Two arrested after man forced to 'say sorry for being gay' during homophobic assault

The man and his friends were in fancy dress on the London Underground

Two arrested after man forced to 'say sorry for being gay' during homophobic assault

Picture by: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/PA Images

Updated: 15.10

British Transport Police say two 16-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of assault after a homophobic attack in London.

The victim, a 19-year-old man, was travelling on a westbound London Underground Jubilee line train between West Ham and North Greenwich with his friends.

They were dressed in fancy dress for an event they were going to on October 21st at around 11.10pm.

Two other men boarded the train at West Ham and began verbally abusing the victim and his friends, using homophobic language.

When challenged, police say they became more aggressive.

The first offender then pulled the victim from his seat into a headlock, strangling him.

The second man took the victim’s phone and verbally abused him again, and threatened to stab him.

They demanded the victim apologise for being gay which he eventually did as he was struggling to breathe.

They then let him go and handed back his phone - a fight then broke out between the victim’s friends and the offenders.

One of the victim’s friends, a 25-year-old woman, was punched and pushed to the ground. She sustained bruising.

Police say the original victim did not sustain any injuries.

Officers had launched an appeal to find the people shown in images as they may have information which could help the investigation.

In a statement, British Transport Police say: "Hate crime will not be tolerated... We believe that everyone has the right to travel safety.

"We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because they are perceived to be different, or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey."

They add that two boys are now in custody.