18 year old targeted in homophobic incident

DETECTIVES are appealing for information after an 18 year old man was assaulted in Preston in what was believed to be a homophobic incident.

In the early hours of Wednesday 26 February, Richard Kennedy was approached from behind by somebody who made homophobic comments before assaulting him.

The teenager from Blackpool suffered serious cuts and bruises to his face as well as injuries to his chest, teeth and knee.

The victim cannot recall exactly where he was assaulted and it is believed he walked around the city centre in a confused and distressed state for some time after the incident.

Police are keen to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the assault or the victim after the assault who would have been noticeable, particularly due to the injury to his face.

Detective Sergeant Martin Pearson said: “This was a particularly nasty assault, aggravated by the homophobic comments which were made before Richard was attacked. Whilst we are keeping an open mind, we do believe he may have been targeted because he is gay.

“It is completely unacceptable in any society for someone to suffer this type of attack motivated by prejudice. We need to establish exactly what happened to this young man and ensure that nobody else suffers in the same way.

“We know Richard left the Evoque nightclub on Church Street sometime after 1am and was found by friends in the Ringway area around 4am. We are continuing with CCTV enquiries and would like anybody with any information to contact us quoting log reference 0844. The victim is being supported by the police LGBT liaison officer.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.