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Appeal after teen attacked for being gay

18-year-old Richard Scott Kennedy posted this photo of himself online after he was beaten up in Preston

18-year-old Richard Scott Kennedy posted this photo of himself online after he was beaten up in Preston

A teenager targeted by a gang and beaten up because of his sexuality has said he hopes his story will act as a lesson to others.

Richard Scott Kennedy took to Facebook to share shocking pictures of his bruised and battered face after he was attacked on a night out at a gay event.

The 18-year-old from Layton, who had four teeth damaged in the incident, and was left with swelling, cuts and bruises across his cheeks and both knees, said he was targeted because of his sexuality.

Mr Kennedy was leaving the Evoke nightclub on Church Street, Preston, at 3.30am on Wednesday, when he was set upon by a group of thugs.

He said: “I heard a group of men shouting homophobic abuse at me, the next thing I know I was punched in the back of the head. I was violently assaulted all because of my sexuality.

“I was covered in blood and had my face stomped on causing my teeth to go into my gums. I might need surgery to amend the damage done.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful to violently attack someone because of who they are. The gay event I’d been to was quite a public one.”

The former Palatine Sports College pupil hopes his story will be a lesson to others to be aware of their safety on nights out.

He said: “From all of this, all I want is awareness, that we need to stop ignoring attacks like these. No matter what, no-one deserves to be attack for being true to who they are or what they look like.

“Also I want people to use me as an example, I want people to see what can happen if you are as stupid as me to be alone on a night out, be safe, stick with people you know.”

Lancashire Police confirmed they are investigating the incident.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “This was a nasty and seemingly unprovoked assault and we are investigating the possibility that this was a homophobic crime. 
“We treat all incidents of this nature very seriously and a further statement is currently being obtained from the victim.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Lancashire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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