Yobs film their sick attack on gay man

ATTACK SCENE: St Patrick's shops in Owton Manor Lane

ATTACK SCENE: St Patrick's shops in Owton Manor Lane

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YOBS subjected a gay man to sickening homophobic abuse in the street which they filmed on a mobile phone.

A teenage gang shouted vile insults, banged on the victim’s car windows and tried to open the doors while using mobile phones to record the attack.

The 28-year-old was parked outside St Patrick’s Shops, in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, and was waiting for his aunty when three boys started the disgusting verbal attack.

They were then joined by another five youngsters as the shouting and banging escalated.

The man, who is openly gay and lives on the estate, tried to ignore them in the hope they would go away, but they carried on in a bid to get a reaction.

The victim told the Mail his ordeal lasted 20 minutes and only stopped when his aunt returned from a shop and got into the car.

Police are now investigating what they have described as a “hate crime”.

The victim told the Mail: “It was completely unprovoked. I don’t even know who they are.

“But what could I do? They were intimidating, but they are just kids. I tried to just ignore them, but they were doing everything possible to try and get a reaction.

“I think it’s a lack of education from both their schools and their parents.

“To get their phones out and film it as well is just wrong. I don’t know where that footage will end up.”

His aunt was so disgusted when she heard what had happened that she notified the police the next day.

An investigation has now been launched.

The victim added: “They didn’t seem bothered by what they were doing. They just thought it was funny.

“I don’t know what the police can do, but they can’t just get away with doing something like that for no reason.

“I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before and I hope nothing like it happens again.”

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “We received a report of hate crime on Thursday and investigations are ongoing.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Hartlepool Police on (01642) 302110 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

l Follow Mark Thompson on Twitter@MThompsonHMail