A young gay couple have recalled the horrifying moment they fell victim to a shocking and violent homophobic attack outside a Brighton nightclub.
Boyfriends James and Dain were left hospitalised following the barbaric attack
, which took place at the end of a night out in the city during May bank holiday last year.
The couple, who have been together for five years, have opened up about their traumatic experience as part of new documentary Is It Safe To Be Gay in The UK?
, which forms part of the BBC's 'Gay Britannia' season celebrating 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.
In the programme, the couple reveal how during a "great" night out in the gay-friendly seaside town they were approached in a nightclub by two men who began hurling homophobic abuse at them.
The couple senses trouble and promptly left the club, but were set upon by the men as they walked home through the deserted streets.
After being thrown to the ground, James and Dain were subjected to a savage and sustained attack which only ended when passers-by intervened to call the police.
"We were both on the ground. I was lying on the pavement and all I could see was James but the next thing I saw was just a shoe coming to my face that just knocked me completely unconscious," Dain recalls.
James says: "Every time I tried to crawl closer to Dain [the attacker] was literally dragging me across the pavement. One of the boys started kicking Dain's face really rapidly, shouting 'gayboys'.
"A taxi driver drove past and I think he called the police straight away.
He adds tearfully: "I remember standing up for the first time, Dain looked at me and said 'I can't see'.
The barbaric attack left Dain with haemorrhages in both eyes, fractures to his cheeks, and broken nose and damaged teeth.
It would be eight weeks before his eyesight would fully return, forcing him to miss his own graduation and turn down a job offer.
James and Dain's attackers were later arrested by police and sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to grevious bodily harm (GHB) and actual bodily harm (ABH). The sentence was later increased to seven years because of the homophobic nature of the crime.
The couple say that the attack has made a lasting impression on their lives.
"I'm a very resilient person and that'd made me want to be who I am even more so," Dain says.
An emotional James explains: "It's changed the whole... it's just changed to how I was before...And it's sad because I remember how we were before it happened, and I look at us now...
"It's upsetting because it's them who made this happen."
He adds: "I wouldn't forgive [the attackers]. Plain and bluntly, I wouldn't. Not ever. It might get easier to accept it, but I'll never forgive them [or] forget what happened.
"It will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Is It Safe To Be Gay in The UK?
is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now
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