when the two victims – both men in their 20s – were walking along High Road in Chadwell Heath. 

A group of six men, who were unknown to the victims, approached the pair and were verbally abusive and made threats. It is due to these comments that the police are treating the incident as a homophobic hate crime.

One man from the group then struck one of the victims on the head with a plank of wood, resulting in the victim suffering cuts and bruises.

He went to hospital for treatment and was discharged shortly after.

The second victim was not injured, but the Met Police say the pair were “understandably distressed” by the vile incident. 

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Currently, no arrests have been made and enquiries continue. 

The Metropolitan Police are looking to speak with six men in connection with a homophobic attack. (Metropolitan Police)

In a press release on the force’s website, the Met said it is “aware of the corrosive effect of hate crime and is determined to bring those responsible for such crimes to justice”.

The force added a dedicated LGBTQ+ liaison officer who will oversee the investigation and provide support to the victims.

The incident comes amid rising hate crime rates against the LGBTQ+ community, both in the capital and the wider UK. 

In August, two men were stabbed outside the Two Brewers, a popular LGBTQ+ bar in Clapham, in a homophobic attack that shook London’s queer community.

Just a week later, two other gay men were assaulted whilst waiting for a bus in Brixton after attending UK Black Pride. 

Recent statistics from the Home Office show that in the year ending March 2022, sexual orientation hate crimes in England and Wales had risen by 41 per cent to 26,152 – a figure which marks the largest annual percentage increase since records began in 2012. 

Transgender hate crime was also up, with an increase of 56 per cent to 4,355.

If you have any information relating to the incident, witnessed it or have footage, you can call the police on 101 or contact via ‘X’ Twitter @MetCC quoting CAD 5640/01OCT.

To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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 the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.