April 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 27, 2013
Human rights groups across the city have united in condemning a homophobic attack on the landlords of a Norwich pub.
Jesse Charlebois, 34, and David Hayes, 26, were punched and kicked by a gang of 15 men after they asked them to leave the Kings pub in King Street at about 5.30pm last Saturday.
They said that since the assault they have received messages of support from as far away as France, Australia and Florida, and are planning an anti-homophobia party to raise awareness of the issue.
In a statement, Norwich Pride, which organises an annual gay parade in the city, urged people to unite in condemning the attack and to send a message of solidarity and support to the landlords.
The statement said: “Norwich Pride is shocked and angered by the horrific level of violence perpetrated in the homophobic attack. We condemn outright such violence and call on the authorities to take every effort to catch the attackers.
“One of the key aims of Norwich Pride is to ensure that Norwich is a safe city where everyone is able to be themselves. Every year at the end of July thousands of people join the Pride parade and participate in events across the city to celebrate our diverse cultures and people of all sexual orientations. We need to continue to work together to ensure this remains the case.”
The landlords have also been backed by the anti-racist campaign group, We are Norwich.
The group’s Nick O’Brien said it supported Norwich Pride’s statement, and added: “Although we focus on racism and fascism, we support the aims of Norwich Pride and wish to work with them in making Norwich a city where everyone feels safe and valued.
“There is no place for intolerance. We hope the perpetrators are quickly brought to justice and wish Jesse and Davey all the best.”
The landlords said they had been overwhelmed with support from around the world.
In a statement on their Facebook page, they said: “.... we have been so touched and amazed at the messages, support, sympathy, love and good old-fashioned Christmas spirit we have received. Thank you. “Our phones have not stopped bleeping, ringing and vibrating all day and we feel stronger and better for it.”
Anyone with information should call PC Paul Collins at Norwich CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.