A 17-year-old was reportedly kicked, stamped on and punched with a brass knuckle by thugs who had been shouting “homophobic” abuse at his friend.
Jack Roberts was with his girlfriend and four friends in Rotherham, South Yorkshire on Saturday (June 29) when a gang allegedly began shouting anti-LGBT+ slurs towards the group.
Pictures posted to Facebook by Jack’s mother Jodie Roberts show how he was left with a bloody nose and scratches and bruises on his head and torso.
Teenager’s mother appeals for witnesses
Jodie shared the images in an appeal for witnesses who might have viewed video footage of the attack, which she believes was filmed.
“Jack wouldn’t hurt anyone and stuck up for what he believes,” she wrote. “10 b******* did this to him.”
Speaking to the Sheffield Star, Jodie said that Jack had known the boy who was being targeted “for about two hours.”
“Jack isn’t a fighter, he isn’t like that, he just said to the gang ‘don’t say that’ when they started dishing out homophobic comments to one of the boys with him and his girlfriend,” she said.
Explaining that it was “10 of them against one,” she added: “They were kicking, punching and stamping on him while his girlfriend was trying to get then off him.”
Knuckle duster allegedly used in anti-LGBT+ attack
Jack “curled up in a ball” to protect himself, Jodie continued.
“There was a knuckle duster used during the attack, which is bad enough but I am just so grateful that they weren’t carrying knives because the outcome could have been so much worse,” she added.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson confirmed that an investigation into the incident is ongoing, telling PinkNews: “Police attended the scene, and found that the boy had suffered non-life-threatening injuries from what is believed to have been an assault.”
“If you have any information which may help our investigation, please call 101 quoting incident number 1231 of 29 June 2019.”
Homophobic and transphobic hate crime has more than doubled in England and Wales in the last four years, the Guardian reported in June.
There have been several notable instances of anti-LGBT+ violence in the past month alone, including the cases of two women who were attacked on a London night bus after refusing to kiss for a group of men, and that of two men who were hospitalised in an anti-gay knife attack in Liverpool.