Police hunt thugs who 'strangled' teenager and 'forced him to apologise for being gay' in London Underground attack

Police really want to speak to these men

Police are searching for these men in connection with a homophobic attack on a tube train in London.

The victim, a 19-year-old man, was travelling on a westbound Jubilee line train between West Ham and North Greenwich with his friends on October 21 when the assault happened.

According to officers, the offenders boarded the train at around 11.10pm at West Ham and began verbally abusing the victim and his friends, who were in fancy dress, using homophobic language.

The first offender then pulled the victim from his seat into a headlock, strangling him, while the second offender took the victim’s phone made threats to stab him.

British Transport Police said they are treating the incident as a hate crime.

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The offenders demanded the victim apologise for being gay while they choked him, before a fight broke out between the victim’s friends and the offenders, police said.

One of the victim’s friends, a 25-year-old woman, sustained bruising after she was punched and pushed to the ground.

Police would like to speak to the people shown in the images as they may have information, which could help the investigation.

A BTP spokesman said: “They demanded the victim apologise for being gay which eventually the victim did as he was struggling to breathe. They then let him go and handed back his phone and a fight ensued between the victim’s friends and the offenders.

“One of the victim’s friends, a 25-year-old woman, was punched and pushed to the ground. She sustained bruising.”

The added: “Hate crime will not be tolerated by British Transport Police. We believe that everyone has the right to travel safety.

“We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because they are perceived to be different, or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey.”

Police urged anyone with information to call BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016, quoting reference number 273 of 1/12.