CCTV appeal after 19-year-old strangled for being gay on Jubilee line tube train

West Ham station. Picture: Steve Poston

West Ham station. Picture: Steve Poston - Credit: Archant

Transport police have released CCTV images of two men they wish to speak to after a homophobic attack on a Jubilee line train.

A 19-year-old man was strangled and forced to apologise for being gay while travelling to a fancy dress party on a westbound train between West Ham and North Greenwich.

His friend, a 25-year-old woman, suffered bruising after being punched in the attack, which took place at around 11.10pm on Saturday, October 21.

The offenders boarded the train at West Ham and hurled abuse at the victim and his friends using homophobic language after spotting them in costume.

They became more aggressive when challenged, one pulling the 19-year-old from his seat into a headlock.

The other grabbed the victim’s mobile phone and continued the verbal abuse, even threatening to stab him.

Both men demanded he apologise for his sexuality, the victim eventually relenting as he was struggling to breathe.

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After he made the humiliating apology, they released him and handed back his phone before a fight broke out between them and the victim’s friends.

The woman was hit and pushed to the ground in the scrap, though the 19-year-old was uninjured.

The victims left the train at North Greenwich.

Officers from British Transport Police today launched an appeal to track down the attackers.

They are looking for the two people shown in the CCTV footage, who they believe have information which could help the investigation.

Anyone who recognises the men is asked to call 0800 405 040 or text 61016, quoting reference number 273 of 1/12.

“Hate crime will not be tolerated by British Transport Police,” the force said in a statement.

“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.”