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One Arrest, More Suspects Sought in UK Vicious Anti-Gay Attack

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday August 24, 2021
Originally published on August 24, 2021

Married couple Rob and Patrick
Married couple Rob and Patrick  (Source:Twitter / @TJ_Knight)

One suspect has turned himself in and police are still seeking two others in connection with an "appalling hate crime" in which two married men were gashed with broken bottles and a female friend was dragged by the suspects' car.

The suspect in custody, "believed to be Mosin Mahmood, 31, handed himself in after an appeal in which he was named along with two others," U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported. "He was arrested on suspicion of wounding and remains in custody."

Two other suspects remain at large, the article said, identifying them as "Sohail Khan, 24, and Ishaaq Ayaz, 21".

As previously reported at EDGE, the attack took place early on Sunday, Aug. 15, in the Gay Village section of Birmingham. Married couple Rob and Patrick had called out jokingly to a car full of men they had spotted outside a gay bar "inhaling balloons" of an unknown gas. In response, the men "shouted homophobic abuse" at them, British newspaper the Independent reported at the time.

"I made a joke asking if it was their birthday, and then they said 'what the fuck are you saying to me?' " Rob recounted to i News.

"My friend asked them to calm down then they started calling us faggots," Rob continued. "My husband started filming them, so he had evidence of what they were saying to us. They stole his phone out of his hand."

Rob said that their female friend had tried to intervene at that point, but the suspects, still in possession of Patrick's phone, drove off and "dragged my friend halfway down the street. She fell out, then hit her head."

When Rob chased after the car, the men got out and began beating him with bottles. Patrick rushed into the fray, but, Rob recounted, "They knocked my husband unconscious," while Rob "suffered several deep cuts" from the bottles, the BBC reported.

Rob and Patrick received medical attention, as did their friend, who who needed crutches after being dragged by the SUV.

The police issued a statement in which Inspector Steve Lloyd condemned the beating, calling it "an absolutely appalling attack and robbery on people just trying to enjoy a night out in the city center," and assured the public that law enforcement "are taking this appalling hate crime very seriously."

Following the arrest of the man who turned himself in, Sgt. Marc Petford stated, "This was a brutal attack and we need to find the people responsible."

Petford went on to add: "I would encourage the other two to follow suit and also come and speak to us."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.