A gay couple say they were beaten outside their London home two weekends ago. The men believe the attack was motivated by homophobia, and over a pair of shoes of all things.
Julian Smith, 53, and Andrew Leonard, 49, say they were attacked outside their flat by a group of homophobes incensed over Leonard’s bright orange shoes.
The men say they were returning home after a night out when a group of no less than four men believed to be in their mid-20s circled them in their parking area.
Leonard says he was “karate-kicked” to the ground. He describes suffering a kick “like a kick-boxer straight in the face”, resulting in the loss of four teeth and what looks like a broken nose and cheekbone. Smith says he was also knocked to the ground.
“Then they started calling us poofs and saying, ‘Is this your boyfriend?’ and ‘Fucking hell, what are you wearing?’” shared Smith. “I haven’t heard ‘poof’ for a while, it was quite old fashioned.”
He continued: “I told them, we’re a couple of middle aged gay guys, it’s not a very brave thing to try and intimidate us.”
But the situation only escalated from there.
“One of them took my glasses and smacked me in the face.”
Smith may now have to go through cosmetic surgery on his lip as a result of the attack.
“They were vicious little shits,” he said. “We could have had a fatality quite easily.”
No arrests have been made yet. Police were called to the scene after the men’s neighbors intervened and are currently checking camera footage. They are treating the attack as a suspected hate crime.