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Filipino man and his husband hurt in homophobic attack in the UK

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Aug 18, 2021 6:51 pm

The married couple sustained wounds and injuries after being attacked by four men, who hurled homophonic slurs at them.

Warning: Graphic images below

On Aug. 14, Patrick, who is Filipino, and his husband Rob came from a friend’s housewarming party when they decided to have a night cap at the Gay Village district in Birmingham, England.

In an interview with the BBC, Rob said they were outside the Missing Bar when they saw men in an SUV with balloons in their car and asked them jokingly if it was their birthday.

“They did not like that and went into all sort of foul language, including homophobic slurs directed at us,” Rob recounted.

After shouting at the couple, the men went down and darted towards them.

Patrick tried to film the encounter but one of the men snatched his phone. One of the couple’s female friends, who tried to retrieve the phone was dragged and was almost run over by the SUV. 

As Rob then tried to chase the suspects, the vehicle stopped and the men reportedly went down the SUV to beat him up with bottles. 

Patrick was about to run to help his husband but “someone from the car got out and hit me from behind my head and I blacked out.”

The couple were left bloodied and suffered lacerations and other injuries. They were brought to the hospital where they were treated further.

West Midlands police inspector Steve Lloyd said they are working with the businesses in the area to reassure them that “we are taking this appalling hate crime very seriously.” The Gay Village district is known for its lively environment and vibrant LGBTQ community.

“This was an absolutely appalling attack and robbery on people just trying to enjoy a night out in the city center,” Lloyd said. “They’ve suffered homophobic abuse before being physically injured, and we are woking incredibly hard to find those responsible.”

In an interview with BBC, Rob said he regretted that he chased the group but added, “It’s just shocking that would happen in 2021 in the UK. Especially in the Gay Village, that should be a safe area to be who you want and not have to tolerate people yelling homophobic remarks at you.”

Inspector Lloyd added that CCTV footage in the area is being gathered and they are taking hate crime seriously.

Upon initial investigation, detectives said those men in the car were described as having Middle Eastern or Asian appearance.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. tweeted to urge the Philippine Embassy in London to take care of the victims.

“I expect our London Embassy to take them in and care for them. Make sure it happens. Right away. I want to see a photo of these victims inside our Embassy,” Locsin tweeted.

According to the Philippine News Agency, the Philippine Embassy in London said in a statement that its Assistance-to-Nationals team is “closely coordinating” the incident with local officials in Birmingham.