UNITED KINGDOM: West Midlands police have arrested a man in connection with an “appalling” homophobic hate crime in Birmingham’s Gay Village in which two men were abused and then cut with broken bottles.
31-year-old Mosin Mahmood handed himself in after an appeal in which he was named along with two other suspects, who are being searched for.
Mahmood was arrested on suspicion of wounding and remains in custody.
In the early hours of Sunday, 15 August, Rob and Patrick, in their 30s, were abused and left covered in blood outside the Missing Bar in Bromsgrove Street of the city’s Gay Village.
Officers said they still wanted to speak to Sohail Khan, 24, and Ishaaq Ayaz, 21, about what police described as an “outrageous” and “shocking” attack.
The married couple from Oxfordshire were first subjected to homophobic abuse by the occupants of a passing SUV car on Bromsgrove Street near the city centre. Soon they were assaulted with bottles, with both suffering cuts and Patrick unconscious. Both needed treatment in the hospital for their injuries.
West Midlands police named and released photographs of three men after extensive inquiries, including analysis of CCTV footage and recording several witness statements.
On Sunday, Sgt Marc Petford said: “We’ve had a good response to our appeal and I’m grateful for people sharing it far and wide. One man has been arrested following our appeal and I would encourage the other two to follow suit and also come and speak to us.”
On Saturday, he said: “This was a shocking homophobic attack on two men enjoying a night out in our city. It’s outrageous and we’re determined to bring to justice the people responsible.”
Speaking to the BBC, Rob said: “It’s just shocking that would happen in 2021 in the U.K. Especially in the Gay Village – that should be a safe area to be who you want and not have to tolerate people yelling homophobic remarks at you.”
Rob was quoted in the Birmingham Mail as saying: “They had no business in the Gay Village at 4 am except for trying to start fights with gay people.
“We had come up from Oxfordshire for a friend’s birthday party that night. It was a nice night out and there had been guys sat in front of the bar in a SUV.
“We tried to be nice to them, I said: ‘Is it your birthday?’ or something, and they started yelling at us and calling us homophobic names.”