Shocking images show the injuries caused to a hotel worker after he was beaten by a gang in a homophobic attack – as they stamped on his head and shouted ‘gays should die’.
Ryan Turner, 22, had been returning home from a night out in Preston, Lancashire at around 6.30am on Saturday when he was attacked by a group of up to seven men.
The gang started taunting him, allegedly saying ‘you should die because you are gay’, before he was attacked from behind, shoved to the ground and knocked unconscious.
He woke up in hospital hours later and has now shared images of the burst lip, black eyes and swollen face he sustained in the attack. Posting about his experience on Facebook, the images have prompted huge outcry.
Ryan Turner (left and right, his injuries), 22, had been returning home from a night out in Preston, Lancashire at around 6.30am on Saturday when he was attacked by a group of up to seven men
Mr Turner said he could hear the gang saying ‘gays should die’ before he was attacked near a McDonald’s in Friargate, Preston
He said: ‘I was just walking home from a night out, minding my own business.
‘There was a group of lads one of them started throwing gay slurs to me and my friends – you can tell I am gay just by the way I am.
‘The man was saying “you should die because you are gay” so I said “there’s no need for that, just stay away”.
‘The next thing I know one, came up behind me and struck me.
‘I fell to the ground then he stamped on my face and I was knocked unconscious.
‘When I woke up in hospital, the doctors told me I could have died.’
Mr Turner said he couldn’t remember anything after the men who stamped on his face until he woke up in Royal Preston Hospital hours later.
He said doctors told him he could have died but after being given CT scans and pain relief he was discharged after nine hours and is now recovering at home.
But due to his public-facing job, Mr Turner has no idea when he will be able to return to work.
Mr Turner, who works as a hotel receptionist, has no idea when he will be able to return to work (pictured before the attack). He is now recovering at home following the attack last Saturday
Mr Turner has been targeted in Preston twice before this year, in January and March. One both these occasions he was able to run away from his attackers
The 22-year-old, who came out aged 15, has also revealed it is the third time this year he has been attacked in Preston because of his sexuality.
The two previous attacks took place in January and March but on these occasions he was able to run away from his attackers.
He said: ‘The two other times I managed to cover my face. The other two were by the same group.
‘I’ve been contacted by three people all saying they have suffered homophobic attacks in Preston.
‘I really don’t know what is causing this, it is just shocking.’
Earlier posting about his experiences on Facebook, he said: ‘I never thought in my life that I would get beaten up for being gay.
‘Wtf has this world actually come too, you’re all vile and disgusting.
‘I want people to understand that being gay isn’t a choice and I can’t help it, I’m sorry that you can’t deal with it.
‘But hey ho no need to knock someone out because of it.
‘I seriously cannot believe that a homophobic attack happens. Which it does and it’s wrong.
‘Stand strong and love yourself, this isn’t gonna stop me from being fabulous! Being gay is ok!’
He took to Facebook following the attack, saying ‘I never thought in my life that I would get beaten up for being gay’
The 22-year-old, who came out aged 15, has also revealed it is the third time this year he has been attacked in Preston because of his sexuality. Lancashire Constabulary has confirmed it is investigating the incident as a suspected hate crime (pictured, Mr Turner’s injuries)
Lancashire Constabulary has confirmed it is investigating the incident as a suspected hate crime.
A spokeswoman said: ‘We were called around 6.30am on Saturday (July 13) following reports of an assault in Friargate, Preston.
‘A man in his 20s had been punched by another man close to McDonalds.
‘The offender then made off from the scene with two men and a woman.
‘The victim was knocked unconscious suffering facial injuries.
‘He later was taken to Royal Preston Hospital for treatment.
‘The assault is being investigated as a hate crime and enquiries are ongoing.’