Police investigating 'isolated and unprovoked' homophobic attack in Burnley town centre
Lancashire Police are investigating the attack which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning in the Hammerton Street area.
The 22-year-old was targeted in the unprovoked attack by a group of three men and a woman while on his way to Mode nightclub in the town centre in the early hours of Sunday morning.
As he walked along Hammerton Street with his three friends two men walked past them and shouted homophobic slurs.
A moment later, a couple, a man and woman, walked past the group and appeared to be arguing. Then the man walked towards the victim and made an insulting comment before punching him in the face.
Stumbling back from the impact of the blow the victim's friends came to his aid after the attacker returned towards him waving his arms around. They then pulled the victim into the safety of the nightspot.
After the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, posted on social media about the incident he was inundated with dozens of messages of support, sympathy and love from the community who also roundly condemned the attack.
Police are now appealing for information about the attack, which left the victim with a black eye and painful bruising and swelling to the side of his face.
It took place at around 4am in the Hammerton Street area just past the now closed Lava Ignite nightclub.
The two men shouting the abuse and the man who punched the victim are said to be of Asian heritage and in their 20s. The woman with them had blonde hair and is also believed to be in her 20s.
There were several other people on the streets at the time of the attack and anyone with information is asked to ring the police on 101 quoting crime reference number LC 2019 0616-0638 16/6/2019.