A man has been left with several injuries including a swollen face and cuts to the head after a homophobic attack in Nottingham.
Lewis North, 32, was walking home from a night out in Nottingham in the early hours of Sunday 7 January when the incident took place.
Speaking to Attitude on Tuesday (9 January) North recalled having “a really good day” on Saturday (6 January) including a hike, bowling with friends, and then going out.
He said he left the New Foresters at around 02:30am on Sunday morning and walked back home through the Victoria Centre. Inside the shopping centre North said a man jumped out from behind a pillar and verbally abused him.
“He’s breathing down my neck and he’s telling me you’re a f***ing f****t and scum of the earth.” Choosing to ignore it North continued on but then the man threatened to stab him.
“I turned around and I told him to f*** right off and then walked outside the shopping centre. I take three or four steps and then I am just thrown to the floor.” North said the man started punching him and continued to verbally abuse him using homophobic slurs. He said the man also bit one of his ears and spat on him.
North shared with Attitude that he considered fighting back but didn’t want things to get worse. North was able to use his phone to start an emergency call before the police arrived at the scene.
He said he told the police he’d been assaulted and that they should arrest the man only to be told by one officer, “Don’t tell me what to do.” The police also didn’t take a statement from North. After the man was arrested North met up with his friends and went home.
Later on Sunday morning – at around 9:45am – the police visited North’s home address to take a statement. He told Attitude he hadn’t heard anything from the police since. Touching on the police’s response, North told Attitude he was “just looking to get some sort of safety” from them.
“I don’t have faith in the police in general,” he added.
North has been left with a swollen face, an injured nose, two black eyes, and a cut behind his right ear. While he hasn’t been to the hospital at the time of writing he said he is seeing a doctor to check for further injuries. “I’m on the mend so I’m fine,” he said.
“I’m really strong, I’m resilient and yep I’ve been attacked but tonight (Tuesday 9 January) I’m going back to the Lord Roberts with my friends,” North went on to say.
With his support network around him, North is resolved to carry on as normal. “I’m going to try,” he closed.
In a statement shared with Attitude, Chief Inspector James Walker, the hate crime lead for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We take all allegations of violence and hate crime very seriously and officers responded quickly to an assault in Milton Street on January 7 at around 2.35am.
“The victim, aged 32, was supported by officers at the scene after he was punched in the face. We arrested a 22-year-old man for Actual Bodily Harm. Currently, we are treating this as a hate crime. Investigations are ongoing and we continue to support the victim.”