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Six arrested after man hit with wooden plank in homophobic attack in East London


Callum Griggs was attacked by a group of men outside a fast food shop in Chadwell Heath


Six men have been arrested in an investigation over a homophobic attack on a gay couple in north-east London last month.


One of the victims, 23-year-old Callum Griggs, was taken to hospital with cuts and bruises after being attacked with a plank of wood as he walked along High Road in Chadwell Heath on October 1.


Medics glued together a gash in his eye during a 13-hour stay in A&E.


His partner Brad Balueta, 24, was not injured, but police said both men were ‘understandably distressed’ by the incident.


An appeal was launched to track down the attackers around a month ago.


The Metropolitan Police said six men aged between 16 and 22 had been arrested in their homes this morning.


Chief Inspector Chris Nixon, from the Met’s East Area Command Unit, said: “This morning’s arrests are the culmination of our investigation into an unprovoked assault on two men, that left one requiring hospital treatment.


‘We are keeping the victims updated, and those arrested will be taken to police stations where they’ll be interviewed about their involvement in this attack.


‘We are aware of the corrosive effect of hate crime and remain determined to bring those responsible for such crimes to justice.


‘I hope that these arrests will send out a signal to those who think they can get away with homophobic abuse and violence that we will track you down.’


Mr Griggs was left with a gash above his left eye, which had to be glued together


Speaking to Yahoo News last month, Mr Balueta recalled that a group of men had shouted abuse at the couple as they passed a fast food shop at around 5.30pm.


He said: ‘‘Callum calmly asked them what they said, and one told him he knew where he lived, then named the street, and told him, “I will kill you”.


‘I am out and proud but in all my life I have never felt so scared. He clearly knew where my boyfriend lived, and was very aggressive.’


He described a member of the group threatening Mr Griggs with a wooden panel which had nails in it, before they began ‘piling on to him’ with punches and kicks.


Mr Balueta wrote about his experience on X, formerly Twitter, and asked people to share his posts.


He said: ‘I [want] to show that this s**t has been happening to my community for a [long] time and is still happening in front of our very eyes today. Verbal or physical, homophobia/transphobia is a real thing.’


He also expressed his anger at the lack of help from bystanders, posting: ‘The fact so many people were watching on the high street and did nothing and just watched or ignored is appalling and just shows what society is like and has been like for so long.’


Credit: metro

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