Police hunt after 'gay men punched and told you are not welcome in homophobic attacks' in Walthamstow

Hatty Collier
Appeal: Police have released an e-fit after two homophobic attacks: Met Police

Police are hunting a suspect after gay men were punched and told “you are not welcome” in east London.

One of the victims was punched to the ground and left with a black eye after he was attacked in Walthamstow late on evening.

Another victim was grappled with and told “you are not welcome” as he walked along the high street with his husband after a night out.

Police have released two e-fits based on detailed descriptions from both victims and are investigating the possibility that the attacks were carried out by the same man.

In the first attack on Sunday, October 8, the first victim, a 47-year-old man, was walking along Walthamstow High Street with his husband after a night out in Walthamstow Village.

They were approached by a man who asked them if he could take a picture of them and then asked if they were gay.

Police said the two men walked away but the suspect then grabbed hold of the victim and said "you are not welcome" and grappled with him.

The victim was then pulled away by his husband before they walked away and called police. He was not injured.

In the second attack on Saturday, November 4, the victim, a 31-year-old man, was walking along Hoe Street with two friends.

They were approached by three men who they did not know. One of them allegedly punched the victim in the face and shouted homophobic abuse at him. The attacker fled, police said.

The victim suffered a black eye and cuts and bruises but he did not need to go to hospital.

Scotland Yard said the victims, who were both left extremely shaken after the incidents, provided detailed descriptions of the attacker from which the two e-fits were produced.

A spokesman said: “Based on these descriptions and the locations where the assaults happened, officers have not ruled out the possibility that the attacks may well have been carried out by the same man.”

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call Waltham Forest police on 101 or contact via Twitter @MetCC or to give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.