Homophobia is still alive and kicking, even in Vauxhall, one of London's most popular destinations for gay clubbers in south London. At around 4am last night, three clubbers were sprayed with concentrated ammonia solution near the popular Lightbox club. One of the victims has been warned by doctors that he could lose his sight.
The 23-year-old man and his friend had tried to gain entry to Lightbox but according to venue management, the club had been closed for an hour. Stranded on the street, the pair struck up a conversation with two women and a man. When the women discovered that the pair were gay, they started firing abusive tirades at the pair, at which point the man and his friend attempted to diffuse the situation by walking away.
"As we walked away I heard a man shout 'Oi! Come here,'" one of the victims told the Evening Standard. "At first I thought it was the doorman saying he’d changed his mind and we could go in. Then I saw this white guy with a beard, and his hand coming up with a water bottle that he squirted really hard into my face. It went right in my eyes and it sprayed into my friend’s mouth.
My face was burning so much, I thought it was acid. I thought I would never see again and my face was melting. He poured every last drop onto us and then turned around and walked away, like it was mission accomplished."
A short time after the first attack, another man was sprayed with a concentrated ammonia substance. All three victims are now being treated for their injuries in hospital.
Police believe that the same man is responsible, and Scotland Yard is treating the incident as a homphobic hate crime. The attack is believed to be premeditated – how many clubbers leave the house with bleach spray, right?
Lightbox's CCTV system managed to capture images of the suspected trio (see below). If you have any information on the attack please contact Lambeth Community Safety Unit on 0208 649 2176 or 07909 906 168.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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