A bisexual student was left bloodied and bruised in a horrific “unprovoked homophobic attack” after he was seen dancing with a friend.
Josh Ormrod, 19, was assaulted by a stranger in Liverpool’s Concert Square as he left a nightclub in the early hours of Thursday morning (17 June).
Witnesses reportedly heard the man hurling homophobic slurs as he beat Ormrod, leaving him in no doubt he was targeted “based purely on the fact that I am not straight.”
“The attack was unprovoked and completely random – I’ve no idea who the man is, or if/how he knew me. It was broad daylight on a busy street,” he said, recalling the incident on social media.
“I’m not posting this for sympathy – I want it to be used as a warning. These people exist everywhere, and these things happen far too much to be ignored.”
Nearby bouncers intervened and surrounded the man, who’d beaten the teen so severely he later feared he’d broken his eye sockets.
Passersby, including student nurses, stopped to help Ormrod and his friend, who was having a panic attack, until police and an ambulance arrived.
Police confirmed a 26-year-old man from Bolton was arrested on suspicion of Section 47 assault. He has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Detective sergeant Sara Lang of Merseyside Police said in a statement to the ECHO: “This was an appalling incident leaving a man injured and, although we have made one arrest, our investigations continue.
“Following our enquiries so far we have had an unconfirmed report that a homophobic slur was directed at the victim during the incident.
“We at Merseyside Police simply will not tolerate people being targeted in this manner and so, if you were in the Fleet Street area in the early hours of Thursday morning, and saw, heard or captured anything please let us know and we will take action.”
Unfortunately it’s not the first alleged homophobic attack in recent weeks. Last week a gay couple were attacked with a knife by a group of three men who called them homophobic slurs, and a close friend of Ormrod’s was also assaulted within days of him.
“This city is supposed to be safe, but our home is becoming more frightening by the day,” he said on Instagram. “I got off lightly; no broken bones, managed to keep all my teeth, just battered and bruised. look out for your friends, don’t walk anywhere alone, and keep yourself safe.
“These are scary times; we have to come together to stop this from happening to anyone else. We have to be better.”
A spokesperson for Merseyside police confirmed they were aware of other attacks happening in the city.
“Over the past few weeks there have been several appalling hate crimes in our city centre and we are working tirelessly to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” they said.
“Everyone in Merseyside has the right to go about their daily business without the fear of being subjected to verbal or physical abuse based on their sexuality, and we remain committed to ensuring they can.
“I would take this opportunity to urge any victim of hate crime on Merseyside to please come forward and let us know. We have a team of officers and staff dedicated to protecting vulnerable people – including minority groups – who will make sure you will be supported at every step as sensitively as possible.”