Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels
A gay couple who were beaten up and stabbed in a homophobic attack in Birmingham’s gay village in June has said it’s taken police three months to interview them over the incident, with one victim saying he's been left traumatised aand suicidal.
Lee Drayford, 53, and his boyfriend, who doesn’t want to be named, were verbally abused before being attacked by three men while waiting for a taxi on Sunday 18 June.
Mr. Drayford, from Thornton in Leicestershire, was stabbed in the leg with a knife while his partner was beaten up and suffered several injuries to his head and chest.
"He caught me with the tip of the knife"
Mr. Drayford, speaking to Birmingham Live, says the couple was waiting for a taxi when the men attacked.
“One (used homophobic slurs), the other pulled out the hotel key card from my pocket", he said. "I called him a thief and as soon as I said that he pulled out the knife. I was shocked and, as I jumped back, he caught me with the tip of the knife.”
This caused Mr Drayford's boyfriend to throw him in a taxi, claiming the men would kill him [Lee]. Arriving at the hotel Mr. Drayford was helped by other guests who rang the police. He says his boyfriend arrived 45 minutes later covered in blood. He says the incident has scared him.
“Immediately afterward, I felt anger and fear and I felt useless. I did feel suicidal. I used to be an out-and-about person. I used to be OK with people, I wasn’t scared to go into a crowd of people I didn’t know. Now I’m scared.”
Neither man went to the hospital for their injuries.
Lee also claims it’s taken three months for the police to interview him, despite being alerted on the night. However, West Midlands Police have said in a statement that they are investigating and have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
“We carried out a full investigation into two men who were assaulted after spending time in Birmingham’s Gay Village. The attack took place around 3am on Sunday, June 18.
“One man received a stab wound to his leg which did not require medical treatment and the other man was pushed during the homophobic attack. It is understood three male offenders were involved.
“We conducted an extensive CCTV trawl and followed several lines of enquiry while keeping in contact with the victims. The three offenders have not yet been identified and we will look into any further evidence that comes to light.”
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