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Woman hurls bottle of wine at man in alleged homophobic attack

Owen Syred was in an Asda store when the bottle hit the back of his head

By Steve Brown

A man had a bottle of wine smashed over his head in an alleged homophobic attack.

Owen Syred was verbally abused by two women and their children and called him a “fat poof” and “fat queer” while he was on his way into an Asda store in Lancing, Brighton, over the weekend, the Argus reported.

Despite the staff keeping them apart, one of the women managed to throw the bottle of wine at him while she was being restrained.

The father-of-two – who was at Brighton Pride celebrating with friends – claims the incident has left him shaken and has caused him a loss of hearing in his left ear.

He said: “I think they just assumed I was gay. I heard them behind me as I walked along shouting ‘fatty’, ‘fat queer’ and ‘fat poof’ but I ignored them because I didn’t think they were talking to me.

“Then I asked them if they were talking to me, and they were shouting and swearing. She was right in my face.

“I told her she needed to back away, but she kept on with the barrage. Eventually she got to the point where she was so violent I had to restrain her, I put her in an arm lock.

“A shop worker pulled her away, and I said to them, ‘Sorry, I don’t know what all that was about’.

“She approached to smash me over the head with [the bottle]. She hurled it and it hit me in the back of my head as I turned my face away.”

Police are investigating the incident and Syred believes the attacked was fuelled by homophobia.

He added: “I held back, I only stepped in at the point where she was going to cause me harm because of her level of aggression.

“I don’t think they should have been allowed into the store after they were shouting and swearing.

“It was very shocking on my day off. You don’t expect that to happen in the supermarket. It really shook me.”