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Man hands himself in following 'nasty' homophobic attack in Birmingham's Gay Village

Police say the man handed himself in on Thursday 21 October after they made several attempts to arrest him.

2021-10-22

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels

A man has been arrested over a homophobic hate crime in Birmingham where a man was hit with a glass bottle while holding another man’s hand.

John-Paul Kesseler was walking home from a night out in the city's Gay Village on 10 October when the bottle was thrown at him narrowly missing his eye.

A 29-year-old is said to have surrendered himself to West Midlands Police on 21 October and has been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

"A really nasty attack"

The attack happened in the early hours of 10 October as Kesseler was walking around Holloway Circus, in Birmingham's Gay Village.

The assault, which left him with a gashed head, happened as Kesseler and his friend walked past a man who told them "you should not be doing that" before attacking. 

West Midlands Police launched an investigation and identified a suspect through CCTV footage.

After making several attempts at an arrest using multiple addresses linked to the suspect, the man in question handed himself in shortly before 11:30am on Thursday.

Birmingham Police Superintendent James Littlehales said: "This was a really nasty attack with a weapon and one which we believe was motivated by hate. Hate crime and keeping people safe in our nightlife centres are priorities for us. 

"Everyone should feel safe and comfortable to be who they are, we will not tolerate anyone being targeted in this way. This sort of offence is totally unacceptable and offenders must understand we take it extremely seriously and that they face time in prison."

The force is also investigating several other homophobic incidents that have taken place recently. In one attack, a gay couple was beaten and stabbed and another where men were attacked with bottles.

Following these attacks, protests have been held in solidarity with the victims.

The city's mayor, Andy Street, the local Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, and the local council leader, Ian Ward, have also come out against the homophobic attacks saying "hate will not win," and announcing a series of measures to improve security.

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