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Man arrested after Pride flag set alight over Brighton Pride weekend

The incident took place just yards from Preston Park, the site of the city's annual Pride celebration.

By Will Stroude

A man has been arrested and charged with a homophobic hate crime after a Pride flag was torn down and set alight in Brighton.

The flag was taken from a garden in Beaconsfield Road and burned shortly before 10pm on Saturday (1 August), on the first day of Brighton Pride weekend, The Argus reports.

The incident took place just yards from Brighton’s Preston Park, where this year’s Pride festival was due to take place before the coronavirus pandemic led to the postponement of physical events until 2021.

Instead, those in Brighton and around the world marked Pride with a virtual festival which saw performances from LGBTQ stars and allies including Years & Years, Billy Porter and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Moulay Abdelhakim Ismaili, 36, of Beaconsfield Road, Brighton, has been arrested on suspicion of committing a homophobic hate crime.

The 36-year-old was remanded in custody to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (4 August).

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “We are committed to fully investigating reports of hate crime.”

He added: “If you have been a victim of or have witnessed a hate crime, we urge you to either report online, call us on 101, or 999 if it is an emergency.”

Meanwhile, if you want to show that hatred will never win, you can still show your Pride by tuning into the Brighton Pride digital warm-up party below: