A gay man has been left with a broken jaw after being savagely beaten in a so-called ‘gay bashing’ incident.
A witness claimed the assailant was shouting “Muslim stuff”, but people have not “want[ed] to hear” this fact. Sussex Police insisted they were not aware of any racial or religious element to the assault.
The victim, Aaron Woods, 26, is a former model. He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after being attacked just before 5am on Sunday.
Sussex Police later confirmed a 21-year-old man from London was held on suspicion of assault and causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
A friend of the victim, Brian Markintosh, told Brighton and Hove News that Mr. Woods is 6ft 6in tall but said: “He’s such a gentle giant. He’s the kindest person you could imagine.
“This geezer broke his jaw with a knuckleduster. He was filming the young gay guys. And when he was attacking him he was shouting all this Muslim stuff but no one wants to hear that.”
Mr. Markintosh also said that the man who carried out the attack appeared to be drunk, adding: “Aaron was in so much pain. He was really screaming.”
Mr. Woods had been outside a bar in the city – which is know as the gay capital of the UK – when a man shouted homophobic abuse at him and punched him in the face.
Sussex Police said: “Police have arrested a man following a serious assault on another man in Madeira Drive, Brighton, which happened shortly before 5am on Sunday (8 May).
“The victim, a 26-year-old from Eastbourne, was approached by a man who used homophobic language before being punched in the face and suffering a broken jaw.
“A 21-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of assault and GBH with intent. He has been bailed until (Monday) 13 June.
“It follows an assault on Monday 2 May in which two men were attacked in King’s Road, Brighton, suffering head and facial injuries.
“Two 18-year-old men from Crawley were arrested on suspicion of GBH, ABH (actual bodily harm) and assault on police and have been bailed until (Tuesday) 5 July.
“Police are not linking the two incidents.”
Sergeant Peter Allan, the force’s hate crime officer, said: “I am saddened to hear of the homophobic assaults in Brighton over the last two weekends.
“I am pleased, however, that the victims are recovering from their physical injuries and that prompt arrests were made in both cases.”