Liverpool Pride boss slams homophobic knife attack

John Bird co-founder of LCR Pride Foundation Image copyright Pride in Liverpool
Image caption John Bird says it is "scary" young people are "capable of such hatred"

One of the organisers of Pride in Liverpool has condemned a homophobic knife attack on two men in the city, describing it as "terrifying".

The victims were attacked by a boy with a knife in a "disturbing" hate crime in Anfield on Saturday, police said.

He is believed to be about 12 years old and was with two others aged 12 to 15.

John Bird, co-founder of LCR (Liverpool City Region) Pride Foundation, said it was "scary" young people are "capable of such hatred".

He told BBC 5 live that Liverpool was "culturally very rich" and described the attack as "terrifying... [when] someone as young as 12 is holding a knife and shouting homophobic slurs".

Image copyright Bryan Fowler
Image caption Pride in Liverpool takes place on 27 July

"The age of the people involved just hammers home education is vital," he said.

"All the leaps and bounds we have had in the UK - marriage and adoption rights... and 50 years on from the Stonewall Uprising... You would think we were past all this."

'Shout down'

The men were assaulted as they walked down Manningham Road at about 21:20 BST.

Det Insp Tracey Martin of Merseyside Police said three boys on bikes began by making "homophobic insults" before one, described as being approximately 12 years old, attacked the men with a knife.

"A male of 12 shouting homophobic abuse is [really] disturbing but even more [so] the fact he is carrying a knife," she added.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The two men were attacked in Manningham Road, Anfield

One of the victims suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries to his head and neck. Both are in hospital.

No arrests have yet been made and witnesses to the attack are urged to come forward.

The Pride in Liverpool event will take place next month and Mr Bird said the foundation would be working with Merseyside Police on event safety.

"Our theme this year is come as you are... and we will continue with that message and shout down this kind of behaviour," he added.

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