Police probe over homophobic attack on Pride teens
Written by The Newsroom on June 19, 2019
An attack on teenagers attending a Pride event is being investigated as a hate crime.
“Homophobic comments” were made by a group of youngsters and a person was punched and kicked, police said.
The incident, in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday, happened shortly after the annual festival for the LGBT community had finished.
One witness, 14-year-old Becky, said she was in “shock” after seeing her friends attacked.
A group of teenagers approached the friends, aged between 14 and 16, as they were leaving Pride shortly after 18:00 BST.
After four of the festival-goers got in to a taxi, the group chased the vehicle and shouted homophobic slurs, the teenager said, adding that when the vehicle stopped her friend was punched in the face.
Although shaken, the teenagers said they would not let it affect who they are.
“It is just going to make us strive more and make us want to be safer and keep Pride going and keep who we are out there,” she said.
Carl Gratty, Stoke-on-Trent Pride chairman and event director, said he was “horrified”.
“It is clear that Pride is still very much relevant and needed in Stoke-on-Trent,” he added.
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Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire