Homophobic attack on trainee police officer in Liverpool

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A trainee police officer from Merseyside Police is fighting for his life after what Merseyside Police describe as a homophobic attack on Sunday on Liverpool's Stanley street, an area which describes itself as the gay quarter.

Forensic search of the site of the attack
Image: Irate.

The attack occurred as the openly homosexual James Parkes left a gay bar, Superstar Boudoir, with his partner and two other people. Mr. Parkes is in hospital with fractures to his skull, eye socket and cheek bone.

The attack was carried out by up to 13 youths at about 10pm on Sunday. Stanley street was still closed on Monday and undergoing forensic examination and investigation of CCTV footage. The attack comes a week before Liverpool holds the annual Homotopia festival.

Two 15 year olds and a 14 year old from the Kirkdale area of the city are being questioned in connection with the incident.

We are treating the assault as a homophobic hate crime...

—Detective Chief Inspector Tim Keelan

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Keelan, said: "I would appeal to anyone who may have information which could help us to catch those responsible for this despicable crime to come forward. Intensive inquires are taking place and we are currently examining CCTV footage from around the time of the incident to identify those responsible.

We are treating the assault as a homophobic hate crime and this incident shows there are still some people who have not learnt that crimes of this type are completely unacceptable. People who commit hate crimes can expect the full attention of the police and we will not rest until the offenders are brought to justice. The offenders will learn their lesson the hard way.

We have stepped up high visibility patrols in the area to reassure the public and we would urge the community to help us with our enquiries and find those responsible."