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Report: Gay Couple Beaten, Stomped as Gang of 5 Hurl Anti-Gay Epithets

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday October 18, 2021

A gay couple in the town of Basildon, in Essex, England, say they were attacked by a gang of five assailants in the early morning hours of Oct. 10, just after leaving an LGBTQ+ night spot called Colors, local newspaper the Echo reported.

Rob Morris was in drag as they left the club, his partner Dan Wilson told the newspaper, and the couple "knew straight away" that the gang was "coming straight for us."

The vicious assault took place mere "meters from their flat," the Echo detailed.

"It was terrifying," Wilson recalled; "we didn't know if they had any weapons."

Wilson went on to say, "We're covered in cuts and bruises, and I've got cracked ribs." Of the two men, "Rob came off worse," though both men's heads were "stamped on" by the assailants.

Wilson told Echo that another couple intervened in the beating and "prevented it getting any worse."

"It was horrible," Wilson said.

Repeated calls to the Essex police were fruitless, as no officers arrived to investigate or offer help, the report said. The two men got themselves to the hospital for treatment and were discharged later the same day. Eventually, on Monday, Oct. 11, they heard back from law enforcement.

The Essex police issued a statement in which they said through a spokesperson that "An officer has been allocated to the investigation," and offered the explanation that, "At the time this incident was called into us, all our available officers were deployed elsewhere."

"We know how distressing these incidents are and we try to respond to as many calls as possible with officers attending as many incidents as possible," the spokesperson said.

Dan Wilson's father, Dave, called for the assailants to be apprehended, saying they should be "named and shamed."

"They were shouting homophobic chants while beating up my son," Dave Wilson said, adding, "it's disgusting."

"This kind of thing just shouldn't be happening," Dan told the Echo. "Basildon is meant to be promoting the LGBT community."

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.