Suspect, 29, arrested after man, 38, bottled in 'homophobic attack'

·2 min read
John-Paul Kesseler was left bleeding after being attacked with a bottle for holding hands with another man. (Reach)
John-Paul Kesseler was left bleeding after being attacked with a bottle for holding hands with another man. (Reach)

A 29-year-old has been arrested in connection with a homophobic attack after a man was assaulted with a bottle in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police said the man had been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after handing himself in. 

The arrest is in connection with an investigation into an incident in Birmingham's Gay Village on Sunday, 10 October. 

John-Paul Kesseler has described how he was targeted for holding hands with another man as they returned to a hotel after a night out. 

Kesseler said passers-by then taunted him, saying: 'we don't agree with that LGBTQ stuff'. (Reach)
Kesseler said passers-by then taunted him, saying: 'we don't agree with that LGBTQ stuff'. (Reach)

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The 38-year-old shared pictures of his bloodied face after allegedly being attacked with a wine bottle and then hit with an iron bar. 

His attacker fled, leaving him on the roadside while being subjected to homophobic taunts from passers-by who said, "we don't agree with that LGBTQ stuff."

The attack was the latest in a spate of suspected homophobic attacks in Birmingham city centre, and prompted West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster to declare hate crime a "top priority".

Police have now arrested a man in connection with the incident after combing through CCTV and identifying a suspect. 

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the attack on Kesseler. (Reach)
Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the attack on Kesseler. (Reach)

West Midlands Police said officers had made several arrest attempts at addresses linked to the man before he handed himself in on Thursday (21 October).

Birmingham Police Superintendent James Littlehales said: "This was a really nasty attack with a weapon and one which we believe was motivated by hate.

"Hate crime and keeping people safe in our nightlife centres are priorities for us.

"Everyone should feel safe and comfortable to be who they are, we will not tolerate anyone being targeted in this way.

"This sort of offence is totally unacceptable and offenders must understand we take it extremely seriously and that they face time in prison."

The force said it is also investigating other homophobic hate crimes committed in recent weeks and are determined to get justice for victims.

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