A student targeted in a vicious homophobic attack has had hundreds of thousands of messages of support after details of the incident spread across the internet.
The Gazette told last week how Richard Kennedy, from Layton, posted a photo (right) on Facebook of his battered face, after he was attacked on a night out in Preston.
Nearly 200,000 people around the world have re-posted an image of the injuries which left the teenager with teeth embedded in his gums and cheek – and have posted messages of support.
He now needs surgery to remove a tooth sitting under his cheek, inside his gum, on the right side below his nose. His legs and chest were also injured.
The 18-year-old University of Central Lancashire theatre and performance student has called for an end to homophobia and has warned people to “stay safe” by not walking around on their own at night.
Richard said he was attacked from behind after leaving a club in Preston, minutes after a group of men shouted abuse at him.
He said: “I just kept walking. The next thing I know I got a punch in the back of my head.”
When he came round he was covered in blood and, after stumbling around Preston for hours, his friends found him and took him to hospital.
Richard said: “It’s been awful. When I woke up I had my wallet and my phone. I think I would have felt a bit better if they had stolen something but the only motive they had was because I am who I am.”
He said he took to Facebook “because I want people to know this is still happening.”
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