Gay man viciously beaten by three men in Bournemouth pub felt ‘petrified’ during attack

Paul Scates

A gay man who was violently attacked by three men in a Bournemouth pub says the incident left him “dumbstruck and petrified”.

Dorset Police were called to reports of a man being assaulted in the toilets at The Moon in the Square pub, in Exeter Road, on the evening of Saturday, 6 January.

Victim Paul Scates, 44, was taken to hospital following the attack, during which homophobic abuse was hurled at him. He was kicked and beaten, and told PinkNews he has been left with concussion and back problems.

Mr Scates said he was in the men’s toilets when the first attacker, who followed him in, told him he “wasn’t normal” and asked what he was doing in the bar.

“[He] turned and said the most vulgar of comments,” Scates said.

After telling the man to back off and pleading with him not to do anything, the man pushed him into a wall before two other men joined in, kicking and hitting him.

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“I was thinking, ‘I’m never going to see my parents again’,” Scates said, adding that he felt “dumbstruck and petrified”.

He said the first man had “this hatred, and psychopathic eyes, it was like he was looking through my soul.”

“It was like he wanted to do real harm”, he added.

Scates told PinkNews that after this he only remembers shouting for his friends, who managed to stop the assault.

Paul Scates.
Paul Scates was attacked by three men in a pub’s toilets. (Paul Scates/X/Twitter)

He says he longer feels safe in his home town and has accused Dorset Police of “not being supportive at all”, adding that he only received a call after a BBC article about the incident was published.

“We don’t trust that the police are going to help in any way. Unless they can charge the individuals, all they are doing is showing they’ve done due diligence,” he claimed.

A police spokesperson told PinkNews: “As with all hate crime investigations, we have done all we can support to the victim and keep them updated with the progress of the investigation, which remains ongoing.” CCTV footage is being assessed, they added.

No arrests have been made.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, which owns the Moon in the Square, told PinkNews they have provided police with CCTV footage and will continue to work with them. 

“We do not tolerate violence in any of our pubs and always press for the prosecution of those responsible,” they said.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in October revealed an increase in hate crimes based on sexual orientation and trans identity.

Hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation have risen by 112 per cent in the past five years, while those faced by trans people were up by 186 per cent in the same period. 

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