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2 held over Halloween 'hate crime'

Police have arrested two men suspected of carrying out a homophobic attack while wearing pink tutus on Halloween night.

Robert Kingsford, 21, was beaten as he tried to protect his 18-year-old friend who was being punched in Surbiton, Surrey, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Kingsford suffered severe cuts and bruises, black eyes and swollen lips after being kicked and stamped on the floor.

His father, Brian, appealed for help to catch the culprits by posting a picture of his son in hospital on Facebook and wrote that the two attackers were ''dressed as pink fairies''.

Scotland Yard said t wo men, both aged 26, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and common assault.

They have been bailed to return to a west London police station in mid-December pending further inquiries, a force spokesman said.

The attack happened at around 1.20am on Saturday when the victims were walking along Victoria Road.

As they passed a group of two men and three women outside the YMCA, they were subjected to homophobic abuse by one of the men.

The victims walked away but when they reached a nearby zebra crossing, they were approached by the men and the 18-year-old was punched.

Mr Kingsford was attacked after he intervened to protect his friend. Passers-by stopped the assault and the suspects ran away.

Following the assault, police said they were treating the "violent and unprovoked hate crime" as a homophobic attack.


From Belfast Telegraph