Police have opened an investigation after a man was punched in the face in an 'unprovoked homophobic attack' in Burnley over the weekend.
The 22-year-old victim had left Mode nightclub in the town centre in the early hours of Sunday (16 June) when he was attacked by three men who shouted homophobic abuse at him, the Lancashire Telegraph reports.
“One punched me twice in the face and kicked me repeatedly," the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote on Facebook.
“I was doing absolutely nothing but walking to another bar hand in hand with my friend and all I remember is the men shouting f***** as they ran up to me and within seconds I was punched and kicked.
“If anyone saw anything at all around 4am please get in touch.
“I will never stop being myself and this proves why I fight for equality every single day.
“Love should never mean having to live in fear.”
Lancashire Police confirmed that the incident had been reported to them and that they were treating it as an "isolated and unprovoked attack."
“It was reported that a man in his 20s had been approached by three unknown males, before one shouted homophobic abuse at him and a second male punched him to the face," a spokesperson said.
“We are currently treating it as an isolated and unprovoked attack. Our enquiries are ongoing.”
Mode nighclub confirmed to the Lanashire Telegraph that the venue was assisting police with their enquiries.
“We are aware of the incident and it has yet to be confirmed if the offender had been in the premises on the evening," a spokesperson said.
“We are deeply saddened by the attack and we will work with all authorities to bring the offender to justice any way we can.”
Anyone with information is being urged to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number LC 2019 0616-0638 16/6/2019.